A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about tents

Wkend Getaway 1: South West WA - Planning, Camping, Travel

Saturday - Monday: Harvey... Gnomesville... Donnybrook... Busselton Jetty... Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... Ngilgi Cave

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 1 - South West WA (Mar 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

What worked... or didn't! ... for us.

Planning

Considering this was going to be our first weekend camping trip for the year, and first one as a family of four... the planning felt like it took quite a while, was more involved, and generally bigger than what it hopefully will be for future weekends.

  • Where to go - I did a lot of online research. Finding things and places that looked interesting, and placing them onto a My Custom Google Map so we could get an idea of where abouts things were located. I showed Clancy the map and let him choose where he'd like to go/see... and that was it. A few destinations, and general direction chosen!
  • Where to stay - Considering the whole idea was to camp... we obviously needed somewhere that allowed camping. I would've been quite happy to set up a very basic camp anywhere in some bush, but Clancy wasn't too enthused with that idea. So a compromise was met and it was decided whatever campground had availability in the area that we were in at the time, would be the place to camp.
  • What to take

Tents
Bedding
Food & Water
Cooking/eating equipment
Maps
Clothing
Toys
First Aid
Toiletries

Camping

Looking back through all the weekends photo's. The only one we could find related to the actual camping side of things was this one taken by Miss 3yr old Sonia whilst setting up the tents :)

Hm... what's this?

Hm... what's this?

  • Campsites - Considering it was a long weekend, we weren't expecting many of the bigger, more common campgrounds to have any sites available. Harvey information centre confirmed this, stating most people who wanted to camp were being redirected to Logue Brook Dam. We preferred to keep heading further south, so after a bit of ringing around, found space available at the Kirup Tavern Camping and Caravan Park for Saturday night. This was a small but friendly campground beside the Kirup Tavern. Decent showers (Even had a baby bath and change table!! Still found the wash tub more practical though), basic kitchen and laundry facilities, grassed area for tents, and small playground across the road.

For Sunday night around the Busselton/Dunsborough area it was very similar. Needing to ring around a bit before finding somewhere that had a site avaliable. We ended up camping at the Four Seasons Holiday Park Busselton. This was a rather large, well established, older campground. The site we were given was a vacant site, located in a permanent van section of the park. Relatively close to the amenities and playground. This campground had a bigger outdoor kitchen with picnic style gas BBQ near the playground and amenities. So while Clancy got tea organised, I watched the kids, watch the hoards of other kids play! I could have given them their baths at that time, but considering the numbers of other parents doing just that, and the fact that they were yet to get rather messy eating... decided we'd wait till things had settled down a bit after tea.

  • Tents and Bedding - Figured we'd trial using the two small old dome tents we currently have. 4 person tent for us, 2 person tent for the kids. Set them up with openings facing each other, and worked rather well. The only real downside we found was that both tents were low, so constant bending over, resulting in sore backs. And having to open numerous zips, then climb through numerous small openings to check on the kids. So we're now planning to seriously start looking at maybe a taller, larger tent that will accommodate us all.

Bedding had been one of Clancy's main sticking points with not looking forward to camping. Not being able to sleep on a comfortable mattress. So prior to this trip, we decided to upgrade our single swag mats, and splurge on a 4WD Mat as it's commonly called. Self inflating, 10cm thick foam mattress. Definately not for hiking or backpacking! Deciding between 2 singles or 1 double, Clancy decided we'd go for the 1 double to share it's rolling up. He wasn't too impressed when I stated that if we got 2 singles, I was quite happy to roll mine, but he'd have to do his own!

  • Food etc... - To save on buying every meal, we took enough for each meal that we'd have while we were away. The 'fridge stuff' (ie, salad, cheese etc that normally requires a fridge (No meat though!)) I packed in a box that went behind the drivers seat, under Sonia's feet (covered with towel and pillow). With us slowly reducing it's volume, all the 'fridge stuff' survived the trip rather well. Despite the warm weather. Everything else, went into a cardboard fruit box with lid, that got packed on the tray of the ute (easily accessible, under a folded silver tarp for some insulation) with all the other baggage.

We took a small foldable camp table and stools, a bucket, and my old Trangia cookstove incase we stayed somewhere without kitchen facilities. The table, stools and bucket got used, but the Trangia ended up staying in it's bag on the back of the ute. Both places we stayed at had microwaves, which turned out being the easiest and fastest way for us to cook what we'd brought for the evening meals (thankfully some of the containers we had food in were microwave safe).

