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outdoors SINCE 1958

The Campfire


If you talk to anyone in Australia about ‘The Big Lap’, they’ll know what you’re talking about. It’s an institution in its own right; the great Australian dream of travelling around this great country without the encumbrance of bricks and mortar. More than a couple of weeks out of a tent or swag can test even the most hardcore, so how do you do it? There’s one very simple answer: A caravan; allowing you take as much comfort and luxury with you (because let’s face it, it makes for a more enjoyable trip) with a caravan. It’s no wonder the roads of Australia are dotted with the grey nomads; going for months (or years) at a time, with everything they need in or behind their tow vehicle. Want some tips on making the best of travelling Australia? Then read on …

Yours in camping, The Ray’s Outdoors Crew


Contents 3 Water Management 6 Your Mobile Throne 9

The Touring Family Table

12 Essential Towing Knowledge



ater is the most important »» Should I take some water filtration thing we can take with us devices with me if my water when we are travelling, and sources are a bit suspect? it can be so easily overlooked. If you »» What about water transfer and have a caravan, chances are it has storage? Can I easily pump my water storage built in. What if you water from one place to another? don’t, or you aren’t sure when the Do I have enough capacity? next time you can top up the water tanks? Then it certainly doesn’t hurt to »» How do I intend to use my water? Do I need a shower or hot water take some extra for good luck. system to stay comfortable on Here are some other points to consider: the road? »» Am I going somewhere with plenty of clean water available? »» How many litres per person per day have I budgeted? Is it a reasonable amount?




Hot water systems are a great addition to a campsite for convenient comfort.

Sometimes, the water on the road is a bit ‘different’ to the water at home!

To ensure your available water is clean, you have a few options. Firstly, you should ensure your water tank is clean before embarking on that trip of a lifetime. A product like Tank Cleen works well for this. Also, you can treat your water before drinking if it doesn’t fill you with confidence. Inline water filters and


purification tablets do a wonderful job of turning the untouchable into delicious drinking water, and take up next to no space at all. When you are filling up, ensure that you use a correct hose for hygienic water transfer. There are specific materials used in these hoses that doesn’t affect the water, or leave it with a funny taste.

It also really pays to have a few water-saving tricks up your sleeve whilst on the road. For example, it’s a great idea to wipe down your plates and bowls with a paper towel before washing them in water, allowing you to use only a small amount of water for cleaning up.

Keep your cool

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Your Mobile Throne




ravelling is all about relaxing, unwinding, and taking it all in. While we do spend a bit of time in the driver’s seat when we are out on the road, those times we pull over for a break, or to make camp is when we really want to sink into a chair and relax. What’s a good one, though? There are plenty of options out there, varying in size, material, construction and design. Too many campchairs on the market these days are either big and heavy, or small and weak. What you want to find is something that packs away to a convenient size, but is strong enough for the rigours of transport and use. If it has a weight rating, then it’s probably a good sign. Look for solid joints strength in the construction, stability when used, and of course comfort! Let your bum be the judge!



These are a bit of a classical design, and a good one can still cut it in a modern application. Due to their design, they are quite stable and hardy. They fold in the middle, creating a flat shape that is great for packing (you can jam it into those gaps that the bulky stuff won’t fit into.) Some have tables that fold off the side, and are quite supportive through the backrest.

These are for the ultimate in relaxation! While they don’t pack down as small as other options, they certainly bring a lot of comfort for the user, all the way down to your feet. The better options are adjustable, allowing you to recline the backrest to perfection. But be careful, you might fall asleep!

QUAD-FOLD CHAIRS: The quad-fold chair folds up in a different way, with each corner squeezing in to make a long, round shape when packed up. They are great for comfort, their design allowing you to really sink in and enjoy. Fabric armrests can house all kinds of camp-friendly gadgets, some even have a little cooler built in, perfect for keeping your bevvy cool!


