Many of us who enjoy exploring and travelling Australia are also interested in supporting Australian-made camping gear. It’s important to keep this industry growing in a country where camping and 4WDing not only help us relax but also let us better appreciate the natural spoils of this great land.
With that in mind, here are eight products made and owned in Australia that we encountered in our camping adventures. All products have been made with high-quality materials, are well-designed, and easy to use. But most importantly, they make camping life easier out in the bush.
1. RID, Bushman and Moov
Those pesky mosquitos and sand flies can make an enjoyable camping trip quite miserable, so having a quality insect repellent is essential on any bush trip in Australia. There are a lot of options on the market, but the best Australian-owned and made mosquito repellants come from RID. With over 60 summers protecting Australians, RID is a trusted brand with a great local history.
Another brand we love up in the tropics of Queensland and is fantastic when it comes to higher levels of deet is Bushman. Bushman was developed by an Australian Industrial Chemist for the tropics of Australia and remains an Australian-owned and manufactured product. Bushman offers standard 20% Deet but importantly 40% and 80% options which when you are caught out in the wrong areas can be the only thing to keep tropical mosquitoes at bay. To see the range of options for tropical-strength insect repellent head to Bushman.
When it comes to camping with kids and trying to keep mosquitos away without all the deet then Kari and I use Moov Insect repellent spray, part of the Ego Shop of skin care products. Moov offers up to 3-hour protection and uses natural active ingredients. It claims to be synthetic pesticide free and Deet free which can be very useful with young children.
We use all these brands at various times and find them very effective.
2. Destination 4wd Awnings
We love hearing about a new camping product that makes something even better when out in the bush. That’s the Destination 4wd Awnings in a nutshell. Created by Rafa Mata in far North Queensland, the 270 and 180-degree awnings use telescopic arms to extend the shade of the awning. These free-standing awnings are rock solid, use all Australian materials including Australian-made canvas and are manufactured in Cairns. We have seen multiple awnings over the years and this one really changes things up in the awning market.
3. Aussie Campfire Kitchens
Maybe we are a little old-fashioned when it comes to cooking in the bush, but cooking on the fire is one of the great camping experiences when out exploring. We believe heavy-duty portable gear that folds into a compact size is the most consistent camping kitchen. Aussie Campfire Kitchens builds gear to last at a competitive price.
Whether it’s folding plates, fire pits or a full camp kitchen, Aussie Camp Fire Kitchens has you covered for your next camping cook-up. Like us, they are a Far North Queensland business and we must admit we can be a little biased in our views up north, but hey, who doesn’t like other local businesses? Sort out your next cooking experience with Aussie Campfire Kitchens.
Have you been using an awning on your 4WD when out camping and let it sit out in the elements. Awnings can be a pain to remove and replace between trips, but leaving them on your vehicle in the sun reduces their life span.
The RacksBrax HD and XD Hitch has a simple quick-release system that lets you remove and replace your awning between trips, protecting your investment from needless wear and tear when not in use. A ripping solution to a painful awning removal and replacement problem. See how RacksBrax can change the way you prepare for your next adventure.
5. Expedition 134 Camping Storage Boxes
Of course we had to plug our own Expedition 134 camping boxes. We’ve designed them to make packing and storage easier when you head out camping. Like the external tie down points that secure your gear, yet allow easy access to your camping box’s contents without the pain of undoing ratchet straps or ropes. We have also designed specific Expedition 134 quick-release external tie-down straps which like the box are manufactured in Australia using Australian and New Zealand components.
Our Camping Box has smooth internal walls and floor which makes stacking contents easier, providing a fully usable storage space. With no internal lips found in many other camping boxes the Expedition 134 camping box is a dream to clean, in fact many use them at camp to do their camp kitchen wash up and then simply turn them upside down to dry like an esky.
The removal of all metal components also means no more rattles out on the road or rust in saltwater environments. There is nothing worse than failure points commencing from the unnecessary use of metal components. A custom weather seal protects the contents from dust, weather, rodents or scavengers found out in the bush. The 55-litre capacity and unique injection moulded design reduces the weight to only 3.95 kilograms in some cases cutting the weight by over 50% of some comparable storage size boxes on the market. Less weight doesn’t mean this camping box isn’t tough, with lid loadings of 120 kilograms it can be used as a seat or step when needed around camp. Make your next camping adventure easier with the Expedition 134 Camping box.
6. Maxtrax Recovery Boards
Recovery gear is an essential consideration when heading out into remote areas. One such item to consider is a traction recovery board. When it comes to recovery boards Maxtrax are the original and most well-known. Having used these over many years, we can attest to their quality and ability to take all the loads your vehicle delivers in a recovery situation. The Maxtrax signature orange is uniquely associated with boards and is an easily identifiable colour to search for in deep mud or soft sand following successful recovery. With a variety of Maxtrax boards including the Maxtrax Extreme, why not check out how to join the Maxtrax army this year. Incidentally we manufacture our Expedition 134 camping boxes in the same injection moulding facility and can attest to the quality control processes both products go through.
Now ideally you don’t want to be in a situation when you have to pull these out, but when you do want a top Australian-made injection-molded piece of kit to handle the stress and forces your vehicle will put on them when you are trying to get out of a predicament you weren’t planning on, Maxtrax has you covered.
7. Nature’s Botanical
Travelling in the outback means flies and depending on the location and time of year in some spots, frustration levels can really accelerate. There are only so many times one can tolerate flies landing around your eyes, mouth and nose. And while head nets are a great item to carry in your kit and insect repellent does a great job you don’t always want to wear them or spray chemicals around your face. In 2017 while out travelling the Red Centre we came across this little chemical-free gem. We tested it ourselves in an early September crossing of the Simpson Desert and we reckon it’s gold. Its main ingredients are Rosemary and Cedarwood oil which are, as it turns out, very useful for insect control.
Now without this in the Simpson in September getting out of the vehicle for a lunch stop or to look at something of interest, or simply if you are not moving camp for the day the flies will test your fortitude. But a few dabs of this around your mouth, eyes, nose and ears and only the daring of flies will touch you, but will quickly leave. Sure they will hover around, but just keep their distance giving you relief. I was skeptical when we took it with us, having previously crossed the Simpson, but this good gear did the trick. If you’re heading outback this year do yourself a favour and give Nature’s Botanical a go.
8. Camp King Industries
Owned by Lucas and Sarah, Camp King Industries was born in 2015 from a long history of award-winning sheet metal fabrication and a love of camping. Lucas and Sarah are passionate about building high-quality Australian-made rooftop tents, canopies, tub toppers, and awnings, not to mention a range of excellent accessories. They have created a great range of products and are constantly redefining to produce camping products to suit the various vehicle manufacturers.
They source their raw materials including metals and canvas in Australia to ensure they produce authentically Australian-made high-end camping products. Of note, Camp King Industries are the driving force behind the Australian Made Expo held at Peak Crossing outside of Ipswich in South East Queensland. This event will be in its 2nd year this year and allows punters to come along and see what Australian Made manufacturers in the Outdoor Industry provide in the market in one location. A great event that encourages people to come and camp out, meet new people and see some fantastic Australian Made outdoor gear.
You can learn more about the fantastic range of Camp King Industries camping gear by checking out their fantastic Buyers Guides which are highly informative.