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Homecamp · How to Set Up Your Campsite

Creative People

As the weather fines up and summer holidays are on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to share Homecamp’s brand new wonderful self-titled book.

Below, modern adventurers/entrepreneurs Doron and Stephanie Francis share their tried-and-tested tips on setting up your campsite right!

16th December, 2017

‘There are enormous health and wellbeing benefits from getting out into nature,’ tell Doron and Stephanie Francis of Homecamp. Photo – Courtesy of Homecamp.

‘The problem is that as we become more urbanised we create more barriers to getting out there,’ Photo – Courtesy of Homecamp.

The duo behind Homecamp and the self-titled debut book, Doron and Stephanie Francis. Photo – Courtesy of Homecamp.

The first book from Doron and Stephanie Francis of the Homecamp. Photo – Courtesy of Homecamp.

Picking the perfect campsite. Photo – Courtesy of Homecamp.

Stephanie and Doron Francis
Saturday 16th December 2017

‘Anyone can connect with nature and the outdoors in their own way.’ – Doron and Stephanie Francis.

Homecamp’ is about adventurous everyday people – photographers, architects, chefs, writers, builders, seekers, thinkers, risk-takers – who are reuniting with nature in diverse ways, and with transformative results. Their stories all start with a desire to connect with the world around them, to step out of the daily grind and find a different, wilder, less trodden path. Their stories prove that getting back to nature isn’t as hard as you might think.

There are enormous health and wellbeing benefits from getting out into nature. The problem is that as we become more urbanised we create more barriers to getting out there.

We wanted to inspire people to embark on their outdoor lifestyle by camping and exploring one of many amazing parks that surround us in Australia. We feel that investing in some decent, well designed gear (that won’t end up in landfill!) can encourage people to get outside, whether that’s camping, creating and cooking on a fire, or just sharing a brew with some friends in nature.

Through our Homecamp blog we have met many like-minded people and made some great friends, and the book is really an extension of this – a mixture of adventure tales, reflective pieces, profiles of people doing interesting things in the outdoors, and a ‘how to’ section. We also wanted to fill the pages of our book with a wide range of stories, to show our readers that anyone can connect with nature and the outdoors in their own way. It was also important that our book would be an interesting and inspiring read – not just something you flick through. We think that there’s something for everyone within the book.

For us, camping is a fun and easy gateway to nature. Almost anyone can camp. It’s inexpensive, and a realm in which learning a few simple skills opens up a broad range of adventures. Finding and chopping wood, making a fire and cooking a meal on its hot coals are activities almost as ancient as humanity itself, and hugely satisfying. Our how-to guide will get you started on developing these simple skills and planning your own adventures, whether they be in your backyard or off in the bush!

Inside one of Homecamp’s covetable tents. Photo – Courtesy of Homecamp.

How To Set Up a Campsite

Organising your campsite is key to having a relaxed experience. Once it gets dark, you don’t want to have to stumble around, tripping over random piles of equipment while you search in vain for this pot or that blanket. Camping is best enjoyed when everything has its designated place and is easy to lay your hands on when you need it.

The first thing to do after arriving at a campsite is set up your shelter and kitchen areas. Plan these spaces by laying your gear out on the ground. Try to keep your cooking, eating and washing up areas well away from your tent. Choose a flat spot on which to pitch your tent. Remove any debris, such as rocks or sticks, that could damage your groundsheet or make for an uncomfortable stay. Pace out the size of your tent, making sure you have plenty of room on all sides for the guy ropes. Camping in the wild instead of in designated campgrounds might mean you have to build your own latrine area. Make sure this area is well away from your camp. Be mindful about hygiene and any potential water contamination issues. Most importantly, leave no trace behind after your stay.

A fire pit is an essential for the full camping experience. Cooking on an open fire is one of life’s great culinary experiences, and the campfire will be your main source of light and heat . If possible, use an existing fire circle that past campers have left behind. If you need to make one from scratch, choose an area of about three metres in diameter that is free of flammable debris and grass – bare soil, sand or gravel is best. If you have a camp shovel, dig out a shallow circle, about one metre wide, and place rocks around the circumference of your pit to ensure your fire doesn’t spread.

Keep your camp tidy to cut down on animals in your campsite, and prevent you from tripping over things in the dark. You and your campmates should strive to develop good camp routines and habits, like washing up after eating and returning tools and equipment to their designated space. Keep all food and food waste in sealed containers that critters and insects can’t access. If your campsite has bear boxes or other storage containers on site, use them.

If you foraged for your wood, keep it handy in a designated area. Remember that freshly cut wood often needs to dry out. Proximity to the fire will help with this process, but be mindful that it can ignite if you’re not careful. Always put your fire out before going to sleep or leaving your site.

The ‘Homecamp’ book published by Hardie Grant Travel is available at bookshops nationally or online. Homecamp has also just opened a Melbourne pop-up store, stocking the  book alongside their Flinders bell tent and other outdoor products.

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