Guest Post by Jennifer Dawson
Over the past couple of years, Australia’s summer temperatures have been on the rise. In fact, it was so hot last summer, that most of the country had to endure 40-degree heat at some point. Even though camping is a popular form of travel in Australia, extreme weather conditions can make things a little more difficult to deal with, especially if you’re about to go on your first camping expedition. Let’s face it, if there’s one thing we can expect from Australia, it’s extreme weather.
So, what can you do to make sure you’re safe and fully prepared for your first Australian camping trip and how can you be sure that extreme weather conditions, both cold and hot, won’t disrupt what is bound to be a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity? Here are a few tips to send you camping in the right direction.
Storing food in the heat can be a tricky one
Food bacteria has an uncanny way of thriving in temperatures that range from 4°C to 60°C, which is why Food Safety Gov recommends that all food on a camping trip is stored at 4°C or lower. While your first thoughts might instinctively draw you toward the type of tasty treats you can eat, you should probably pay more attention to how you’re going to keep your camping food fresh, particularly if travelling in extreme heat.
Invest in a cooler and freeze as much food as possible before you head out on walks. It may sound simple, but remember to only open your cooler when you really have to. Also, remember that fully-stocked coolers stay colder than those with space in them, so it’s important to fill your cooler with ice each time you remove an item.
Keeping warm is essential
With your food stored at the right temperature in the summer, how do you increase the heat when experiencing extreme cold? Begin with your tent. Camping equipment becomes more innovative by the day and you can now buy tents that are made with both heavy fabrics and insulated flooring to keep out the extreme cold weather. Fleece-lined gloves and jackets, and a water-resistant sleeping bag, are the more items that are essential when traveling around Australia in the winter. In fact, even in the summer, depending on when you travel to, night time temperature can drop radically, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the cold.
It makes a difference where you choose to camp
If you’re new to camping, Australia can seem a bit intimidating. So much of the country is wide, wild and open. But at the same time, if you’re someone who loves an adventure, the desire to pitch your tent in the middle of nowhere, where you won’t come into contact with another human being for days, is bound to be strong. The thing is, if you think you might run the risk of having to deal with either extreme heat or extreme cold, it’s best to set up camp in a location that many before you have enjoyed. Remember, Australia is notoriously unpredictable.
If beachside camping is something you’d like to try, visit Lucky Bay, in Cape Le Grand National Park. Sun, sand and surf, paired with great bushwalks and solar-heated showers at the campsite. Awesome! Gazing at the stars as you fall asleep at night is one of the best things about camping and Ormiston Gorge, in West MacDonnell National Park is one of the best campsites for doing just that.
A final recommendation, for anyone who really loves the heat, would be Mercury Buster in Wyndham. Located in far north WA, and with average mean temperatures of 35.6°C, this is the country’s most consistently hot destination. If there’s one thing Wyndham residents know a lot about, it’s dealing with the extreme heat. So if another heat wave strikes the country in the near future, you can rest assured that you’ll be camping alongside a community of extreme-temperature pros.