Kickstart Your Family Camping Adventures
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You're just a couple of clicks away from the essential advice, tips and support you need for enjoyable, comfortable and responsible family camping - trailer free.
Does This Sound Familiar?
- You're a time-poor parent wanting to take the kids camping, but you have limited space to store bulky camping gear, and nowhere for the trailers and RV's you see everyone using
- You want to camp trailer free, but you don't necessarily want an enormous car either
- You've never been camping before, and don't know what to buy, what to expect and if you will even enjoy it
- You simply don't have the time to plan the whole camping thing out yourself
If this sounds like you, then do you know that there is a much easier solution and you don't have to try to work it all out yourself?
No longer will you need to:
- Wade through endless posts containing often contradictory advice and product suggestions from well-meaning campers
- Waste hours and hours researching and a lot of money buying products only to find that they don't meet your needs - too big, too small, too hard to setup, too flimsy, just gimmicks
- Learn the hard way about how to camp - what to do in a storm, how to pack for camping and how to stay warm at night
- Settle for less enjoyable and more expensive hotel, cabin or resort style holiday accommodation, or simply stay at home
And camping will be so much more enjoyable and rewarding.
For many of you, camping will now be possible
- You can start creating a lifetime of happy family memories through camping for generations to come
- You can get the kids off the screens without any argument, because they are going camping
- Your kids will become more independent, resilient and adventurous - and who doesn't want that for their kids!
- You will always have an inexpensive getaway from the hustle and bustle of your daily life
- Your mental and physical health will improve through camping
- Camping will become so much more enjoyable because you don't have to reinvent the wheel, make costly mistakes and go through all of that trial and error.
Hi, Joanne and Helen here. Yes, two females (and sisters) running a camping website. You don't see that very often!
Joanne (pictured) is the trailer-free camping obsessive! She has a background in financial and business management and corporate governance, and a desire to transfer those skills to the campsite.
Helen's background is in IT and education and (full disclosure) she and her husband own a camper trailer. But they have four children and so we won't hold that against them!
Here's how we will help you
The Campus, our member only portal, is where you will receive access to:
Camping Setup Essentials / Essentials Plus
This program is ideal for those who just need help with the camping setup. Great for larger families and anyone camping with a trailer.
The Essentials Program consists of 6 steps:
- Plan your perfect setup.
- Use 8 different camping setup inspirations as a guide to help you choose your own tent and shelter
- "Walk" through our Kickstarter Kit
- Establish a spending plan using our camping cost worksheet
- Start a packing checklist
- Develop a "getting list" of things to buy, and source from around the home.
Essentials Plus includes one group Q&A session plus the Saver Bundle.
This is a stand alone program and does not include access to the following benefits.
This program is ideal for those who wish to camp trailer free, including urban families and beginners, and groups of up to 5 people.
The Bootcamp is designed to be completed in as little as 28 days or you can go at your own pace. Access to the Campus content for 12 months is followed by a small monthly fee will apply.
The Bootcamp consists of 8 steps:
- Planning your camping setup.
- Putting together your camping setup, including sourcing your camping gear, buying guides, tips, and product links.
- Choosing the right vehicle to suit your circumstances and your setup
- Our home storage solution, requiring floor space of only 1.5m2.
- How to packing your car in an efficient and timely manner.
- How to prepare and pack for camping so that you save time and nothing important will be left behind or forgotten.
- How to set up and pack up a campsite in an efficient and timely manner.
- What to do when you return home before crashing on the couch for a well-earned rest.
The Express Program
This program entitles you to all of the above but also a one-on-one guided solution. We can talk with you to discuss your needs and how we can help.
Our entire and growing library of resources and tips
to help improve and streamline your camping experience in the context of trailer free camping.
Camping guides focussing on topics of interest
such as eco-friendly camping, health and safety, camping for those living in apartments, the weather and much more.
Shopping guides and detailed product descriptions
to help you source your camping gear, either via the direct links displayed on our site or by way of detailed explanation.
A whole section on choosing the right vehicle
including a car buying checklist summarising all of the information to help you find the right type of vehicle for your trailer-free camping needs.
Checklists and cheat sheets
to help streamline those arduous processes of preparing and packing for camping as well as setting up and packing up camp.
Our step by step process to pack the car for camping
we've packed plenty of different vehicles from mid-size SUV's to large people movers and you can visually see what works.
