Many of us who enjoy exploring and travelling Australia are also interested in supporting Australian-made-and-owned businesses, particularly when it comes to camping supplies. 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 10 products made and owned in Australia that we use in our camping and touring. They’ve all been made with high-quality materials, are well designed and easy to use. But most importantly, they make life easier out in the bush.
1. RID or Bushman
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-known ones are Aerogard and RID. However, only RID is Australian owned and made (don’t let Aerogard’s online marketing fool you). With over 60 summers protecting Australians, it’s a trusted brand with a great local history. You can return to RID, your childhood insect repellent, here.
Another brand that we love up in the tropics of Northern 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 cans with the standard 20 percent DEET but also has 40-percent and 80-percent options. When you are caught out in the wrong areas with insistent tropical mosquitoes, these higher level so DEET are usually the only thing keeping the mozzies at bay. Head to Bushman to see the range of options for tropical strength insect repellent.
Both brands are very effective and have a range of options, such as odourless and tropical strength, to suit different areas and people.
2. Ezy Anchor
We love hearing about a new camping product that makes life easier. That’s the Ezy Anchor in a nutshell. We had dealt with tent pegs for many years before the Ezy Anchor. We were constantly dealing with bent pegs on hard and tough terrain and spending so much time and sweat securing the tarp, awning or tent, so these puppies were a godsend.
The dedicated injection moulded anchor is designed to work in unison with a specific screw, so the quick use of a cordless drill gets the hard work done quickly. Easy in and easy out with Ezy Anchor, which means you’re having a coldie quicker. See how you can access your esky earlier during the camp set up here.
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 great 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 bush cook-up. Like us, they are a Far North Queensland business and we must admit we can be a little bias 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 and just let it sit there out in the elements 95 percent of the time when you’re not out getting some well-earned bush therapy? Awnings can be a pain to remove and replace between trips, but leaving them on your vehicle in the sun reduces their life span.
We recently came across a great product from the team at RacksBrax. The RacksBrax HD Hitch has a simple quick-release system that lets you remove and replace your awning between trips, keeping your investment from needless wear and tear when not in use. A ripping solution to a pain-in-the-arse awning removal and replacement. See how RacksBrax can change the way you prepare for your next adventure.
Of course we had to plug our own Expedition134 storage boxes. We’ve designed them to make packing and storage easier when you head out bush. Like the external tie down points that secure your gear, yet allow easy access to your box’s contents without the pain of undoing ratchet straps or ropes. The smooth internal walls and floor also make stacking contents easier. It’s a simple process to clean the boxes without dirt getting stuck in the internal lips found in other designs.
The removal of all metal components also means no more rattles or rust out on the road. 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, but keeps it tough with lid loadings of 120 kilograms. Make your next adventure easier with Expedition134.
6. Recovery Boards: TRED 4×4 or MAXTRAX
Recovery gear is essential when heading out to remote areas in Australia. One important item to pack is a traction recovery board. TRED 4×4 makes a range of recovery boards to suite the end user.
We’ve been using the TRED Pro 4×4 Recovery Tracks for a while and reckon they are a quality bit of kit when you need them the most. Incidentally, we injection mould our Expedition134 4WD storages boxes at the same Brisbane injection moulding facility. The Evolve Group, which specialises in injection moulding products, is actually the owner of TRED 4×4. Learn why the TRED Pro is an advanced solo recovery device at TRED 4×4.
When it comes to recovery boards, MAXTRAX is the original and most well-known company. Having also used MAXTRAX 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 Safety Orange™ is an Australian-made recovery board with an easily identifiable colour to search for in deep mud or soft sand following a successful recovery. Why not check out how to join the MAXTRAX army this year. They have a variety of recovery boards, including the MAXTRAX XTREME, MINI and MK II.
Now, ideally you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to pull these out, but when it becomes unavoidable, you want a top Australian-made injection moulded piece of kit to handle the stress and forces of your vehicle. Take it from those who’ve been stuck multiple times before, MAXTRAX and TRED 4×4 have both got you covered.
7. Nature’s Botanical
Travelling in the outback means encountering flies. Depending on the location and time of year, flies can reach seriously frustrating numbers in some areas. And there are only so many times you can tolerate flies landing around your eyes, mouth and nose.
While head nets are a great item to carry in your kit and insect repellent does a great job of keeping them at bay, 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 the chemical-free Nature’s Botanical. We tested it ourselves in an early-September crossing of the Simpson Desert and we reckon it’s gold.
The main ingredients are rosemary and cedarwood oil, which are, as it turns out, very effective at controlling insects. Without Nature’s Botanical in the Simpson in September, we would’ve found it very frustrating to exit the vehicle for a lunch stop or to look at something of interest, or even simply not moving camp for a day.
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 you, but it’s a huge relief when they’re keeping their distance. Having previously crossed the Simpson and endured the flies, I was sceptical that anything would keep them at bay. But this good gear did the trick. If you’re heading to the outback this year, do yourself a favour and give Nature’s Botanical a go.
8. Southern Cross Canvas
A somewhat iconic brand in tent and canvas manufacturing, Southern Cross Canvas has been the choice for Ben’s family camping trips for well over 20 years now. “It’s as simple as it gets,” he said. “Four pegs and a centre pole and you are in business.”
Southern Cross Canvas is all-Aussie canvas and just lasts and lasts. The tent designs, whilst heavier than many of the super lightweight materials, have tie-down points on all the top corners and are very stable in high winds. We highly recommend checking out the Southern Cross Canvas products online.
9. SUPA-PEG Stand Easy Awning
SUPA-PEG is another high-quality Aussie manufacturer and company that makes fantastic awnings using Aussie canvas. The SUPA-PEG Stand Easy Awning on Ben’s 79 dual cab was previously mounted on the Patrol and sure has seen some miles around the countryside.
When we famously broke down in the middle of the Simpson Desert, this was the bit of shelter that kept us out of the harsh sun for two whole days without a tree in sight. The awning also works perfectly with the newly installed RacksBrax quick-release brackets and makes pulling it on and off a breeze.
You can browse SUPA-PEG’s entire range of camping accessories and kits in the online store.
10. Trailblaza Fridges by Norcoast
These fridges are absolute rippers and are handmade on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast by the Norcoast refrigeration company. They aren’t for everyone, as they are quite bulky due to the huge amount of insulation, but we’d go close to saying you can’t get better.
These fridge/freezer units spent many, many days and nights with us all over Cape York either in the back of the ute or the 100 series and never let us down. When one did have an electrical fault in Coen, Norcoast shipped us the part and we were able to make the repair ourselves. I am sure that fridge is still running like new.
Check out the complete range of Trailblaza fridges online.
Have we missed any Aussie made and owned products that you love taking on your camping and 4WDing trips? Get in touch and let us know what you’d recommend for our next adventure.