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LOVE THY (CAMPING) NEIGHBOUR 

What’s the first thing you should do when you park your van for the night in your new camping location?   

Open your pop top roof. 

Check out your surroundings. 

Crack open a beer. 

WRONG! 

The correct answer is…go over and introduce yourself to your closest camping neighbours, here’s why: 

  1. Feedback 

Check wiki camp for up to date comments?  Read guidebooks?  Look up camping blogs?  You can’t get a more ‘real time’ review on your just-about-to-be camping spot than asking those who’ve been there the night before.  Introduce yourself, ask them if they had a quiet night’s sleep, how the spot is…people love to talk (ok maybe it’s just me!) and if there are any noise or security issues you’ll know about them pretty quickly.  Even better they’ll likely tell you of any great beaches/walking tracks/short cuts into town that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.  Worst case scenario you find out the 18 year old’s nearby start a party every night that goes until dawn.  Better to know now than at 1am!   

 

  1. Security 

Google campervan security or safety and you’ll read one thing over and over again.  Make friends with your neighbours.  They’ll look out for your van when you are swimming down the beach, drinking wine on the cliff at sunset, doing that 6 hour hike (oh yes you will!).   You’ll also feel a whole lot safer at night knowing who your neighbours are and that you can approach them if the need arises. 

 

  1. Convenience 

Although this point doesn’t apply to Achtung Camper owners as they are of course all super organised and have read every single one of our other blogs on what to pack and what not to forget BUT for everyone else out there…when it starts getting cold and you’ve forgotten the fire lighters, when it’s wine o’clock and you don’t have a bottle opener (aren’t they all twist top now anyway?!) you’ll be thankful later if you are already on friendly terms with the campers next door. 

 

  1. Socialise! 

And as always, we leave the best to last.  Yes travelling is about the journey and about the destination.  It’s about freedom and nature.  But it’s just as importantly about the people you meet along the way. Lifelong friends were made in front of campfires and hey, you already know you have the most important values and interests in common (you’re both here aren’t you!).  After all, a bottle of wine shared is much better than a bottle of wine drunk alone (especially for you the next morning!) 

5 Tips for camping in hot weather!

Camping on scorching hot days is always a hassle and very uncomfortable for everyone but who doesn’t love traveling all year round! Summer can be fun and enjoyable if you prepare right. Here are 5 tips to make your trip more relaxing and pleasant on those hot 30o days. 

  1. Pack the right items – Pack wet towels as they are very handy to put around your neck to instantly feel refreshed. Freezing old juice bottles and containers is also a great item to pack and highly recommended as they can be used as ice-blocks and once melted used as water.  
  2. Carefully choose your clothes – The type of clothes is significant as some materials are thinner and better for hot weather. Packing loose clothing with breathable fabrics will reduce the temperature whilst traveling and make it more enjoyable. 
  3. Pick the right location – A spot under trees is perfect as it generates shade and reduces camper exposure to the sun. An ideal location is near a water source (lake, river, dam) as it decreases the temperature and creates a breeze.  
  4. Cover all windows – Keeping the inside of your van unheated can be difficult but simply using the curtains in the camper and putting towels/ reflective film up against windows will enhance shade and cooler air. It stops the sun from shining through and keeps the heat away. 
  5. Keep your Camper Cool – Unzip the roof and open the roof windows to allow airflow. Try not to open the doors as it allows some cool air to stay in. Also avoid activities that create extra heat therefore cook everything outside and relax with mates under a tree. 

That is our 5 tips for traveling in hot weather. Hopefully you find these helpful for your next trip in boiling 30o+ days. If all fails, you can always bring a fan! 

camping in summer

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T TAKE THESE THINGS CAMPING WITH YOU: 

These items are often packed and seldom used, so save yourself the regret and storage space for more important bits and pieces by NOT taking the following items on your next camping trip: 

  • That book you bought and never read but think you’ll read it if it sits in your campervan.  Take it to the opp shop instead! 
  • Hair styling appliances.  You can’t use them unless you are plugged into 240 volt power and even if you were, you are camping – who cares how your hair looks! 
  • Too much makeup, too many moisturisers, too many cosmetic products – the less the better, just take the absolute necessities.  No you will NOT need 1 let alone two different lipstick colours or eyeliners!    
  • Too many items of clothing.  As per previous blogs, the beauty of campervan travel is to learn to live with LESS.  Simplicity means less choices in the morning.  If you only have two Tshirts to choose from you can focus on other things. 
  • Accessories for every single hobby you use to define yourself but never have time to partake in.  Will you really have time to go surfing, mountain bike riding, kitesurfing and guitar playing in the two weeks you are on the road?  Choose one or two and save yourself the disappointment that comes with seeing the un-used items in front of you taking up space.  Because there are only a certain amount of hours in every day, and when you are camping some should be reserved for doing absolutely nothing. 
 

Remember when packing: one of the beauties of campervanning life, the freedom of living simply.