Preparation key to camping trips

DITCH the stress of everyday life and head outdoors this Easter and Anzac Day long weekend.

Camping is an affordable way to unwind, enjoy nature and spend quality time with the family, but before venturing into the great outdoors it pays to be well prepared.

Campers need to plan their trip carefully.

Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management tourism and visitor services branch director Anne Greentree said those planning to camp in a national park or forest may need to book ahead.

“Camping is one of Queensland's most popular holiday choices, and there's high demand for campsites in many parks and forests during school holidays, long weekends and other peak times,” Ms Greentree said.

“The most popular camping areas will already be booked out this Easter, but if you've missed out there's no reason not to start planning your next break.

“If you are planning to camp during peak holiday times, it's important to book your campsite well in advance.”

Ms Greentree said it was important to be well prepared and pack the right equipment.

She listed drinking water, bags for rubbish, a suitable first-aid kit, a waterproof tent, torch, a broadcast radio and spare batteries, wet-weather gear, sufficient non-perishable food, sleeping bags or other bedding, insect repellent, a hat and sunscreen as some of the most essential items.

Campers were also reminded that open fires and generators were prohibited in some parks.

“It's a good idea to pack a gas or liquid fuel stove for camping trips,” she said.

“Open fires are prohibited in many parks.

“Where fires are allowed, firewood is usually not supplied. Collecting firewood from the bush is prohibited.”

To stay safe and avoid potential dangers while camping, Ms Greentree said campers should:

Plan carefully and make sure camping equipment and vehicle or boat are in good working order

Read signs and brochures carefully and pay attention to any safety warnings

Supervise children, especially near water and in areas where there is potentially dangerous wildlife

Don't assume water is safe to drink. Boil or treat it before use

Keep food in locked containers or in the car to keep it safe from wildlife

Extinguish fires whenever you leave the camp site unattended. Use water, not sand, which retains heat and can cause severe burns

Wear protective clothing to avoid sunburn, bites, scratches and stings

Never feed or provoke wild animals

Be wary of wild animals, including crocodiles, jellyfish, snakes, dingoes, cassowaries, feral pigs, cattle, horses and buffaloes

For more information visit www.derm.qld.gov.au.

For camping or other outdoor activities, Kathmandu provides a complete checklist and advice at www.kathmandu.com.au.



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