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Sensible storage suggestions
  |  First Published: April 2003



The Summer heat is behind us and before Winter hits, we can enjoy a comfortable, temperate climate. What better time to sample the great outdoors?

Whether you plan a few months away or just an Easter camping break, it pays to be organised in your storage. Setting up a camping kit can be a daunting task but, with planning, it can enhance the camping experience by making your life more convenient and allow more time for leisure.

There are various styles and sizes of plastic crates which can be used to transport all your camping needs on your travels. We generally use two in the 4WD, the first permanently packed with all our crockery, cutlery, pots, pans and odds and sods. The other we pack with all the foodstuffs.

Boxes and square containers are easier to pack, so I usually repack things like flour, sugar and so on into plastic takeaway containers. These are available at most $2 shops and they seal and stack really well. Take the time to repack food into resealable containers and there will be no broken packaging and the food box stays clean.

Once at the campsite there are a several commercially available cupboards which can be set up so that everything is within easy reach. Digging around in boxes is inefficient so we usually set up at least one cupboard. That way the cutlery and plates are easy to get at. Food will also keep better if stored with some air circulating, so food cupboards with ventilation are a good idea.

Digging around in suitcases or bags is OK for a night or two but there are also collapsible wardrobes which store clothes safely and conveniently. There are various styles available, usually of plastic or canvas, and quality will be determined by price. There is also a choice of free standing or hanging styles.

Practise putting together your gear, from the tent to these cupboards and beds, before you leave home. You will become familiar with their assembly and know what bits go there and whether there are any pieces missing.

Here are a few helpful hints.

• You may need to carry water for all your needs to your destination. Check to see if there is a supply there.

• Take a selection of insect repellents. In extreme conditions a mosquito net may be required for outdoor activities. Buy citronella candles or lamps to burn under outdoor tables to limit dinnertime bities.

• A mat of some kind outside the door of the tent stops a lot of sand and grit from being walked in. An off-cut of shade cloth is excellent and cheap.

• Check the price of refilling the gas bottle at the local garage – it can be a lot cheaper than at a caravan park.

• Use small plastic bottles and containers for sauces, detergents, shampoo. They are lighter than glass and won’t break in transit.

• If you have an ant problem, sprinkle talcum powder on the ground around the tent.

When travelling for long distances, pack a supply of snacks and drinks (including water) in the vehicle within easy reach.

• Always pack your vehicle with last used items on top. After travelling for several hours, the last thing you want to do is totally unpack the whole vehicle just to find the tent.

• Once you are set up, everyone wants to relax. Make sure that the esky is stocked with food for the night and that a few refreshing drinks are cold for everyone.

PHOTOS

1

For around $40, this hanging canvas cupboard has mesh front and rear for great ventilation.

2

These two cupboards are the smallest in the range but have three shelves and will hold enough food for the family for a week or two. The canvas one costs around $135 and the plastic one $50.

3

The shelf on top of this plastic cupboard gives you somewhere to store the bathroom packs, talc etc, while the four shelves hold plenty of clothes.

4

The plastic wardrobe has a shelf and hanging rail for $60. The canvas one has all shelves and costs $160.

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