The best budget gear for camping in comfort

Enjoy the outdoors in comfort with these camping items that are sure to add some luxury to your campsite.

Matting

The ground around a campsite is often unforgiving, which can make moving around camp a difficult proposition – especially at night. Some well-placed interlocking foam mats can give you respite from the terrain (and what crawls on it for the most part), as well as somewhere to sit and put shoes on and take shoes off; an age-old conundrum for anyone trying to keep their tent clear of dirt and debris.

Stretchers

A good night’s sleep is an important part of everyday life, and the prospect of a bad one in the bush is enough to put many people off camping. Uneven or hard surfaces, sharp rocks, twigs and much more can make sleeping on the ground a nightmare, so for those who are looking for a reliably good sleep while camping (and some elevation off the ground), a camping stretcher is an appealing solution.

Marquee

When you’re camping, sometimes the only shelter you have is your tent, which isn’t ideal because most are too cramped for anything other than sleeping. Whether it’s for relief from the sun or protection from the rain, a separate structure like a gazebo/marquee can save you from the elements without forcing you to retreat into a tent or swag. Most are easily portable too, allowing them to move around with you or remain static as a communal area for the campsite.

Mounted lighting

The darkness of night can feel interminable when you’re camping, even with a good torch or headlamp at your disposal. To illuminate your campsite evenly, some mounted lighting is incredibly effective (especially in areas where campfires aren’t allowed), giving everyone in camp the same ambient light with which to work – a point which is more salient for camping in groups.

Portable power bank

Mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops are ubiquitous in modern society, so much so that bringing them camping is a formality for many. Keeping them charged can be a challenge though – even if you’re staying at a powered site (and have other power needs that take precedence). A power bank is a simple and portable way to keep your phone or tablet charged for days on end, and to make things even easier, many new models have solar panels to recharge your power bank in the outdoors.

The right air mattress

Many campers resign themselves to a less-than-adequate night’s sleep while out in the bush, either through a personal perception of camping or by using inferior gear. The truth is that you can close the gap between your mattress at home and your bush bed without cramming a slice of memory foam into your cargo, but it requires a premium quality air mattress. High-quality, modern air mattresses are both compact and comfortable, and are inexpensive relative to the added comfort they offer – especially compared to the price of a proper foam mattress or the discomfort of a lower quality air mattress.

Ensuite tent

An ensuite tent is a minor addition to your camping setup, but it can make a major difference. Whether it’s simply to make changing in privacy a stand-up affair (compared to inside a tent), or to create a designated shower or toilet, an ensuite can help soften an aspect of camping that many find a challenge.

Portable fan

A night in the outdoors can quickly become unbearable if the temperature is high and there’s no breeze, regardless of how open your tent or swag is. A portable fan is an easy way to mitigate this issue, and thankfully many are small and easily rechargeable nowadays, making them perfect for confined spaces on multi-day camping trips.

Content courtesy of Hema Maps. Hema Maps has been crafting folded maps, guides and digital navigation products for exploring Australia off the beaten track for over 30 years. Visit the Hema Maps website to find out where your next adventure could take you.