Camping is a beloved activity for 4WD enthusiasts who crave the thrill of off-road adventures and the serenity of connecting with nature.
To ensure your camping trips are as enjoyable and convenient as possible, we’ve gathered a collection of ultimate camping hacks, tips, and tricks from our time on the road, taking in our own experiences, but also those cool things we’ve learned from others along the way.
From maximising space to organising gear and creating cosy camp setups, these ideas will one-up your camping experience. And with the help of a 4WD awning (of course!), accessories, and other must-have items, you’ll be more than ready to embark on hassle-free outdoor adventures.
Maximise space with these camping hacks
- Utilise vertical space: Hang storage pockets or hooks from your awning, shower tent, and living and sleeping areas to keep essentials within easy reach.
- Go modular: Invest in collapsible or nesting camping gear to optimise space in your 4WD vehicle. Some of it is better quality than others, but love the convenience of our nesting saucepans and fry pans that also have removable handles. We just got ours from BCF.
- Use storage containers: Stackable containers (even inside your fridge!) with secure lids keep items organised and protected. Have a chat with Macca from Expedition 134 about his Aussie-made storage boxes.
- Gear organisation system: Creating a colour-coded or labelled system for different categories of gear so you can easily locate items if a great camping hack. We had this before getting the Troopy so we still have a bit of work to do around that, but our grey storage box was for recovery gear and the pink one was the kitchen.
- Ziplock bag magic: Use ziplock bags to store smaller items, keep them organised, and protect them from moisture. Seriously the best for saving space in the fridge too.
- Gear hammocks: Hang gear hammocks or netting inside your living areas, vehicle or even off your awning for additional storage and quick access to frequently used items.
- Ambient lighting: Hang fairy lights or LED lanterns under your awning for a warm and inviting atmosphere. We use the HardKorr camp lights on the awning because they fit perfectly on the Destination4WD awning arms, and Rafa is the King of Lights, we have that many portable LED lights you could see us from space!
- Comfortable seating: Whether it’s a love seat, inflatable chairs, camp stools, or compact seating solution to save space, a good chair is a must for those cosy nights around the campsite and down by the campfire. The Helinox chairs are good for space saving.
- Outdoor rugs: Put outdoor rugs or mats under your awning to create a comfortable and clean space. We like the shade cloth style because it lets sand and dirt through, but many people still use the good old tarp. We also have a Salty Aura woven rug inside the Troopy, which we use for pretty much everything (beach, grass, throw rug).
- Pre-made meals: If we’re on the road and travelling quickly to a destination, we try to be as prepared as possible food wise because we never feel like cooking after a long day of driving. Prepare pre-portioned meals in aluminium foil packets and cook them directly on the campfire, or have the meals in containers and chuck them straight into a pan.
- Camp oven delights: Discover the versatility of a camp oven for cooking everything from stews to fresh-baked bread. Damper is the best done in a camp over.
- Other cooking hacks: Our mate Harry from Fire to Fork has you covered you his book, Fire to Fork Adventure Cooking Book, and the ultimate camp cooking feasts, recipes and other tips. And also check out the Gourmet Camp Chef’s John for his take on gourmet cooking while off the grid. It’s easier than you might think – and delicious!
- Rainwater collection: If you’re planning to be somewhere for a while or a big storm rolls in, we suggest tie your awning down and put a bucket at the bottom of the rope to collect the rainwater. We mostly use this water for washing up.
- Windbreak solutions: Use sidewalls with your awning to shield your campsite from the wind and weather. There’s nothing better than a single panel wall that velcros on to your awning that you can move with the weather to protect you from the rain, wind and sun.
- Extra shade: A wall panel or corner wall kit will also give you additional shade on hot summer days. It’s worth the extra few minutes to set it up and peg it down for privacy and protection.
- Sleeping solutions: Invest in quality mattress and bedding. An eggshell foam mattress topper made all the difference for a better night’s sleep for us. We also invested in a Crash Pad double sleeping bag that includes a winter and summer doona so we are covered for those really cold nights.
- Portable fans: The best thing we did was buy a portable fan. Our’s is a Riobi one with a battery that lasts eight hours and it’s been so comfortable to sleep when nights are hot and humid.
- Portable power stations: Invest in a portable power station to keep your devices charged and power small appliances. We’ve got a 12V system installed in the Troopy now, thanks to our friends at Norweld, and solar panels on the roof that our friends at Expedition Centre organised for us with the roof-top tent conversion, but it wasn’t always the case. We had a portable solar panel and a second battery that powered everything for us for many years, and prior to that, nothing!
- Campsite wifi: Boost your campsite’s wifi signal with a wifi extender or hotspot device for staying connected. Star Link will be the next purchase for us, but travellers also have a Telstra booster. Still, sometimes half the fun is not being connected and just simply getting away from the world – everyone and everything, right?!
- Campsite shower: Set up a portable shower system in your shower awning tent for refreshing (hot) outdoor showers.
- Outdoor kitchen: Transform underneath your awning into a fully functional outdoor kitchen and living space with foldable tables and a camp stove. The Overedger fold-up box is a top camping hack for your kitchen, once you’ve seen it in action you’ll neer look back.
Embrace the freedom and upgrade your setup
By incorporating these ultimate camping hacks into your 4WD adventures, you’ll be able to create a hassle-free and enjoyable outdoor experience.
Whether it’s maximising space, organising gear, creating cosy camp setups, or using innovative ideas with your awning and accessories, these tips and tricks will enhance your camping journey.
Embrace the freedom of the great outdoors while enjoying the comforts and conveniences that make camping a truly unforgettable experience.
Get into adventure with our Aussie-made high-quality 4WD awnings
4WD awnings have become essential gear for outdoor enthusiasts who love exploring the great outdoors. These versatile and practical accessories offer protection from the elements, create comfortable outdoor living spaces, and enhance the overall camping experience.
If you’re looking to upgrade your off-road setup, a Destination4WD freestanding awning can be a practical and enjoyable addition to your vehicle for outdoor activities like camping or beach trips.
Check out our D270 and D180 free standing awnings and shower tent awning, which we call the Bathroom Tent because it’s that big!