  • Miscellaneous - Once again... my trusty set of multifit plugs came in very handy! Some basic familiar toys for the kids were also appreciated. Along with a book or 2 each to maintain their regular tea, bath, story, bed routine.

Travel

Putting the question to Clancy (didn't worry me for this sort of trip), he decided we'd take my old dual cab hilux for easier packing, and access to all our equipment and baggage. This worked fine for this trip without any rain... however we're going to have to rethink our options once rain starts to threaten as we currently don't have a cover for the tray!

Kids and driving... they were both pretty good. But then again, they've both been brought up with fairly regular long driving trips, allowing them to get accustomed to it from a very young age. One thing Sonia enjoyed, was having a map of her own to look at.

Posted by Goannaray 21:49 Archived in Australia Tagged camping tents miscellaneous western_australia planning campground toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa south_west_wa wkend_adventures_swregion Comments (0)

Oztrail Deluxe Double Bunk in an Oztent RV5 Tent

How to get bunks to fit along the side wall

All packed up in the bag

All packed up in the bag

We are a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids), however due to school and work commitments over the last few years, it’s mostly been just myself and the kids enjoying our camping trips. Using simple mats and sleeping bags, 4 people fit ok into the Oztent RV5 Tent (a bit squishy, but not too bad). For longer trips however, I decided a bunk bed would greatly help make better use of the available floor space.

Enter… the Oztrail Deluxe Double Bunk! We’ve found it to be excellent! Especially when staying in the same spot for more than 3 nights. We even use it on occasion when visiting my parents to help with space and bedding arrangements.

To fit it into the RV5 from front to back along the side wall though, some modifications were required. As the standard uprights make the bunks too big to fit that way. Some puzzling over it for a while, and a quick trip to our local hardware store soon rectified that problem. They recommended dowel (ie, broom/mop handles), and so far it’s worked amazingly!

Modified uprights

Modified uprights

Standard upright: 602mm
Dowel upright: 525mm

• The camera angle makes that look different in the picture (602 & 525 is correct).
• Ends have been sanded to ensure they’ll slide in/out easily
• All treated with linseed oil to help seal the wood. Hoping to reduce the chance of them accidentally getting stuck due to swelling with different climate moisture levels.

Modified oztrail deluxe double bunk

Modified oztrail deluxe double bunk

External dimensions
• Standard uprights: 1815 x 730 x 1060mm (l x w x h including side rails)
- (895mm high without side rails)
• Dowel uprights: 1815 x 730 x 920mm (l x w x h including side rails)
- (755mm high without side rails)

Modified bunk ends

Modified bunk ends

Bunk ends
• Requires bolts through the tubing to stop the dowel being pushed too far in. This prevents the dowel pushing right through the top, of the top bunk end, and jamming in the bottom, of the bottom bunk end.
• From edge of tube entrance to centre of bolt hole: 85mm (both top and bottom ends)

Bottom bunk end

Bottom bunk end

Top bunk end

Top bunk end

Modified bunks along side wall in Oztent RV5

Modified bunks along side wall in Oztent RV5

Inside the tent
• We’d normally have some foam tiles under the feet rails to help protect the floor

Top of bunk meeting back of tent

Top of bunk meeting back of tent

Back corner where bunk meets tent wall/corner/roof
• I forgot to take the thickness of the foam tiles into consideration when measuring for the dowel length. This is ok for shorter stays so far. I’d probably shorten the dowel a bit more to reduce rubbing on the tent if going for an extended timeframe.

Still plenty of room

Still plenty of room

Still plenty of room for me to be comfortable on the bottom bunk.

Bottom of bunk bag

Bottom of bunk bag

Bottom of the bunk bag.
• Small holes at both ends of bag
• One large one that I roughly hand stitched to get it home from a trip, and has since stayed that way! (Accidentally caught the bag on a tie down button on the side of my ute).
• Not the most durable of materials for holding metal pipe framework over long distances/timeframes (including corrugations).

Getting from top to bottom bunk!!

Getting from top to bottom bunk!!

Amazingly stable!!
• This is currently how the kids like to get from top to bottom bunk!
• Not quite so stable if no one else is on it to weight it down whilst doing this though (as they’ve already learnt!)

Any other camping hacks you've found extremely useful?

Posted by Goannaray 21:13 Archived in Australia Tagged kids camping tents miscellaneous camping_gear Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]