21 Ways to Improve Your Camping Lifestyle
Across the past 36 years or more, my wife and I have spent most of our free time --
and now virtually all of our time -- in the Australian outdoors. We started, as many do, with a
small nylon tent and minimal camping gear, all loaded into the boot of the family car. It
wasn’t long, however, before we graduated to a more robust outfit: canvas tent and basic off-
roader, followed by the relative luxury of a camper trailer. Finally, in 2001 we adopted a
permanent RV lifestyle, with a fully equipped, 18-foot caravan and heavy-duty 4WD.
Sure, these days we do appreciate a little more comfort, but in all honesty our best times have
been good old-fashioned camping in the remote Aussie bush -- most often the high country --
using our Toyota Troop Carrier as a “mobile bedroom”. The Troopie was totally
weatherproof, relatively spacious, and quick to set up once a campsite had been found. And
that faithful old truck also took us pretty much wherever we chose to point it.
In fact, it was in that configuration -- over 19 years -- in which our most memorable trips
unfolded, and our combined outdoor skills and camping expertise gradually developed. We
lived rough and we lived remote, and this has not changed all that much now that we’re
fulltime caravan roadies.
The 21 chapters that follow are just a sample of the many outdoor “lessons” we went through.
Much of the content was published over several years in my monthly column for a national
outdoors magazine. In other cases, the material was run as articles in the same or similar
periodicals. Nevertheless, all of the content -- and the lessons -- are as relevant as ever to
people who seek to develop their camping and outdoor skills.
Naturally, one of the secrets to perfecting any skill is to maintain an open mind. Because no
matter where you go, or to whom you speak, whenever your particular interest or favourite
pastime is involved, at some point you’ll say: “Now there’s a good idea!” Camping and RV
lifestyle techniques are no different in that regard.
And although most of our travelling these days is with a comfy caravan in tow, we still
unhook our “home” and go bush as often as the mood takes us. After all, those outdoor
lessons just never seem to end!
I trust this collection of ideas serves to increase both your enjoyment and effectiveness during
your own time in the outdoors.
PS: Non-Australian readers may find certain Aussie words or activities new to them. If you strike an
“indecipherable” segment -- or would like further explanation -- feel free to contact me via email as above.