Trekking up the East Coast of Australia means you are never far from important services.

Most car camping in Australia can be done with relative ease and safety, but it is always good to keep a few basics in mind.

While there is no real need to actually camp in your car, for many this is part of the joy of travelling.

Whether you are hiring a rental Combi or 4WD or just taking the family car up the coast, being comfortable and safe are priorities.

Here are three car camping safety and comfort tips you should never ignore.

Organising Your Car

Always keep a two warm blankets within arms reach.

While cooking gear, camp stove and tools should be kept in the boot, being able to account for sudden cold weather quickly is important.

Having more than one blanket means you also have a backup in wet weather. if you are sitting outside in the evenings the air gets damp.

One additional blanket inside the car that is dry and warm makes sense.
Keep at least 2 litres of water in a cool place inside the car as well as enough, ready-to-eat food for three days.

Food should be stored in separate containers inside the car but keep all fuels and cooking gear in the boot.

Safety and Security

Put your car in for a maintenance service if you have any doubts about how well it’s running.

If you plan to be out for more than a week, also ensure that the tyres, windows and windscreen are free from any damage.

Broken or damaged window rubbers should be replaced. Cracked windshields should either be replaced or repaired.

We live in Newcastle, so if you are travelling up toward the north coast I recommend Koala Glass. They can inspect any suspicious cracks or chips and do any repairs.

Your car tyres should also be inspected, especially if you are going off the beaten track. O’Neill’s Tyres in Warners Bay can do a quick inspection or you can jump on to Yellow Pages for a list of suitable inspection stops near you.

Make sure the car locks work and that you have a spare set of keys.

As a practical safety precaution, try and find a car stop or camping area where you are close to light and other people.

While being out on the open road away from people is part of the pleasure, it is also makes good sense to not put yourself at unnecessary risk.

You will want a complete and compact first aid kit.

Also take sunscreen and lip balm for those dry hot drives during the day.

Sleeping and Comfort

Ventilation is very important. If you are renting a Combi or 4WD you will often find that they have ventilation built in to the car.

If you're driving a family car, keep two windows down an inch overnight.

A fold away chair is handy if you want to sit outside and watch the world go by and it also means you can stretch out a little better.

In warmer weather, consider taking a tarp and a swag.
The tarp can be tied to the car and you can sleep under it and still close to the car door to easily access food, water and your gear.

The best sleep you are likely to have will be in clean clothes. Have a separate set of clothes that are only used for sleeping.

If you have the room, take a pillow. No need to brave it when no one’s watching. A good night sleep is better than the brownie points you get for, “doing it rough”.

Keep a torch and additional power source (batteries, 12 volt outlets) handy. And also make sure you have paper maps as a back up.

Don’t rely on your Sat Nav.
Cartoscope still supply the best range of driving maps and they are very handy for getting a good overall visual of your trip.

Car Camping is a great way to move around easily and see a lot of Australia in a short space of time.

It has all the benefits of mobility and is often a better choice than lugging all the tents and camp gear on your back.
But, it can also be an uncomfortable experience if you are not well prepared.

So, be a scout. make a list and ensure your car is safe, secure and comfortable before you set out!