Camping is an essential skill to acquire. Most activities of the club span over entire weekend, which requires us to camp overnight for a few days.

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The RMIT Outdoors Club is the largest (400+ members) and most active (200+ trips in a year, that’s 4+ trips each weekend) club at RMIT. We offer a variety of activities for our members, and while many of these can be enjoyed in a day trip, we also run trips over weekends and long weekends to make the most of time and travel. Sometimes, during breaks, we also embark upon some extended trips. You see where we are going with this? 🙂

Most multi-day trips will involve you to camp out somewhere, either in some nice location with showers and toilets/drop-dunnies or some remote location in the bush with just a shovel. It is vital for us to be prepared and know how to stay in our beautiful wilderness accommodation. Camping is, hence, an essential skill to learn.

What to take on a trip?

Often, on most trips where you have to camp, you must be self-sufficient. Bear in mind that different areas of the state and times of year affect the amount and type of clothing you would need. Factors such as availability of water and threat of bushfires affect what type of food you could take.

Disclaimer: Don’t take this list as being the last word in what to take. If unsure, always discuss your equipment requirements with the appropriate activity’s convenor or the trip leader before the trip to ensure you are fully equipped for a safe and enjoyable trip, not just for you but also enjoyable to other participants.

Please remember that it is ultimately up to each person going on a trip to ensure that they have obtained and packed everything they need. If you turn up at the start of a walk without a vital piece of equipment such as a sleeping bag, warm down jacket or parka, etc., you cannot be allowed to go on the walk for the sake of safety of everyone.


  • Shirts – At least one each of T-Shirt and long sleeved shirt

  • Jacket – Polar fleece, down or woollen jumper

  • Pants – One pair of shorts plus one pair long pants either woollen or Polar fleece

  • Parka/Down Jacket – Waterproof japara or Goretex parka with big enough hood to cover your head and preferably long enough to keep your bottom dry when you sit down
  • Underwear – Natural fibres or polypropylene “thermal” underwear

  • Socks – Woollen, one thick pair over the top of a thin pair, plus a spare pair of each
  • Boots – Well worn-in, waterproof and preferably with good ankle support
  • Gaiters or spats – Keep stones etc. out of your shoes. Gaiters also protect your legs from scrub and snakes
  • Hat – Wide brimmed for sun protection
  • Sunglasses
  • A change of clothing and a dry towel to leave in the car, so you don’t have to drive home in wet, muddy and smelly clothes

Shelter and Bedding

  • Tent – Appropriate style of tent for conditions expected on a trip. Make sure to include all poles, pegs, ropes etc.
    If borrowing one from the gear room, ensure that you have checked everything before taking it home

  • Sleeping Bag – of suitable fill type and weight for the weather conditions you expect. Down bags are warmer and pack smaller for a given fill weight, but lose their warmth if wet. Fibre fill bags may be better if wet conditions are expected. There are certain down bags that have a waterproof or water-repellant liner
  • Inner Liner/Sheet – Cotton, silk or thermal polyester/fleece – helps protect the sleeping bag and in case of thermal liners, even adds a bit of extra warmth

  • Mattress – self inflating, down filled or closed cell foam
  • Backpack – Internal frame with well padded shoulder and hip straps


  • Stove, Pots, Pot Holder etc., Fuel for Stove – In leakproof bottle

  • Matches – In waterproof container or flint or cigarette lighter
  • Cutlery
  • Plate or Bowl
  • Water bottle – Sigg/Nalgene bottles are good but expensive. Plastic soft drink bottles do just fine
  • Water Bladder – for longer trips, such as those from Camelbak, Osprey or Platypus. Use emptied and well rinsed bladders from wine casks as an alternative
  • Nylon pot scourer
  • Mug


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap and small microfibre towel for washing
  • Toilet Paper – Preferably unbleached
  • Plastic trowel – to bury faeces (at least 100m away from any water source)

First-Aid Kit

As well as having a reasonably comprehensive group first aid kit with the party, each person should carry a few frequently used items for their own use. This prevents these items from running out in the group’s first aid kit and minimises the cost to the club of maintaining them. Additionally, certain items may very well be your own prescription drug or cannot be legally administered to you by others.

  • Personal medications – Any medications you require regularly. Also tell the person in charge of first aid and the walk leader about these in case of emergency
  • Sunscreen – SPF ’15+’ or ’30+’ Broad Spectrum, Water Resistant
  • Insect Repellant – Otherwise flies and mosquitoes will make your trip agonising. ‘Rid’ and ‘Bushman’ are one of the best brands. DEET based repellants are most effective
  • Bandaids – For small cuts, blisters etc.
  • Panadol or Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • A Triangular Bandage and an Elastic Bandage. The club kits contain only a couple of each of these which have many uses including holding dressings in place, splinting fractures and sprains, treating snakebites and many more uses, so it’s a good idea for everyone to carry them

Disclaimer: We cannot provide you with medical advice. Hence it is advised that you consult your GP or a medical practitioner before taking medicinal drugs. RMIT Outdoors Club does not promote or condone use of recreational drugs on its trips.


  • Maps and Map case if necessary
  • Compass
  • Torch and a set of spare batteries
  • Plastic Bags – Variety of sizes for keeping things dry inside your pack and for keeping rubbish
  • Pocket Knife
  • Whistle – Distress signal if you get lost. A whistle blown three times or other signal repeated three times is a recognised distress signal
  • Nylon Cord – Lightweight cord such as parachute cord available from disposals stores can be used as emergency boot laces, tent ropes etc.

Optional Extras

  • Camera, film etc.
  • Bathers
  • Gloves, Woollen Hat – Especially in cold areas
  • Goretex overpants
  • Sewing Kit – for repairs
  • Spare boot laces or nylon cord, as mentioned above

  • Bivvy Bag – Use as sleeping bag cover or emergency shelter
  • Poly-Tarp sheet – for groundsheet or tablecloth

Last Updated: April 6, 2023