Touring TIPS on TAP

Want to enhance your touring game? Here are a few of the tricks of the trade that will take your adventure comfort to a whole new level.

There’s an art to hitting the road comfortably. Sure, you can have the latest and greatest camping setup with all the bells and whistles, but it’s not until you clock up a fair few touring kilometres that you start to figure out the little tricks of the trade. That is, until now. Yep, we’re about to let slip some of the best tips and tricks to take your touring game to a whole new level with our exclusive “Tricks of the Trade” guide. So, whack your reading glasses on, this one’s going to be a doozy!

Weather Forecast
Perhaps one of the smartest things you can do on the road, is keep an eye on the weather forecast. Knowing what the weather is doing can help you prepare for the conditions. Got a heatwave coming up, stock up on water and electrolytes, maybe freeze a few bottles of water and get the fans set-up around camp. If there’s a cold front coming through, perhaps a nice and hearty stew for dinner should be on the cards. Watch the wind too, it’ll let you know if you need to bung a few extra pegs in the ground for the awning or find a sheltered campsite.

Water Works
It’s important to manage your drinking water on the road. While some of us just load the fridge up with packs of plastic water bottles, this method takes up a lot of room, results in extra rubbish and isn’t a very efficient use of space for the fridge. Instead, try keeping two insulated water bottles and rotate them one at a time in the fridge, topping up as required from a trusted source.
As a rule, keeping 5-litres of drinking water per person, per day is sufficient under normal conditions. However, in extreme heat you can expect to double that.

On hot days, often just drinking plain old water isn’t going to cut the mustard, especially
if you don’t drink enough to start with and need to catch up. That’s where electrolyte supplements can come in handy. Most supermarkets have electrolyte supplements that you can add to your water to help re-hydrate. For a more potent solution, most chemists will have solutions such as “Hydralyte” which is specifically formulated to help fight dehydration. If these products are not available, a home-made mixture of water, with things like salt, sugar, lemon or orange and honey can help replace essential minerals lost through sweating.

The First Aid Trade
We’ve all got a first-aid kit on board, right? Yep, good. A professional first-aid kit is usually well stocked for most emergencies. However, when you’re touring, you can be a long way from the closest chemist. Here’s a few bits and bobs that come in mighty handy.
1. Antihistamines: They’re not just good for hay fever. They’re perfect to help calm down bites and stings, too.
2. Paracetamol or Ibuprofen: good for aches and pains, headaches and fevers.
3. Asthma puffers (Ventolin): if anyone on your travels suffers from asthma, this is a must have.
4. Anti-itch lotions: Helps against itching and swelling from insect bites and minor skin irritations.
5.Antiseptics: Products such as Betadine, Dettol or Tea Tree Oil can be used to stop or slow down infection on open wounds such as cuts or burns.
6.Imodium: Perfect to help treat diarrhoea.
7. Throat lozenges
8. Thermometer: a helpful tool to diagnose how unwell a patient is.
9. Instant cold packs: relieves bumps, bruises and minor burns.
10. Cough medicine: Don’t let a nagging cough ruin your adventure.
Be sure to carry any other medication you might require.

Tucker on Tap
Good tucker is an essential ingredient for a successful camping trip. While most of us will plan our meals down to a tee, it’s good practice to keep a few emergency ingredients on hand just in case. So here’s a few things to keep in your pantry as staple foods. First up, canned good like beans, mixed vegetables, fruit and crushed tomatoes are perfect for soups and stews. Canned tuna can also be the perfect emergency protein source, especially if you’re partial to a Tuna Mornay or even a Tuna Lasagna — yes, you read that right! Pasta, rice and noodles are also mighty handy to keep on the shelf to help bulk a meal up, and an array of herbs, spices and sauces will have cooking with plenty of flavour.

Travel Snacks
Need a few snacks during transit? A custom-made mix of dried fruit and nuts will keep the nibblies at bay. Try adding a few chocolate chips to the mix for an extra hit of sweetness, too. Other snacks that travel well include jerky, granola bars and popcorn. If you’ve got a fridge or cooler bag, a home-made snack pack lunch box filled with things like cheese, crackers, pre-cut vegetables like carrots and celery, dried seaweed snacks, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit and cabanossi will all travel well and are fairly easy to handle while driving. For the kids, add in some mini sandwiches or wraps and yogurt cups.

Bush Mechanic Tool Kit
It’s essential to carry a tool kit on the road, but from our experience many travellers actually pack a little too heavy in this department. For an emergency tool kit, try and pack tools that have a few different uses, which will save weight. You’ll find most people use these tools for little odd jobs around camp rather than massive, big bush mechanic fixes, so having a good assortment of odds and ends will usually be more beneficial than a toolbox that weighs a tonne. Think of things like cable ties and tape, fencing wire, straps or rope, along with a roll of electrical wire, fuses, sealant and glue, hose clamps, split pins, washers, bolts, screws, and washers. Some spray lube, scotch-brite and a diagnostic tool will all be handy too.

Hygiene Helpers
Hygiene is quite important while camping. So here are a few pointers. First up, carry plenty of toilet paper. Not just for the obvious use of wiping you-know-where in the bush, but public facilities too. You just never know when they’re going to run out, and it’s also a good idea to line the toilet seat with paper to help buffer you from germs as well.
Don’t forget the baby wipes, either! You may not be able to shower as often as usual in which case a quick wipe down with a few baby wipes will work wonders for morale!

Fair Dinkum Fire
Perhaps the most important rule of camping is not to rely on having a fire for cooking or warmth. While a campfire is awesome, sometimes they’re just not possible. Perhaps there’s no wood available, or it’s too wet, or there’s a fire ban in place, or…you get the point, right? But here’s a few things you can do to help increase your chances of creating a campfire. First up, carry an assortment of different fire lighting methods, and get familiar with what makes good tinder to keep on board. Also, try carrying a portable air blower, which is perfect to fan the fire and give it a little boost if it’s struggling. Oh, and even of you plan on collecting firewood at your campsite, bring some with you just in case it’s not available or illegal to collect!