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The Ultimate Summer Camping Checklist

  • Published February 3, 2022
  • Category News

The weather is hot and muggy, but that won’t stop us from camping. It’s all about choosing your location wisely (near someplace to cool off, of course!) and packing the right gear for soaring temps.

While sunny Australian summers are part of our national identity, it’s worth noting that the weather Down Under can quickly become extreme if conditions are right. Bushfires, heatwaves, and storms are not uncommon and can be dangerous if you’re caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

As with anything, preparation and planning is the key to making the most of Australia’s summer, whilst keeping yourself and your family safe. To help get you on the road and enjoying the great outdoors once again, take a look at our Ultimate Summer Camping checklist below:

Shade and Shelter

Australian summers are known for their scorching heat, and even a short time in the sun can be harmful to your skin. Practice sun safety by ensuring everyone has their own wide-brimmed hat, UV protective sunglasses, and water-resistant sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 rating.

Assemble a canopy alongside your tent or camper to create a hang-out zone for your family and friends – this will keep everyone more comfortable, come rain or shine. Pack insect repellent and mosquito coils to keep your camping space free from mosquitoes, midges and other biting insects. A first aid kit containing soothing antiseptic ointments will be critical if you do sustain an itchy bug bite!

Clothing and accessories

If you’re going camping, it’s always a good idea to pack a variety of clothing that can be layered to suit changing weather conditions.

For example, a durable rain jacket is a useful choice of outerwear to have on-hand for wet or windy weather conditions. Quick-dry garments and towels are also worthwhile if you’re encountering water, mud, or just working up a sweat in the summer heat!

Your choice of footwear is important too. Hiking boots or sports shoes that are safe to wear over rough terrain are a must-have (as are moisture-wicking socks). When dealing with summer storms and wet weather, high-cut gumboots are another smart option that can provide both insulation and waterproofing.

Of course, no Aussie camper’s kit is complete without a trusty pair of rubber flip flops (thongs) to wear while showering or on trips to the beach and waterways. Speaking of, don’t forget your swimwear and rashie!

Kitchen supplies

After spending plenty of time hiking, swimming, and soaking up nature’s best, you’re going to have an appetite! The good news is that all OPUS campers come complete with a slide-out kitchen & sink plus a compartment for a pull-out fridge and pantry to make meal preparation a breeze.

To help make your summertime camping experience even more comfortable, don’t forget these essential kitchen supplies:

  • Reusable water bottles (at least one per person, to keep everyone hydrated in the summer heat!)
  • Large water jugs, coolers, and/ or urns (with insulation.)
  • Insulated cups (to keep cool drinks cold, and warm drinks hot.)
  • Knives, plates and other utensils (lightweight metal is difficult to damage or break.)
  • Rubbish bags, paper towels, aluminium foil and other consumables (be sure to adhere to campers’ Leave No Trace principles and dispose of your waste responsibly.)
  • Firewood and firestarters (check your campsite rules first, as summertime fire bans may apply.)
  • Rechargeable camping lantern (as a bonus, OPUS campers offer exterior lighting to make preparing dinner under the stars a fuss-free experience!)

We recommend packing plenty of nutrient-rich meal ingredients and tasty snacks to graze on. In fact, summer offers an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables in Australia, with everything from bananas to berries and melons offering a replenishing snack for campers on-the-go.

Entertainment and sports gear

Australia’s summer conditions lend themselves to plenty of fun in the great outdoors. Whether you’re hiking, hammocking, swimming, surfing or fishing, there’s something for everyone!

That said, this wouldn’t be the Ultimate Summer Camping Checklist if we weren’t prepared for the weather to take an occasional turn for the worse. When rainy weather strikes – playing cards, board games and books will keep your family occupied without having to turn to electronic devices. (Although portable power packs and battery rechargers will ensure your devices are ready in need.) 

If you’re camping near a swimming spot, beach or camping chairs, inflatable water toys and pool noodles are great to have on hand when the sunshine reappears! Surfboards, boogie boards, fishing gear, frisbees and sports balls will all help keep your group of campers happy and active.


What’s on your list of must-have Summer camping gear?

Tell us your thoughts!