All successful trips to the great outdoors start with one thing: planning. Depending how far off the beaten trail you go will depend on the exact planning that will be undertaken; however, for any successful expedition into the wilderness, some basic items will always serve you well. Especially if you’re camping overnight, the more thought you put into what you’ll pack, the more comfortable you’ll be. And for those trips where you plan to be off the grid for several days, some basic survival items are a must. Here’s a list of items that everyone going bush should consider bringing.

Outdoor Cooking Equipment

Nothing beats the smell and relaxation of cooking of food outdoors. Cooking over an open camp fire always bring with it a memorable experience, but unfortunately it isn’t always an option. A portable grill can complete your outdoor kitchen and help take care of the meal side of things no matter where you are. Portable grills, such as the Ziegler and Brown range available from Barbeques Galore, are suited to camping and outdoor expeditions and can easily be taken with you. We suggest not choosing one too big as you’ll need room to carry it, but choose a size that can still accommodate your family.

camping australia with kids

Take a Good Knife

If you’ve ever watched Bear Grylls trekking over the globe’s rugged terrain in Man vs. Wild you will know that his fixed blade knife is pretty much his most prized possession. Even for less extreme outdoor excursions, a knife is a must- have, simply for the many ways they can be used. From preparing food to cutting rope and branches to make a temporary shelter, the practical ways a good knife will assist in the great outdoors are many and varied.

Navigation Equipment

Whether it’s your GPS in your car or phone, a detailed map, or a compass for orienting yourself to prevent getting lost, navigational equipment is essential when going off the beaten track. To avoid relying on battery-operated navigation devices and the chance of poor reception, it’s always smart to pack a compass or map as a backup should your GPS fail. While we’re driving we use our phones and Google maps, but beware it can sometimes lead you astray.


Bringing water on a trip to the outdoors is a must. It may seem obvious, but too often (especially in warmer months) people don’t pack enough water when heading off the beaten track and depending where you are going, water sources may be scarce. In the worst case scenario where you get lost, your water supply could even save you life. During extended trips it’s basic practice to plan the journey carefully to locations where there is a water source. In short: water is life, so don’t head to the outdoors without it.

Other Essential Items

Comfortable, covered footwear if you are hiking and covering rugged terrain.
A tent and sleeping bag if you are staying overnight
First aid kit – To attend to cuts, bruises and other minor medical issues.
Torch – A must have if your trip is overnight
Insect repellent – especially important in tropical climates
Warm Clothes – Even during warm months, overnight temperatures can dip significantly, and feel colder than expected when outdoors.

If you’re the serious outdoor enthusiast who wants to immerse yourself in the wilderness for an extended say, the above items become essential to not only make the trip a success, but for basic survival.