Dayv’s advice to planning your next camping trip in the High Country. Dayv is a camping enthusiast who claims he “has not been everywhere (who has?) but is slowly trying to”. Expert in all things camping, Dayv writes his own blog at Out and About With Dayv CampAndTravel.com.au We loved what this Queenslander had to say about traveling out into the High Country in Victoria.
“As I get about this wide land of ours, I’m reminded of the many camp and travel options we have.
Even as a Queenslander, a trip to northern New South Wales (around Stanthorpe) in the Winter time is a whole new ball game (let alone any thoughts of heading as far as Victoria in Autumn and sometimes Summer) – requiring Winter gear and shorter travelling days.
Then there’s more local travel, where a trip to the beach, or even on the beach, requires such considerations as shade, towels and shorts.
But, it’s much more than the clothes and the level of sunscreen.
In planning for a good camping trip away you need to look at the equipment you have, need, might need and wish for. For example, if all you do is a bit of dirt road and bush bashing – packing up and heading off to Victoria’s High Country (for example) requires a whole new level of planning and preparation (they’re seriously ‘mad’ down there).
Similarly, if you do a bit of overlanding (vehicle based cross-country travel and camping) and you’ve just tackled the mighty Simpson Desert – venturing onto beach sand (with the added complication of tides) can be a totally different experience.
I give these examples because I’ve done both and found myself, all too quickly, knocked on my ‘bottom’ with any pride that I once might have had taken from me.
It is because of things like these experiences, and a desire to get people out and about (and perhaps a little bit out of their comfort zone), that I welcome you to visit my website (www.campandtravel.com.au). You’ll find that I share trips, experiences, tips, hacks, advice, technical issues, recipes, equipment and news freely, along with a Forum page where registrants who are ‘In The Tent’ can contribute and ask questions.
Plan Your Camping Trip In the High Country First
So, my advice is to first plan your camping trips (and stops) in advance – using maps, guides, web searches, visitor information centers, and ask the locals at local shops (including camping and 4wd stores like High Country 4×4 in Sale, Victoria). Also, as you don’t want to be driving all day and you need to plan for whatever comes along, check your travel distances and times – remembering to half your distance and double your time (that’s my simple calculation anyway).
Oh… and while you’re at it, ask about the category system that they use in Victoria’s High Country – did you know that the Howqua Gap Hut Track to Mount Sterling and Craig’s Hut is a Double Black Diamond (track (I didn’t).
Check out Camp and Travel Planing Resources for some extra tips.
Prepare your 4WD and Camping Gear
My second tip is to prepare your car and camping gear. Get a good service, check your batteries, what are your charging options (solar panels etc), check your tyres, consider a second spare, update your roadside assistance. Perhaps even get a camper trailer or something warmer than a tent if that’s an issue for you or your partner. Also, have someone check your trailer brakes, bearings and tyres.
When preparing your car for a camping trip that might involve some off-road work, don’t forget recovery gear like a spade, snatch straps, rated shackles, rated recovery points (the hold-down hooks that come standard may not be enough) and rated recovery hitches that connect to the tow bar.
Third, be sure to have warm, cool, dry or wet weather clothing – that includes shoes.
Fourth (and there’s perhaps many more), check your ambulance cover and what may be right for you. Did you know that each state has different cover depending on where you’re travelling from and to. Check out one on my blogs on ambulance cover.
Enjoy Your High Country Camping Adventure
But most importantly, you don’t need to feel uncomfortable to be having fun – sometimes quite the opposite. Get out there and dip your toe in the water, sand or mud and see if you like it. Have fun and make the most of whatever your next 4WD camping trip in the High Country throws at you.
I look forward to seeing you Out&About”
Dayv worked as a cartographer, in construction and in the Australian Air force In Queensland. Now retired, Dayv loves exploring, camping and seeing what this great land has to offer. After his daughter moved down to ‘cold’ Vicotria, Dayv had to admit Victoria is home to some of the ‘best 4WD tracks.’ See more of his travel adventures at Out and About With Dayv