Camping in the wilderness of the Outback is in a once in a lifetime experience that will stay with you forever. The feeling of connecting with nature and waking to the sight of the sun rising over the red earth is truly special. Before you hit the road and unroll your swag, here are a few things to note.
The Outback sun is harsh so make sure to pitch your tent, or roll out your swag, in an area with a good deal of shade. The sun quickly warms the air and land in the early morning, and during the day a tent in the sun can be almost unbearable. Pitch in the shade.
Bring a decent sleeping bag
Investing in a good quality sleeping bag or swag can mean the difference between freezing through the night with no sleep, and a warm cosy snooze. Temperatures drop dramatically at night in the desert so a lightweight, easily packable but warm sleeping bag is essential, not to mention a health regulation requirement. Bring your own or hire one on your tour.
The sun in the outback is notoriously strong and it’s important to remain hydrated and protected at all times while hiking, or even just hanging out in camp. Make sure you pack a wide rimmed sun hat, high factor sun cream and plenty of long sleeved shirts and trousers. Rehydration salts are a great way of boosting the salts lost through sweating and an essential for any toiletry bag.
Be prepared for flies
Yes, there are flies in the Outback. Lots of them. Summer sees the highest number but they are around all year and love to buzz around your face. Given how arid the climate is, the flies seek out moisture wherever they can find it, and your eyes and mouth are unfortunately included! Invest in a fly net to hang around your head while you hike. You may look odd but it will keep the flies at bay.
We are all made of stars
The complete lack of artificial light means ideal conditions for stargazing. There’s nothing better than laying back in your swag and seeing more stars than you thought existed. Camping in the wilderness will give you this experience every night. Invest in a star map to really get the most of those skies.
It’s dark at night
Pitch black dark. Which means perfect conditions for star gazing, but dangerous to walk around at night. Don’t just rely on the light on your phone and invest in a compact, powerful torch with long life batteries.
Don’t expect gourmet cooking
Part of the fun of camping is immersing yourself in nature and getting back to basics. And that means not always being able to have the food you’d be having at home. We pride ourselves on catering for all sorts of dietary requirements but supplies can be limited. If there is something you really can’t live without, bring it along in your pack.
Critters and outback wildlife
Sleeping on the ground means you will be coming into close (sometimes very close!) contact with the local insect population, and more. But don’t be tempted to squash the first spider or scorpion you see, the vast majority of spiders and scorpions in the Outback are completely harmless, and you are kind of on their turf anyway. Always be sure to check your boots or shoes first thing in the morning though, just in case.
The desert is dusty. No great surprise there, so be prepared to protect any delicate electrical equipment such as cameras and phones by bringing a good supply of sealable plastic bags. Bagging your precious items when not in use will protect them from the fine dust that can cause wreak havoc.
Take an adventurous spirit
Probably the most important thing you can bring along is an open mind and sense of adventure. Camping in the Outback can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but the amazing experiences and sights more than make up for it. Enjoy the wilderness!
Seeking a camping adventure where you can have the chance to discover the Red Centre with like-minded travellers? Check out our Mulgas Adventures Tours and explore all that is on offer in the Red Centre today!