An international past ime dating back to th e Chinese Tang dynast y, playing cards are an age-old way of relaxa tion and socialisatio n. Fancy a bit of Gin Ru mmy on the road, what about a classic round of Euchre? Then don’t forget to pack a couple of comfy chairs, a nice little fold-up card table, and of course , a pack of cards!


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The Touring

Family Table N

ow we have the chairs sorted, where are we going to sit? When dinner time comes, you don’t want an awkward game of musical chairs and tables as you haven’t organized enough furniture for your crew. Comfort is king, remember?

Just like at home, the main table quickly becomes the centre of activity in the campsite. The difference is though, your camp table needs to thoroughly robust, whilst also packing down to a reasonable size for storage. It needs to be able to withstand the rigors of bumps and corrugations, as well as dealing with heat, moisture and spillage without worry.



Obviously, you need to choose a table to cater for the amount of people that are going to use it. Small tables that are a perfect size for the touring couple might not cut it for the family, for example. If you travel with different sized groups regularly, it’s a good idea to grab 2 (or 3) of the same table, so they can be joined up when needed. The additional bonus here is that those tables will pack down in the same fashion, and take up less space together.

Although looks are important, they certainly aren’t everything. Think about what you are planning on putting your table through before buying one, and consider what might its downfall. Saltwater and sand perhaps, or bulldust, red dirt and heat could bring about an early demise. Buying a good quality table to start with means you don’t have to worry about it being damaged so much in the line of duty, which translates into a more relaxing camp experience.



The Touring

Family Table CONSTRUCTION: No one table suits everybody’s needs. Bi-fold tables are a well-loved option, or if you need more space, the larger 4 fold is also an option. These tables fold into a flat shape, which is an important consideration when it comes time to pack things up. Hingework can be put under a bit of stress, so ensure you buy one that’s strong enough. Your other option is a slatted roll up table. These tables have a detachable top with rolls up to a really convenient size, but lacks the flat surface that a fold-up table offers.


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Recipe Agnolotti Or Ravioli In Pumpkin Sauce

A great way to use leftover pumpkin from last night’s camp oven roast. Serves: 4 Time: 20 minutes INGREDIENTS »» 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil »» 1 small brown onion (80gm), chopped finely »» 1 clove garlic, crushed »» 600gm pumpkin, sliced thinly »» 1½ cups (375ml) chicken stock

Tasty Trout There are more ways to cook trout than just in foil with lemon! Serves: 4 Time: 20 minutes INGREDIENTS »» 4 trout fillets »» ½ cup breadcrumbs »» 2 rashers bacon, finely chopped »» 1 lemon »» 2 tablespoons olive oil »» 1 teaspoon dried thyme »» Olive oil spray METHOD Preheat your camp oven to medium/high heat over coals or a gas flame. Drop in a trivet. Lightly oil a pizza tray or flat tray that fits in your camp oven. Lay the trout fillets out on the tray. Zest the lemon (see below) and mix in a bowl with the chopped bacon, thyme and breadcrumbs. Cut the lemon into four wedges. Pile the mixture on top of the fillets, pressing on lightly. Place the wedges around the fish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in your camp oven for 8-10 minutes. The trout is cooked when it flakes easily and the topping is lightly browned and crisp. Serve with vegetables of your choice. ZESTING If you don’t have a lemon zester, use a potato peeler to carefully remove only the top yellow layer of skin; make sure you don’t get any of the white pith underneath. Chop the zest very finely before using.


