The backpacker’s mind goes thru different stages regarding how low they are ready to bring their lifestyle quality. When I first arrived in Sydney, It was a priority to keep a healthy diet, to shower in the morning and to change my nail polish every second day. I surprised myself getting tired of it pretty quick – I needed to get into the wilddddd. Little did I know how much ”wilder” I could get. City-lady-me found herself in a few weeks road trip with handsome German boys who did not need to shower often…. and slept in their cars. I know that it is a pretty common experience for travelers around Australia – but not everyone is a natural for it. Here’s my very own survival guide into this lifestyle, hoping to make your road trip a little easier!
Step 1 : The equipment
It is almost impossible to leave for a trip without forgetting something highly important. But there are things you can’t let yourself forget before taking the road in a 4WD that happens to be your new home.
First of all, the kitchen stuff: Don’t worry, K-MART got you covered. Make sure you step out of the store with some plates, utensils (including one sharper knife), a cutting board, a pot, a pan a small cooler and probably a camping stove. Got everything? Great ! Now hurry to get yourself boosting cables. I can’t count the number of times it got Steve’s car right back to life. A flashlight will also be extremely useful: Cutting chives in the dark is never a smart, and you do not want to step on the Huntsman spider that is standing on your way to the toilet. An Aux cord goes without saying – no road trip is complete without the Red Hot Chilli Peppers ! For those ”cold winter nights” (never the words of a Canadian), you will need a big warm cosy blanket, a fully charged computer and a USB stick full of downloaded movies. Nothing better than a Star Wars marathon in the middle of no where! Last thing but not the least: WikiCamp app. No, sleeping in your car or camping isn’t legal everywhere in Australia. Yes, getting awaken by rangers at 2am is actually pretty scary – especially if you’re naked.
Step 2 : A clean mind in a clean body
One of the human’s biggest No Go toward the road trip life is the heavy (& often noticeable) lack of showers. It is true, they are not the easiest thing to find in the wild, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your morning beauty routine done. First thing you should learn : Disabled toilets are Luxury/your best friends/life. Spacious, usually cleaner and no one’s around to judge you for doing your armpits in the sink – or for washing your lady’s parts in the weirdest possible position. For your face, invest in some good cleansing wipes. There’s pretty much always something wrong with the camping sinks (freezing cold water, not enough water, muddy water, no water at all) and a girl wants a clear skin. Regular soap ? Wait till the morning to find a McDonald and fresh up yourself in the bathroom. Make sure to carry a hair elastic on your wrist at all times. As the girl’s code says : Dirty hair day = Sexy bun day !
Last thing but not the least : WikiCamp app. Yup, it is fantastic enough to show you on a map allll the hot showers in you area ! See? A Hippi life doesn’t have to be smelly!
Step 3 : The coolest partners
I need to include your road-partner choice as a step, since I had myself a pretty bad experience getting on with the wrong people (no German boys, I ain’t talking about you). Facebook and ride share websites can be useful, but you should meet with everyone before due day. If you are planing on leaving for a long trip, probably go with people you already know. You are going to be with your partner(s) 24/7 for the next weeks, you want to choose them right.
You are now pretty much all ready to go ! As I was a co-pilot/ mostly sleeping the whole time, you should still probably speak to a proper driver who could give you some extra tips! And don’t forget those small things that get you going : Books, diary, weed, ukulele, Uno cards… And enjoy the Glam-ping life of your new house-on-wheels !