Travelling Australia with the bare essentials - How to keep your weights down
Minimalist caravanning is intentionally travelling with the things you really need vs the things you just want.
Travelling Australia with the bare essentials - How to keep your weights down!
We understand some people like to be very well prepared and that's fine if you have the weight and space provisions. We would like to show another way where you can still be prepared and have the basics to cover you in most scenarios and travel that bit more lightly.
Read on to see how Trekking Downunder have chosen to be minimalist travellers, by limiting our possessions and just how we make it work. This is just our point of view and what we practice, it may not be applicable to or suit all travellers.
How often do you hear of people who have overloaded their car or caravan? Generally this is due to the amount of items being packed into the car and van. The question that you need to ask yourself is, "Do I really need this or would I just like it?"
For most caravan and campers their are two rules that could be applied;
1) 20/20 rule - if you are unsure if you need the item, leave it behind if it can be bought for under $20 and within 20 minutes.
2) 90/90 rule - If you haven't used the item in the last 90 days and don't think you will in the next 90 days then you probably don't need it.
With the increased Media attention on the caravanning community in regards to experience and travel weights, now is as good as time as any to ensure your van or camper is adequately packed without all of the unnecessary creature comforts.
We travel to escape the mayhem from modern society to relax and enjoy a more meaningful and intentional life.
The way we do this is by ensuring we only take the things we need and not the ones we want. As a family of 5 travelling Australia fulltime in our 18ft van we need to be aware of our weights at all times and only carry the bare essentials.
If you are nearing your weight limits the below items are things that could be reconsidered:
- Excessive Vehicle spares
- Multiple cooking devices
- Excess clothing
- Oversized camping equipment
- Additional canvas annex walls
- Extra camp tables
To keep our weights down we purchased light weight camp chairs, limited our spares and clothing as well as left behind our full annex as this was rarely used. We regularly re-asses the items in the van and do a clean out once a month. You will be surprised at how quickly you can accumulate unneeded items or how items once needed are no longer. You can sell any items of decent value if you wish or you can donate to the local op-shop and support the local communities you travel through as we do.
This of course is dependent on where you are travelling and the availability or the need of the items being left behind. However if your vehicle/camper is well maintained and you have the basic spares this should get you out of trouble most of the time.
We primarily travel through the Outback which generally equates to more spares and equipment being required. We have assessed each risk and packed the bare essentials to cover the most likely break down or repair. To see what upgrades we have made to our Prado for Outback travel click here.
How do we keep our clothing to a minimum?
We used an adaption of the 'project 333 rule' when packing our van before leaving on the trip and when we revisit it each time we do a van cull. This rule is basically learning to dress with only 33 items over 3 months period. Our adaption is a little more strict as we have 5 people with very limited space. What we don't limit or count is underwear or socks, but outside of that we have 33 items of clothing each.
These must include; shoes, hats/ beanies, PJs, shirts (both long and shirt), pants, shorts, dresses, swimwear, jumpers and sportswear. We do allow paired items like PJs and swimwear to count as one though. As we accumulate new items, we try to replace at the time but otherwise this is done at the monthly van cull- The regular cull is also very helpful to find whats not been worn or too small, and then all clothes no longer needed are donated to the local charity store.
What do we keep in our kitchen?
When you empty the contents of your caravan onto a driveway, you will end up being blown away by the amount of stuff that is packed inside. The kitchen is something that somehow always manages to creep in extra items over time. We regularly go through our draws to see what we have and if their are any items we no longer need or use.
We currently have a small 2 piece toaster to run off our inverter as well as a small pop up kettle. We also have a small pot set which stores inside one another and have 1 fry pan. We have a small selection of silverware with only enough for our family and no more. Our van has an external kitchen which has a grill and this enables us to cook a large variety of meals.
How do we keep the kids paraphernalia to a minimum?
With 3 boys aged 9, 7 and 2 we knew we would always have a challenge keeping toys and the like to a minimum. That way we have managed this is to give each child their own backpack which must fit all books, small toys, keepsakes and colouring in items. If they purchase or receive more items from birthdays etc then they must decide what to donate to ensure the items fit inside the backpack.
This has been a great process to teach the boys, as they no longer hold such strong attachments to physical possessions.
Through the practices of minimal living this has enabled us to travel far lighter than we would have been previously able enjoying a far more enjoyable and intentional life.
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch we would love to hear from you. 'Contact Us'