With the good weather kicking in, more of us are jumping in the car with our campers in tow to head off to our favourite holiday destinations. But even the most seasoned of Aussie campers needs to be reminded of how to stay cool and safe in the heat.
As summer heats up and the rain finally holds off, it is more tempting than ever to sprawl yourself in the sun and soak up the heat. But while the lizard lifestyle might seem like an idyllic escape – remember, that beautiful golden sun is still as vicious as ever and you need to take precautions.
Slip, slop, slap
Going back to the basics, one of the first summer slogans ingrained into us is ‘slip, slop, slap’ – an iconic campaign led by the Cancer Council to teach Aussies that when you’re in the sun camping or swimming, slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen and slap on a hat. The latter of which was also ingrained into many a school child via the motto ‘no hat, no play’.
For those travelling with families, keep an eye on the kids. Children’s skin is more vulnerable to the sun’s less than loving rays, but they are also the ones who are more likely to strip down when it gets hot and jump in the water and effectively wash off that sunscreen you’ve just slathered on to them.
In more recent years, the ‘slip, slop, slap’ slogan was extended to include ‘seek and slide’. While it rolls off the tongue a little less smoothly, these two additions are just as important. Seek shade and slide on the sunnies, even when it doesn’t seem too bright out.
Sun doesn’t just damage your skin – UV exposure to your eyes builds up over time and long periods of time in the sun, or even from indirect reflection off water can damage the surface of your eyes and increase risk of developing a cataract or macular degeneration. So, check out the rating on your sunnies, and make sure you keep a pair on you throughout the summer months – even on those seemingly cloudy days. The sun might be sneaky, but in Australia it is strong.
Setting up camp
When rocking up to camp, maximising the views might be your first priority, but don’t forget to consider your camper’s orientation when parking. Ideally, you want to be parked so that your camper is shaded throughout the hottest part of the day. So suss out the sun’s location (or pull out a compass if you’re feeling extra thorough) and park yourself on the western side of any tree coverage you can find.
Shade is your friend in the summer, and if you aren’t able to secure a spot with a well-placed tree or two, bring your own. Awnings and gazebos are a great way to create outdoor living spaces that are protected from the sun, allowing you to make the most of the daytime hours. And versions that include a mesh or fly screen are doubly helpful in keeping away the mosquitoes and midges that are incessantly trying to hunt you down.
While camping on a waterfront location might seem idyllic – these uninvited buzzing friends are something to think about. Make sure you pack plenty of insect repellent and light, long-sleeved clothing to keep as much covered as you can.
Shade isn’t the only way you can keep your campsite cool. During the day, open up your window’s canvas covers or doors to let in the breeze allow the hot air to escape. Think about the way the air moves, and how you can open or close your camper’s screens to create circular air movement to cool down the interior or disrupt that hot stagnant air that is making it impossible for you to fall asleep. If you have some on hand, and power available, fans can assist in this endeavour. And remember – airflow is another defence against any insects wanting to sing you the song of their people throughout the night.
THE NEXT STEPS
A Hybrid Caravan or camper trailer could be what you need to add more adventure to your weekends, contact the Swag Camper Trailers team today. We’d be happy to help and answer any enquiries you have about our Campers, Hybrids and Caravans.