6 Reasons Why You Should Free Camp

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We’ve been free camping for about 6 years now – all around Oz! It started as a stop gap when travelling huge distances in Western Australia and we didn’t have the energy to continue to drive to the next caravan park. We saw a bunch of RVs and thought we found a Caravan Park that wasn’t in our book. From this, we discovered the many benefits of free camping.

1. It’s free:

Oh duh! That’s why it is called free camping. Personally, I like the term “freedom camping” even better! What a great way to offset the cost of travelling especially these huge distances within Australia.

2. It’s friendly:

Especially if you have rocked up to a popular site, you’re instantly welcomed into the grey-nomad set. Popularity is governed generally by the natural beauty of the spot, the ease of parking, accessibility to a nearby town or tourist attraction and/or a toilet. Once in a while, you will strike one with free showers and/or maybe even power too! These rare gems are treasured and word gets out and about.  So make sure to get there early for a good spot! Pay If there is a donation box there, please make the donation so that there is a good chance these places are still there for others to enjoy. (By the way, to these providers I say a hearty thank you!)

3. No booking required:

It is great for those that don’t plan their journey too rigorously. You can just pull up when you are ready. No need to stick to an agenda, so if you like a place, you can stay and investigate (within site regulations) and if you don’t like it then you can move on quickly! Another reason why I prefer the term “freedom camping”.

4. It’s easy going:

Most grey nomads are a friendly easy going a lot. Who can you complain to if the long drop is rather stinky or the ground is not level? You don’t have to use it or stay there! Frequently there is someone who has started a fire (when allowed) and there’s likely to be a happy hour going somewhere from anytime esp around 4-6pm which are generally open to all comers with a smile, or start up your own! Even if you want your own company, you can have that too, just park on the fringes.

5. Security is what you make it:

This is the toughest part of free camping. Generally, both common sense and experience when camping but in most places, campers are a friendly neighbourly bunch. Still, we feel more secure if at least one camper joins us at a free camp. Having said that, we’ve never had a single negative experience in terms of security. However, I would say trust your instincts or you’re in for a long night. We will stop at a free camp where there are no other campers, usually by 2 pm. Sometimes it just takes one to stop and others travelling by might decide to stop there too now that someone has stopped first. If no one else has stopped to join us by 4 pm then we might move on to the next place that has some people. Again trust your instincts! Take photos of other campers esp their rigs and number plates if you like. (It is easy to delete them the next morning when you wake up.) Don’t forget to lock your doors. Security is what you make it!

6. Usually Pet-friendly:

Another advantage of free camping is that your fur baby is welcome too. They are usually prohibited in National Parks and some council sites. In order to maintain this privilege please keep your dog on a lead if required; or if other people, wildlife or stock are around – and for goodness sake, please pick up their droppings!

Do your research:

Do you have enough power, water and food for the duration of your camp? Not all places welcome fires. Don’t forget your toilet. If you need to go bush toilet, then take a shovel or even a garden spade and hide the evidence including toilet paper and go a long away from the populated areas.

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