Come the sunshine, one of the first things me and my friends does is to pack up the car and head out into the great outdoors. We are lucky to be living in West Malaysia, with easy access to some of the most spectacular national parks, beaches and mountain.
So, you want to wake up to this gorgeous view, but have no idea where to start? That’s where I come in, with some handy hints and tips that will make your first, or latest, camping experience a breeze.
If you’ve never camped before, it can certainly seem intimidating. However, with these basic preparations and easy organizing tips, you can soon be enjoying a lovely, reasonably-priced summer vacation with very little effort on your part.
1. Booking a Campsite
Always remember start doing research on where you want to go — decide want to camping at the jungle or beach side. Most campsites are based in National Parks, beach side or some outdoor parks.
If you’ve never camped before, it might be a good idea to find a campsite you can book online or over the phone. This ensures you get a reserved campsite and won’t have to be scrabbling around looking for one at the last minute. These campsites get booked up fast during the school holiday, especially around public holiday so it’s worth planning and reserving them in advance.
If you are flexible with time and have enough resources to keep driving, this can be a great experience for the moment plan.
In Malaysia a very little campsites come with luxuries like showers, toilets, washing up areas, If you pick a smaller or remote site, they may have fewer amenities, so plan accordingly.
2. Camping Essentials
The next step is to organize the equipment that you will need for camping. Contrary to what you might think, camping, and in particular, car and tent camping, does not need expensive equipment. Here are the essentials:
Tent: Ideally one with a waterproof outer layer. There are a wide variety to suit every budget, so pick the one that suits you and the season you’ll be camping. We use a summer four-person tent, and it works well for our small three-person family since it’s easy to put up and light to carry. If you have a larger group, it’s worth investing in a tent with ‘rooms’. Make sure the tent comes with a ground sheet and a carry bag.
In Malaysia, our weather here is mostly hot if you camp at the beachside, however if you decided to camp at the highland, the weather will be slightly cool about 14-16 Celsius. A normal set of sleeping bag will be good enough for normal Malaysia weather.It’ can be alternate it by using normal blanket will do.
Clothes, toiletries and personal effects:
Go easy on packing clothes. I take light, easy dry trousers and shorts, cotton tee shirts, a fleece and a rain jacket. We also carry socks and a pair of long pant, just in case the weather turns. A washcloth, towels, bathing suit, and your personal hygiene items plus an extra roll of toilet paper (just in case). Note that if you’re camping in an area with wildlife, store ALL your toiletries in the car and never in the tent with you.
First Aid box:
Never go anywhere without it. Additional safety equipment like a flashlight, lantern, extra batteries, extra water bottle and water purifier tablets are helpful.
Food, drinks, and cooking equipment:
Prepare easy storage food. You might bring over some can foods and instant noodles, cookies/ bread as per back-up food. Bring along the Ice-box to keep your meat fresh and chilled your drinks.
Fill it with essentials like a hammer and screwdriver. An axe is useful for lots of things like hammering in tent pegs and chopping wood for fires. As with most sharp objects, keep away from kids and always have a cover for it.
3. Other Things to Pack
Mattress or sleeping pads:
These is a essential item for car camping, it can saves your back a ton of strain. These are easy to pack, take up very little room, and crucially, add a extra, comfy layer between you and the ground you’re sleeping on.
Lightweight day pack:
In case you want to go for a day trip or a hike.
Tarpaulin and ropes:
It’s very useful if you need an extra tent footprint or want to put together a makeshift shelter in case of rain.
Extra rug or two:
They come in handy for everything from more warmth at night to using as a makeshift tablecloth.
If you’re camping with kids or family, pack indoor activities that you can enjoy if you have a bad weather day. Bring along some board games and poker cards, relax by playing Uno, Snap and a few board games. If you the person can’t live without the technology, bring along a tablet with full power charges. It is can be your entertainment at night time. If you the person enjoy reading, this is the best time for you to catch up some good book while you relaxing.