Monday, February 17

My Overnight Camping Gear Setup (Checklist)

Written by Traill Howman, a passionate camper and full time Tentworld staff member.

My Camping Setup if heading away for 1 night.

If my wife and I are just going somewhere for one night we like to keep our setup and packdown time to a minimum yet with enough creature comforts to make it enjoyable.  We also look at the size and weight of things so that it's easy to carry everything from our vehicle to non car-camping spots.  It's always a work in progress as each time we go for an overnight trip we look at how it can be made easier and therefore more enjoyable.

This is the setup we have at the moment:

Malamoo 3 Second X-Tra Pop Up Tent (3 Person)

The Malamoo 3 Second Extra Pop Up Tent (3 Person Tent)
This tent is an absolute breeze to put up - simply take it out of the bag & let it pop up!  It already has the inner lining attached to the waterproof fly so you don't even have to worry about throwing a fly over your tent & pegging that down separately.

The inner lining is breathable so it provides great ventilation whilst still preventing condensation build up in cooler weather. Large windows all round also means that you will remain cool in warmer weather & the side windows are designed so that you are still getting ventilation even when it is raining thus helping to prevent condensation build up (which is often mistaken for a leaking tent in wet weather).
I only wish the Malamoo Mega tent had been out when I was buying my overnight tent!

I personally got a lot of practice popping up & packing this tent away at last years October Camping & Caravan show when doing demo's for customers – it really is a mega sized pop-up tent!

Whilst we squeeze two king-single Oztrail Leisure mat's into the X-tra with only the small vestibule & excess room around our feet for gear this tent provides plenty of room for your mattresses & a large vestibule area for stashing your gear out of the elements. It also packs down into a flat disc about the diameter as the X-tra due to an extra fold when packing up! 

These tents are great time-savers – if the weather is going to be fine & not too windy I'll just put about 8 ground pegs in & be done with it! If it's looking a bit windy or like rain I'll put out the attached guy ropes too. All in all it'll take me about 5 minutes at worst to set up my tent!

Our Bed

As I said before, we use 2 king-single Oztrail Self-Inflating Leisure mats. We've had an inflatable mattress before but after an unpleasant experience with a slow leak one night, plus the fact that I'm a lot heavier than my wife and was sending her bouncing all over the place every time I turned over - we decided to go with this option. 

The OZtrail King Single Self Inflating Leisure Mattress, a great choice for car camping!
The self inflating leisure mats are great for a number of reasons – you will never end up on the floor, even if you do manage to puncture your mattress, you don't have to blow them up – just undo the bungs & the hard work is done for you & they are very comfortable with the foam inner providing great support.

When put together these two mattresses are actually the same size as a regular queen bed – so we just use a fitted sheet from home and it works perfectly.

We chose to go with 2 King mattresses as opposed to 1 Queen size for a number of reasons: Ease of packing – it always seems easier to fit in a number of small items as opposed to one large item. Flexibility – if just one of us is going away we don't have to take a large queen sized mattress. No bouncing! I can flop around to my hearts content without disturbing my wife's sleep & I'm sure we've all heard the saying... Happy Wife = Happy Life!

Sleeping bags

Oztrail Explorer Campers for warmish to cold weather & Coleman Pilbara C5's for warm weather. As far as I'm concerned you can't go past the comfort & quietness of cotton outer sleeping bags & we normally just open one out and use it like a doona with a spare incase it gets a bit cold and we want to put it underneath us, join them together if it's still cold or just sleep in our own if it is really cold.


Old faithful's from home. Although I have been tempted by the Blackwolf Deluxe self-inflating pillow as a space saver & because they feel damn nice! They are pretty close to a full size pillow so I will definitely be looking at these down the track. 

The Blackwolf Self-Inflating Deluxe Pillow is a great choice if you're looking for a comfortable pillow, but cant afford the space needed to take your pillow from home.
I don't use any particular bag when going on overnighters.  However, I always try to ensure that we pack as light as possible but still bringing the appropriate gear to suit any potential weather conditions that could present themselves.  

Shelter - Gazebo

I normally always take a gazebo because it's always good to be able to get out of the sun or rain & they are so quick to put up or down. For an overnight stay I'll use our Oztrail compact gazebo – its super compact & light weight so it's a breeze to pack. I also always take a couple of solid walls to block off the sun or wind & 4 mesh walls incase the bugs/flies/mosquito's are bad.

The OZtrail Compact Gazebo, is my favourite because its compact!

When cooking I will use my OZtrail Single Burner with Piezo ignition (Or I have a Butane Cartridge stove – I just prefer to use non-disposable methods where possible) – simply screw's onto my small 2kg gas cylinder & provides a simple cooking surface for a pan or my kettle for that all important morning coffee.
I use the Campfire 28cm round ceramic coated frypan, it has a removable handle which is handy for packing & has a great non-stick surface.

Campfire 28cm round frypan with removable handle
Oztrail Whistling Kettle (Campfire are now producing a similar high quality offering)– simple & effective kettle – handle folds down which is great for packing, whistle's when ready, plastic handle so you won't burn yourself, & also has a plastic handle on the lid which I like because I prefer to open the lid of the kettle to judge how much water I am using.
The OZtrail Whistling Kettle is a great camping companion.
As a side note – if I am trying to preserve gas or boil water as quickly as possible for my morning cuppa – I pour the water I am about to boil into my mug before pouring it into the kettle so that I know I am only boiling just the right amount of water that I need.Washing up – 

Campfire 10L Collapsible Tub – A well sized tub for washing up that compacts nicely for ease of packing. We also have an Oztrail dish rack with drip tray for drying but if we're just going for the night we usually just leave things on a dish towel to dry.

The Campfire 10L Collapsible Tub (Sink)  folds flat for easy storage!

Cutlery & crockery

One of our best purchases! The Primus 4 person deluxe picnic set – it has everything we need packed into a small bag that also gives us room for most of the food we usually take that doesn't need refrigeration. We have only added a good sharp cooking knife in a sheath & we usually take a larger cutting board. Plus we have extra's for friends or if we're too lazy to wash up after every meal!
Primus 4 Person Deluxe Picnic Set
Coleman 19L Beverage Cooler – I used to use a regular 20L water cube with a tap but after chasing the shade around all day on a number of occasions we invested in this beverage cooler so that we don't end up with really warm water on hot days. On longer trips I actually just sit this on an Oztrail aluminium stool so that it's not taking up table space but is still off the ground for easy pouring.

The Coleman 19L Beverage Cooler helps keep your drinks cold with an insulated container.


If it's going to be hot I will always take my Companion Rechargeable Oscillating Fan – a blessing on those really still nights or mornings!
The Companion Rechargeable Oscillating Fan keeps you cool at night!
We have an Oztrail Big Boy canvas chair & an Oztrail Monarch quad fold chair – they are both excellent, high quality chairs that take up minimal space & are easy to carry to those non car-camping spots.


Oztrail Easy Table 4 – packs away into a really compact package, is nice and sturdy but provides enough room for basic cooking.

The OZtrail Easy Table 4, packs away into a bag similar in size to an quad fold action chair.


Waeco 41L Cool Ice icebox – usually provides plenty of room for an overnight stay.
The WAECO Cool-Ice Icebox is far superior to your typical cooler bought from Bunnings & Kmart and when packed right ice will last for days!
So there you have if folks – there are a few bits & pieces not listed but I will be back soon with a copy of my "Camping Equipment Checklist" which is easy enough to tailor to your individual needs & requirements. I never leave home without going through it as it is often the most obvious things that get left behind... such as chairs. Yep, that was fun I wont forget chairs again!

Happy Camping,


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