After some more tips and tricks to dial in your camp setup? Here is part three of our cracking list of camping tips and tricks!
PORTABLE CAMP LIGHT
Pick up an Iluminator 24 LED work light and chuck it in the back of your 4WD. At camp you’ll have a portable light that can attach anywhere with a hook or attach to a tent pole. It’s a lot more cost effective than setting up permanent camp lights.
VELCRO EVERYTHING, TO EVERYTHING
Velcro is absolutely underrated when it comes to organising gear around camp and the beaut part is it sticks to marine carpet like glue. Lighters, knives, torches, pens – anything you can think of really – can do with a small patch of Velcro to secure it where you want for quick access.
CAMPING RAIN WATER TANK
We all know the trick, slant your Adventure Kings Awning in the rain to allow it drain. However, if you use a length of drain pipe, hose clamped to the short leg of your Awning and run into a bucket you’ll end up with a good collection of general purpose water.
“THE SIMPLEST MODS OFTEN MAKE THE MOST DIFFERENCE TO YOUR EXPERIENCE”
KEEP THOSE KEYS CLOSE
Ever misplaced your 4WD’s keys for hours, only to realise you rolled them up in your swag that’s now strapped to the roof, while your mates wait to hit the road? We’ve all been there. Get yourself a small hook made of fencing wire, and hook your keys to the inside zipper of your swag. They’re safe in there with you at night, but you can’t get out of the swag in the morning without remembering to grab ‘em.
STUBBY COOLER DASHBOARD ORGANISER
Got a weird fetish for collecting stubby coolers? Well, put ‘em to good use by using them to hold pens, sunnies or anything else you can think of. In older 4WDs they stand up quite easily on the dash, so use a square of – wait for it – Velcro, to secure them in place.
Washing up after a meal is usually a huge waste of water. Get yourself a collapsible bucket, start with the cleanest items first, and wash the worst stuff last using the same water for as long as you can.
BEER BUCKET BBQ
Grab yourself an old Corona bucket (or any steel bucket) and use it as a portable BBQ. Just chuck a shovel full of coals in the bucket, lay a grill over the top and Bob’s your sister. This is a great way to slow cook steaks and we reckon you won’t get a softer steak than one that’s slow cooked over the bucket barbie.
COOK IN A PIT FOR A BETTER MEAL
Dig a shallow pit for your Adventure Kings Camp Fire BBQ Plate to sit over and place the coals at the bottom. Especially on windy days, the pit will retain much more heat and keep it more evenly distributed around the BBQ Plate. This trick also works for camp ovens too.
There’s nothing worse than having a great meal planned, yet every ingredient is scattered somewhere different inside the truck. Half torn shopping bags and spilled cans simply don’t cut it. Get yourself a crate, container or heck, even a sack to use as a dedicated pantry. All dry goods and cooking gear goes in there. This will change the way you cook a meal – it’s a dead set marriage saver.
EXTERNAL LIGHT SWITCHES
A huge switch panel inside your truck might look great, but having the ability to turn camp lights and showers on and off from the outside of the vehicle is more useful. Consider a second switch for outside accessories mounted near where you’d be using them. Things like camp lights, water pumps and air compressors can all benefit from this mod.
ALWAYS PRE-HEAT YOUR CAMP OVEN
A key to a successful camp oven dinner is to preheat the oven for about 10 minutes prior to chucking any food in. If it’s a big roast, then make sure you seal the roast first by searing it on every side before adding any liquids.
You know those hanging wardrobe organisers with all the plastic pockets? Use one as a nifty kitchen organiser. Pack it right and it’ll roll up for storage and hang under your awning or wherever you cook.
CLEAN AND COOL
Throw a packet of wet wipes in the fridge. Trust us, when its 40 degrees in the shade, an ice cold wet wipe will make all the difference.
Use a stack of old TicTac boxes to store your cooking spices. They pack much smaller and let’s face it, how much of each spice do you REALLY need to carry?
If you’re keen on spending more time preparing at home, and less time wasted at camp, you can pre-cook some meals and use an Adventure Kings Vacuum Sealer to keep ‘em fresh. Then it’s as simple as cutting the bag open, heating the meal and bam, you’re ready to eat.
