Thanks to good old social media crazy myths seem to circulate more than ever before, and myths surround camping, caravanning and travelling are no exception. So we're doing some investigative journalism to get to the bottom of some common camping myths!
MYTH: Dialing 112 from a regular phone will connect you to satellite services and allow you to call emergency services, even if you have no reception
TRUTH: God no. No, no, no. We hear this one all the time and it's extremely dangerous and inaccurate information. Your regular phone cannot and will not connect to satellite. If there is no mobile service on any provider than you won't be able to call anyone at all, not even 112 or 000. However, if you are with say Vodafone, and you're in an area where Vodafone has no coverage but Telstra does, then you will be able to connect to 112 or 000 as you'll be connected to the Telstra network. But in areas where there is no service from any provider you'll be on your own in an emergency. Hence why we carry a Sat phone.
MYTH: Your D shackles aren't load rated and therefore illegal unless they're painted yellow
TRUTH: gees this one just refuses to die. It pops up on social media again, and again, and idiots keep blooding sharing it. Yes, your D shackles need to be appropriately sized for the load you're carrying. No, the colour they're painted won't make them instantly stronger or more legal.
(on a side note we had a bloke at a campsite once tell us all about how overloaded his van was, but that he didn't care because it was cheaper to pay the fine than buy a new van. Nek Minnit he's telling us off because our D shackles aren't yellow and therefore unsafe. Go figure. Incidentally they used to be yellow but the paint wore off!)
MYTH: Free camping isn't safe/you're more likely to get robbed in a free camp
TRUTH: Free camping is no more or less safe than camping anywhere else. And in our experience you're more likely to have stuff nicked at a caravan park in the middle of a town than a free camp in the middle of nowhere. Who wants to drive 200kms on the off chance they can nick your solar panels when they could just take their pick from the caravan park in town? Particularly as everyone thinks they're safe in a Caravan Park, so leaves things out, but gets all paranoid and locks it up in a free camp. Go figure.
(PS - Read our previous post about free camping safety here)
MYTH: You'll get all your stuff stolen if you don't bolt it all down
TRUTH: We constantly hear stories about how 'my mates, best friends aunt' had everything stolen at a free camp. But we rarely (if ever!) hear first hand stories from someone it has actually happened to. Yes some people get robbed while camping. But so do some people in their houses. Bad things happen occasionally, and you need to be a little careful with your valuables. But no, you don't need to bolt everything down. Believe it or not, not everyone is out to steal from you. Living in a camper makes it a wee bit hard to lock everything away anyway, and we leave certain items like solar panels out (they don't work locked in the car!) on a daily basis. No bolts, no chains, and so far the only thing we've had pinched was some underwear off the line at a caravan park.
MYTH: You can't travel full time in a camper trailer
TRUTH: Ummmm what? What do you think we're doing then? Of course you bloody can! I constantly see people asking advice on Facebook groups about the best camper to get for a trip only to have people comment 'you can't travel in a camper with kids/they're too hard to set up/it'll end in divorce/just buy a caravan'. After two and half years on the road, with a kid, I can safely say a camper trailer was and still is the very best choice for us.
MYTH: You can't travel full time with school aged kids
TRUTH: There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of families on the road travelling with school aged kids right now. And those kids are doing amazing. And we continually hear that when they settle down and go back to real school they're well ahead of their classmates. Honestly, it's the kids that don't get to travel that are missing out. There's 13 years of real school, missing a year or two (or 4 or 5!) of it to learn about real life on the road won't kill 'em. Plus with so many great distance education options there's no reason for kids to miss out on their more traditional book learning, even on the the road. So to all the people who say to us 'you'll stop when your son goes to school' I say: 'why?'
MYTH: It's those dirty backpackers that leave all the rubbish/poo everywhere/make all the noise/ruin it for everyone else.
TRUTH: There's dickheads in every group. dickhead Aussie weekenders, dickhead backpackers, dickhead family travellers, and yes even dickhead grey nomads (shock, horror!!). They're the ones leaving their mess behind and ruining it for everyone else. Blame the dickheads, not the backpackers.
MYTH: Various concoctions seen on social media will keep the midges away
TRUTH: NOTHING KEEPS THOSE BLOODY MIDGES AWAY.
MYTH: But, snakes though!
TRUTH: Seriously, your chances of getting bitten by a snake are slim enough. The chance of you being bitten and actually envenomated is even slimmer again. Let alone your chance of actually dying. Now my stats could be a little out, but based on a remote emergency nursing course I did a little while back I believe the figures are as follows: roughly 200-300 suspected snake bites per year - many of which are actually insects, other creatures, or 'stick bites' (where a stick flicks up and hits your leg and you freak out and think it's a snake). Of those suspected snake bites only about 10% are actually envenomated (Snakes can choose not to inject venom, so even if you get bitten by the most deadly snake in the world, it's quite possible to not be envenomated). And of those numbers only 1-2 people a year die in Australia of snake bite. Mainly because most people know first aid, and the pressure immobilisation technique is extremely effective in buying time to reach a facility that has anti venom.
Snakes are not vicious creatures.They're peaceful little fellas that like to be left in peace. So stay out of their way and they'll likely stay out of yours. But just in case always have an appropriate heavy duty bandage handy, and make sure you know how to use it. And FYI snakes in toilets have right of way.
MYTH: I wont be able to cook like I do at home
TRUTH: If your idea of cooking at home is turning on the microwave, then yeah, you likely won't be able to cook like you do at home. But other than easy access to a microwave, we cook exactly the same on the road as we do at home. So I'm always surprised by how often people ask us about what we cook on the road. We have a 3 burner gas stove in our Cub Camper, plus a Weber Q that acts as a BBQ, grill and oven. And a lot more time on our hands to dedicate towards cooking gorgeous meals. So why shouldn't we eat like kings?
MYTH: I'll get attacked by drop bears.
TRUTH: This one is definitely not a myth, You may actually be attacked by drop bears. Stay safe out there people!
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