Family camping guide and checklist

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Camping can be confusing if you've never experienced it before, so Tonya Ward has assembled some of the basics to get you started down the right track.

At OAWK we want to see more happy campers out there. Remember practice makes perfect and you will become more comfortable with the process as you go, so take a chance and try it out with your family.

Choosing a campsite

There are campsites in just about every little town in Australia, so your choices are bountiful. What’s more, they;re often situated in the most picturesque locations within each town and have views you’d pay hundreds of dollars for in a hotel.

Once you’ve decided where you want to head to, choose a campsite with adequate facilities to suit your family’s needs, and then book well in advance. You’d be surprised at how quickly campsites get booked out, especially during school holidays. Many families have a long-standing booking which has them reserving the same spot during the same week each year.

Facilities

For your first time, choose a campsite with ample facilities - at the very least running water and an amenities block.

For your first time, choose a campsite with ample facilities - at the very least running water and an amenities block. First time campers will also appreciate barbecues, camp kitchens, laundry facilities and convenience stores – great for milk and ice-creams! Campsites close to the beach or with pools and playgrounds can also make life easier the first time around. Privately run campsites will offer you all this.

If you want a more authentic camping experience with only basic services check your local National Park website for their campgrounds. The spots are usually more remote, quiet, and are consistently beautiful, surrounded by nature. Grounds can be less crowded, especially since most are not suitable for caravans and campervans.

When to go

Don’t forget to account for the season. The climate can make or break your camping trip. Visit areas with waterways like rivers, lakes or beaches during the hot months, in winter stick to warmer destinations.

Going along with friends or extended family members will also make the trip easier, so try and organise a time when you can go together. The kids love playing in big groups, there are more adult eyes to supervise, and if you’ve forgotten anything - like the bottle-opener - someone else probably has one.

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