CAMP OVENS IN AN OPEN FIRE BAN
When there’s an open fire ban (NOT total fire ban) in place, use heat beads under and on top of your camp oven. They stay hot for ages and will cook a roast as well as using coals from an open fire.
Crack heaps of eggs into a plastic bottle and add a bit of milk. Shake the whole lot up and stick it in the 4WD’s fridge. Instant omelettes and scrambled eggs with no eggs to pack and no eggs to break!
“YOU DON’T NEED TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY TO HAVE A 5-STAR SETUP”
BACK UP COOKING
Carry an Adventure Kings Camp Fire BBQ Plate – something along the size of those you’d find in a coal BBQ. If you run out of gas or your cooker kicks the bucket, a grille plate over some coals will always keep you fed.
Seriously, get yourself one if funds allow. Just a $100 portable barbie will cook some of the best meals you can imagine and if you stick your pots or pans over the plate, they double as a great stove or oven. They’re really the only cooking system you need, provided you’ve got the space to store it.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of weekend DIY, grab yourself a cheap water pump and plumb it up to draw water INTO your tank. This way you can haul up to a fresh creek and refill your tank – it’s all about being able to stay in the bush longer.
Ever tried pouring a just boiled billy? Not easy without burning yourself. Keep an old pair of vice grips in your billy and snap em on once it’s boiled – an easy, burn-free pourer.
Veggies need to be well ventilated to survive in the scrub. When you’re anchored at camp for a few days, grab a hessian bag, throw your veggies inside and hang the bag off the ground. Air flow will keep them fresher and you’ll keep wildlife out of your tucker too.
LARGER FOLD OUT TABLE
A drop down table is handy for a cup of coffee or a sandwich but when it comes to bigger meals you’ll run out of space real quick. Grab yourself a cheap fold out table from the local Bunnings and use it as a cooking bench – trust us, you’ll never know how you managed without it.
BUDGET SAVVY LEFT-OVERS
Use your meal left-overs from Thursday night, for the weekend’s camping trip. It’ll save you heaps of money on shopping, not to mention time, both packing and once you’re at camp.
WET GROUND AND FIRES
Trying to start a fire, or keep coals on a cold wet ground can be tough. Keep a square of thin steel sheet somewhere in your 4WD and place it on the ground and light your fire on top of it. It’ll stop all the heat escaping into the ground and make camp cooking a breeze.
ULTIMATE OUTBACK FLY REPELLENT
Getting out into the outback brings with it the inescapable reality of flies – lots of them! No matter what commercial insect repellents you buy, there’s very few that actually work on these buggers. You’ll smell like a roast lamb, but rosemary and sandalwood cream is absolutely brilliant for keeping the flies of you. Once you’re out west you’ll find it at most road houses – try it, you’ll be amazed.
TOOL ROLL ORGANISERS
An old tool roll makes for a perfect organiser, whether it’s for cutlery, toiletries or even medications. They’ll roll up tight and you can jam them just about anywhere in the back of your truck and roll ‘em out on your table when it’s time to cook.
DON’T BUST THE BOOZE
Booze bottles can be stored safely by rolling them up in your swag, or folding ‘em up in the roof topper. They’ll be protected from any knocks and are perfectly corrugation-proof.
HIGH TECH ICE
With the average 12v fridge costing over $1000, there’s a lot to be said for the humble ice-box. Using synthetic ice packets, like Techni-Ice, can keep your food as cool as a $1000 fridge.
A cargo barrier, while a definite safety feature, is also one of the most useful storage accessories you can have. You can secure recovery gear, mount fire extinguishers or hard mount 12V gear straight to the barrier.
UTE BBQ SLIDE
If you’ve got the extra space handy, and happen to have a spare fridge slide handy, then you’ve got everything you need to make a slide out BBQ from the side of your tray back.
PLASTIC STATIONARY DRAWERS FOR CUTLERY
For utes, but even wagons grab yourself a cheap three or four drawer desktop stationary drawer for storing cutlery and cooking utensils. This is perfect for a ute canopy where you can mount the drawers above or near your cooking surface. Use some rubber matting underneath to dampen the vibration.