»» ½ cup (125ml) cream »» ½ cup (125ml) hot water »» 600gm pre-packaged agnolotti or ravioli of your choice »» 1 artichoke heart cut into slivers »» 8 Kalamata olives

»» ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg »» Parmesan cheese METHOD Heat half of the oil in large frying pan; cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Remove from pan. Heat remaining oil in same pan; cook pumpkin, in batches, until browned lightly. Return pumpkin and onion mixture to pan with stock and nutmeg; cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed. Using a potato masher, mash the pumpkin mixture then gradually add in the cream and the hot water until smooth. Return to pan; stir, over low heat, until heated through – keep gently warm. Add the artichoke pieces and Kalamata olives, gently stirring through. Cook the pasta in large saucepan of boiling water, uncovered, until just tender; then drain. Serve pasta with pumpkin sauce, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the top. CHEAT Plan ahead and cook extra pumpkin when you do a roast. Simply keep it in your fridge for up to four days. To make this soup even faster, you’ll only need to mash it … and using roasted pumpkin gives a lovely flavour.

Pat’s Fried Rice

EVERYBODY LOVES FRIED RICE AND IT’S SO EASY TO DO. Serves: 4 Time: 30 minutes (plus drying-out time)


»» 1 spring onion

»» 1½ cups Jasmine rice

»» Handful of frozen or fresh peas (optional)

»» 3 rashers bacon »» 3 eggs

»» Olive oil

METHOD Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the rice for 10 minutes only. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain very well, then spread out on a flat tray and leave to dry out for a few hours in the fridge (or at least away from the flies). Chop up the bacon and fry in a deep frying pan until browned. Remove. Lower the heat and pour the lightly beaten eggs into the pan, cooking omelet-style – but breaking them up as they cook into ribbons. Remove the pan from the heat. Return the bacon to the pan along with the thinly sliced spring onions. Add the peas if you wish. Add the cold rice to the pan, mixing gently with the egg, bacon and onions to prevent the rice breaking up. Add soy sauce to taste and reheat gently to serve, turning over with a spatula – don’t stir as the rice will go to mush. RICE TIPS Long-grained rice is best for savoury dishes; short-grained for sweet. One cup of raw rice equals three cups of cooked rice; allow one cooked cup per person. Save time by cooking your rice a day or so before you need it. Store it in the fridge in a ziplock bag, after drying out for two hours.


Essential Towing Knowledge Mr 4X4’ Pat Callinan gives his hints on towing

tow vehicle and trailer separately, and then all together. Knowing that your GTM, GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) and GCM (Gross Combination Mass) is within specification is imperative from a legal point of view, and is very important for peace of mind and trip planning. HOW TO UNHITCH SAFELY TRAILER MASS: It’s important to understand the weights that are involved with towing, and the impacts that they will have on the way your vehicle drives. Important measures here are ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass), GTM (Gross Trailer Mass) and Ball Load. Aggregate Trailer Mass refers to the total weight of a trailer and its load when it is not coupled to a vehicle. Gross Trailer Mass is the same trailer and load, but is the weight when it is coupled to the vehicle. This number will less, because of the Ball Load. Through the coupling, weight of the

trailer is transferred to the vehicle, effectively making the trailer lighter. Ball load is a very important facet to know about your towing setup. If you have too little trailer load, your vehicle will handle erratically, and can be downright dangerous on the road. If there is too much weight, you risk overloading the chassis and axle of your tow vehicle. Our big advice here is that the local weighbridge is your friend. Get your tow vehicle and trailer in full touring trim, and take it down to the weighbridge to accurately see what you are weighing. Firstly, weigh your

1: C  hock the trailer wheels front and back, and keep bystanders at least 15 metres to the side. 2: Engage the trailer brake 3: L ower the jockey wheel, ensuring the wheel is positioned sideways to inhibit movement. 4: Wind the jockey wheel out, taking weight away from the towball and onto the jockey wheel 5: Undo electrical connections 6: Undo the safety chains 7: unhitch your vehicle from the trailer, and slowly drive away.

Ray’s Outdoors inspires and enables everyday Australians to get outsides and make the most of the outdoors. Whatever the activity, Ray’s has everything you need to Make the Outdoors Yours!


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Ray’s Outdoors Campfire Magazine, Issue 3, 2013  

The Caravanning Edition

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