Light weight camping? I think not – Our Hiking Blog goes camping

Lightweight hiking is a goal for all, but when it comes to a summer camping trip all rational thought goes out the window. We head off early tomorrow on our annual camping holiday to Blanket Bay, in the Otway National Park.

Blanket Bay is a small National Park camping ground near Cape Otway Lighthouse in southern Victoria. There are only 20 odd sites with no power, a small amount of water and long drop dunnies. No generators are allowed. We have been going there on and off for over 30 years.

A double rainbow at Blanket Bay

The great 24 hour packing exercise is about to begin and it got us thinking about the differences in gear we take for a fixed camping trip compared to a hiking trip. They are, in our case , HUGE.
The comparison may be interesting for “Our Hiking Blog” readers

Blanket Bay: a queen sized self inflating mattress, underblanket, sheet and a doona. Two pillows each
Hiking: Down sleeping bag and a 3/4 length thermarest mat each

Blanket Bay: Two gas powered fridges, a Coleman 40 litre esky and another small esky
Hiking: nothing

Food and drinks
Blanket Bay: about four large boxes of food ranging from dips and chips to bacon and eggs. Several bottles of champagne, red & white wine, beer, spirits etc
Hiking: just enough food for each day, packaged carefully to avoid carrying extra weight. Some sachels of “tang” as a treat with water

Blanket Bay: a large overnight bag each, 3-4 different pairs of footware, 2-3 towels each
Hiking: What we are wearing plus a few spares and cold/wet weather gear

Blanket Bay: fold out chair each, tressle tables (two), coffee table, fold out tables (two)
Hiking: nothing

Reading material
Blanket Bay: about 6-8 books each, various magazines
Hiking: one book, selected for size and weight

Other junk
Blanket Bay: snorkling gear, wet suits, fishing gear, games, dish rack, washing up tub
Hiking: essentials, pocket knife, quick dry towel (maybe), first aid kit

Blanket Bay: Coleman Lantern, headlight each, 12v fluro, 12v battery pack, candles
Hiking: headlight each

Blanket Bay: Our twin cabin utility with roof racks loaded, the back full and a hire trailer.
Hiking: The pack on our back and our legs…..simplicity.


  1. says

    Ahh, Blanket Bay. The name brings back 25yo memories of our first few nights camping at the beginning of our ’round Oz 4wd trip. I’ve not been back since but it was a lovely spot then. Except for the road out. After 2 blissful nights at Blanket Bay, and the last ever ride on my new 6’1″ twin fin, we set off in our somewhat overloaded Hilux only to come asunder several k’s up the road. We spent the next 6 weeks as tennants of the Colac Caravan Park waiting for our vehicle to have its roof restored to its original height. Not the ideal way to start a 6 month trip of a lifetime. Nevertheless we eventually continued – sort of – but Blanket Bay will always remain a fond memory for me.

    • Frank says

      Ah Bruce,
      What a story! Six weeks in Colac equates to a bloody long , long time! You will be happy to know the road is pretty clear now, saw a Unimog type thing in there last time. Must have been 4.5 metres high! (had arrived in BB via Africa…..)

  2. says

    I have never been hiker camping, but am constantly amazed at how little you need to survive. Now to convince the missus that we can leave behind some gear on our next camping trip and still survive!

    • Frank says

      Hi Rex,
      Spot on. You don’t need to take much and the best part is when you get home and it only takes a short time to pack it all away!

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