As the weather changes, it’s an exciting time to think about getting your direct 4×4 camping gear and accessories. With the holidays not far off, and that chance to take a break from the mundane routine of everyday life, camping is a perfect holiday option. You just want to be sure you have everything you need. This is especially true if you can only get away for a few days — you want to make the most of this time.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a newbie, knowing what 4×4 camping accessories are essential for your trip is critical. It’s just as important as knowing what vehicle is best for such a trip or what access to amenities will be available at your destination. While some camping sites have Wi-Fi, toilets and plenty of potable drinking water, the further outback you go, the more you need to rely on yourself and your gear. From cooking your food to having a refreshing shower and even just staying hydrated, you want to make sure you have the right 4×4 camping gear on hand.
So, what should you be taking with you?
Starting with your 4WD, you need a quality bull bar, if your vehicle doesn’t already have one. These are an essential safety measure for off-roading excursions. For instance, if you’re going to be heading off the beaten track, bull bars can help protect your car’s vulnerable undercarriage from being scratched or damaged by low bushes. Putting a bull bar in place will also provide a buffer in the event of a collision, whether it’s with an animal or another vehicle.
In addition, bull bars are also great as they serve as great towing and hitching points, so if you need anything towed you can easily attach it to your bull bar.
You can find a range of bull bars at any 4×4 camping gear store, with options typically available in steel, aluminium, or plastic. Of course, if you want to keep your overall vehicle weight down, then consider the aluminium and plastic options as they are lighter. Just make sure you check which bull bar is compatible with your make and model of 4WD.
Another essential 4WD camping accessory is driving lights. They are necessary when you are driving in the outback or in harsh weather, especially on roads without any streetlights. If you’re doing any driving at night or when visibility is low, your driving lights can really come in clutch by giving you that extra split-second of time to react. And, when you set up camp, they can be a fantastic way to shed some light on your site before you get the fire ready.
If you’re serious about 4WDing and going off-road, you’ll need a portable air compressor handy. This ensures that you can adjust your tyres’ pressure to suit the terrain you’re travelling on. For instance, it’s often best to reduce your tyre pressure when leaving paved roads to allow for better traction. However, when it’s time to head back to civilisation, you’ll want to be able to pump those tyres back up to minimise wear and tear.
We also suggest bringing a spare tyre or two along as well. It pays to be prepared for the unexpected, and you never know when you’ll find yourself having to deal with a puncture or a tyre that’s past its prime. Having a spare tyre handy means, you can swap out the affected tyre and get back on the road sooner.
We all love the taste of food that’s been cooked over a campfire, but that smoky flavour can get old. A fire can also limit your recipe repertoire. But if you bring a portable BBQ, like a Weber, camping with you, you’ll be set. Plus, with a few extra 4×4 camping accessories, you can transform your Weber into a handy oven, perfect for baking and roasting your favourite meals.
If you really take your food seriously, you can also invest in a vehicle-mounted folding table. These are a wonderful way to save space while also providing you with a space to chop up ingredients or even sit down to enjoy your meal.
While you certainly can make trips to and from your campsite to visit the nearest supermarket, it defeats the purpose of heading bush. Similarly, while you can stick to an all-tins diet, you’ll find yourself craving something fresh after a few days. This is where a portable fridge comes in.
You can find a range of portable fridges made to easily slot into your 4WD without taking up much space at all. They can also be powered with a simple generator. While it may seem like a bit of an unnecessary expense, when you are able to access a wider range of food options, you’ll see this 4×4 camping accessory pays for itself. Of course, it’s also a great idea to have your sky on hand too to store less-temperamental food or allow you a bit of additional flexibility about where you choose to stop and take lunch.
The most important piece of 4×4 camping gear is a way to carry your water supply. Remember, you may not be able to get clean drinking water at your camping site, so you’ll need to have a supply ready. And it will be far more than you expect, given that you should assume 3L of water (for drinking only) per person, per day. This doesn’t even factor in cooking, washing and brushing teeth. So, you want something that can carry a large volume of water without unbalancing your car or taking up precious space.
That’s why we recommend getting an underbody water tank. These make use of an underutilised space and allow you to carry a significant water supply. Plus, when securely mounted, they won’t slide around and affect your vehicle’s balance.
If you plan to cut and collect firewood, or need to cut anything really, a quality handsaw or two is another essential piece of 4×4 camping gear. We find that there are an impressive range of Japanese-made options that deliver superior cutting power. They are also often made to be compact without affecting cutting strength.
Waterproof tents are an essential element for any camping trip. A sudden downpour isn’t unheard of. Look for an option that can be made compact when not in use, while providing enough space for everyone to sleep comfortably when correctly set up.
Now that you’re across your essential 4×4 camping accessories, it’s worth covering what to avoid bringing with you.
Firstly, camping is an opportunity to unplug and unwind. This is the reason you shouldn’t be taking too many electronic gadgets with you. Also, it is extremely easy to lose a prized possession in the wild.
Secondly, when it comes to clothes, make sure you don’t take clothes that are inappropriate. While it’s great to look your best, camping and hiking can leave you dirty — that’s part of the fun — so maybe opt for some clothes you treasure a little less. Similarly, you want to make sure you have clothes to suit the conditions you’ll be in. Pick clothing that wicks away sweat, gives you sun protection and keeps you warm when the sun sets, or the wind picks up.
On that point, you’ll want a good pair of shoes or two, so you can comfortably go about your campsite and beyond. As tempting as the sandals are, they’re best left at home. Settle for hiking boots or joggers instead.
Finally, as wonderful as it is to create a whole outfit and look, camping isn’t the time for accessories. Keep your jewellery at home. This ensures that you don’t lose it or risk it is getting caught on something or damaged.
We all love to eat off a nice plate, but out in the outback is not where porcelain or ceramic dishware belongs. Similarly, as far as cooking is concerned, make sure you don’t plan for elaborate multi-course meals. This is because you want to spend less time cooking and preparing meals, and more time with family and friends having fun, like telling scary stories or exploiting nature. Furthermore, extensive meal preps will require extra kitchen equipment which can really affect your storage situation.
If planning a camping trip to explore the outback then it is highly advisable to plan it out with some online research, especially if this is your first 4×4 trip. Make sure you also ask any seasoned camper acquaintances for recommendations of good campsites.
In addition, you need to make sure that you have all the 4×4 camping gear in order. Whether you’re looking to set yourself up with all the essentials for the first time, or just need to replace a few bits and pieces, you can always trust KAON. As an Australian-owned business that manufactures and sells a range of 4×4 camping accessories, these guys really know their stuff. They’re enthusiastic about exploring everything the great outdoors has to offer, and, as a result, understand the kinds of problems campers can encounter. So, make sure to swing by their store before you head off on your next adventure.