You’re planning your first ever camping trip; you may find that it can be difficult deciding what to bring. But don’t panic; as you become a more seasoned camper, packing will get easier and your trips will become smoother.

Australia is a fantastic place to camp with its dazzling beaches, spectacular national parks, and unparalleled forests. There are many websites to help you Explore Australia for camping spot suggestions, all you need to do is plan your route and pack your essentials.

Back of a campervan packed with essential items.


Tent and Sleeping Bags


A tent is a must for your camping trip. When purchasing your first tent, be sure to have an experienced salesperson help you. Let the salesperson know you are a novice camper. You want to get one that will meet your needs and that you are comfortable with. You will need to be able to pitch the tent easily.

You will definitely need sleeping bags. If you are purchasing new ones, be sure to consult as to which are best suited to the climate. You may want to bring along an air mattress as well, as you know having a comfy night sleep is essential.


Camping Stove


You will want a portable camping stove, pots and pans, coffee pot, and other cooking utensils. If you are going to a campground, you can check ahead of time to see if they have picnic tables and benches, if not you should plan to bring a folding table and chairs as well.


First Aid Kit

first aid kit

When compiling your first aid kit, you will want to include things such as:

  • Bandages, gauze pads, first aid tape, ace bandage wrap
  • Antiseptic for cuts, scrape, or burns
  • Allergy medications including an EpiPen if anyone in your party requires one
  • Mosquito and bug repellent

Take your first aid kit with you when you go on hikes or other journeys away from your campsite.



campervan road trip tips

Sunscreen is something you must have on your camping trip no matter what time of year. Even those with tanned skin should apply sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time; sun damage is a souvenir none of us want to take home.


Extra Snacks and Water


There’s something about the great outdoors that sparks one’s appetite and thirst, so make sure you’re not shy with your snacks and water packing. These essentials may be all you need to climb Mount Kosciuszko (the highest peak in Australia), or cross the Nullarbor Plain (the world’s largest single exposure of limestone bedrock), or even walk the Bicentennial National Trail (the longest trail in the world)!


Flashlights and Lanterns


Whether you’ve got a solar, LED powered or battery flashlight, or even a flame lantern, make sure you don’t forget it on your ultimate camping experience.




Have plenty of matches on hand and keep them in an airtight, waterproof container. If you are going to start a fire, make sure it’s in a safe zone where fires are permitted. Australia is known for its bushfires during the hot season, you don’t want to be responsible for causing the storm.

Compass and Maps


A compass is small and easy to carry in your pocket or backpack when you are away from your campsite.

If you are camping at a campground, they may supply local maps. If not, be sure to pick some up along the way.


Waterproof Jacket


You never know when the weather will take a turn. If you have a lightweight waterproof jacket, you can roll it up and carry it in your backpack when going on your hikes.


Multipurpose Pocket Knife

pocket knife


Carrying a knife has long been a tradition throughout history, when the Romans invented the first folding pocket knife that we still use today. We’d recommend taking one of these on your camping trip, as your pocket knife serves as a multipurpose tool and can be very useful in many situations.

This list of must-have items will get you started on your first camping venture. As it gets closer to your departure date, be sure to add your other must-haves items to this list. One major piece of advise we always give though, try to pack as light as possible, you’ll be the one carrying your gear! Believe us, your trip will be much more enjoyable without a 100 kilo backpack!

Whether you’re a first-time campervan traveller or a seasoned van lifer, check out our other handy Campervan Travel Tips before you start your Aussie adventure. Don’t forget to check out our latest deals & specials on campervan hire in Australia.

About the Author

Bastian Graf

Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.

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