Our home storage solution
which doesn't take up much room at all.
to help you develop a spending plan as well as to estimate the weight of your carload.
Our community of like-minded campers
And we'll be there helping you along the way as well.
The inspiration behind The Campus
Hi there, this is Joanne here and I'd like to tell you a bit about my "why" for The Campus!
It all started back in early 2011 during our first camping experience as a family. It was a memorable one - but for all the wrong reasons! Up against a week-long record rainfall event, we were ill-prepared in many ways. If not for the hospitality of our co-camping friends, who all had plenty of shelter and creature comforts brought along curtesy of their trailers, we would have returned home not long after we arrived.
After that experience, I went back to the drawing board. Basically, I wanted what our friends had, but minus the trailer. We lived in inner city Melbourne and didn't own a trailer, didn't want one, had nowhere to store it, and weren't comfortable towing it over long distances anyway.
After many hours of research and a lot of trial and error and buyers regret over several years, I came up with a great camping setup for four people - one we could transport with our mid-size car in a safe manner. After all of that effort just for our family, surely it shouldn't end there.
More and more families these days are living in smaller properties with ever decreasing backyards, if there actually is one! Add to that next to no specific trailer-free information available online and an obvious under representation of TFF's (trailer free families) at campgrounds.
I decided to do something about it and to help others with similar challenges and other barriers to camping.
Hence, The Campus!
Since then, we have also built up an extensive and growing library of resources to address many of the challenges that you might come across in the great outdoors to help you to camp comfortably, safely and responsibly - trailer free.
If you want to start taking the kids camping and you are just starting out, this site is a must. You will save so much time and money buy avoiding all of the guess work, and the kids will have a great time.
"I can't picture it" I hear you say
We're not talking about the teeny tiny two person dome tent experience of your youth. It's a proper family camping setup with good outdoor shelter, a great camp kitchen and plenty of other features to suit you an your family.
If you follow our advice you would blend in with most other tent camping families around camp, and if you want to stand out, then there's plenty of options there as well.
(click on the images below to enlarge)
Our Camping Code
Like most people, we want our camping to be comfortable and fun! We're certainly not perfect, but we also aim to camp in accordance with the following principles:
- We care about the environment and aim to leave no trace
- We are considerate of local cultures and communities, fellow campers and our hosts
- We aim to buy well and buy once
- We are safety and budget conscious, and resourceful
While there may be some unavoidable compromises along the way, we try to stay true to our code, and we encourage our members to also.
All of this and much more, ONLY inside The Campus.
Pictures tell a thousand words
Our family camping adventures have been really special to us, and we love that our son loves it as well. But putting that into words isn't easy, and so we share with you some camping memories in our personal home video. Let us help you create your own happy memories through camping.
The Campus is only new but it already has a lot of information covering so much about camping and all in one place. I especially like the eco-friendly camping and the health and safety focus.
Get instant access
Join today. We'll see you on the inside.
*7 Day Money-Back Guarantee
You will receive our 7-day money back guarantee. Send us in your completed planning workbook showing the program isn't for you, and we will refund your payment in full.
Frequently Asked Questions
So you have questions? Let me try to answer those for you…
We have the information you need all centralised in one place. You don't have to search through endless forum threads and online articles trying to find the information that is relevant to you.
Yes absolutely! This is the place to be if you want to camp comfortably and safely - trailer free, and you are on a tight budget. We focus on keeping costs down and getting the most out of your gear. That said, we do encourage you to buy good quality gear that can last you for years and save you in the long run.
Our camping setup for beginners would be ideal for you. It is entry level, but still allows you to take advantage of most of the tips and advice available here on this site. The better you are equipped and prepared for camping at the beginning, the more likely you will enjoy it and want to continue with it. If not, you will find a later use for most of the items in the camping setup.
This website is really here to help beginner campers and families or groups of up to five to camp comfortably and safely, trailer free. It's not about encouraging you to do exactly as we do, although if you want to, that's perfectly fine with us. As they say, imitation is the best form of flattery!
We know that one size doesn't fit all, and your particular family size, circumstances, preferences and personalities will influence and help shape your final camping setup.
Within the context of our trailer-free and tent style of camping, we will provide you with as much variety and choice as we can to help you put together a camping setup that suits your circumstances. The more you understand the principles of our setup, the more you will be able to independently make your own additions as you go.
Yes definitely. While there are references to the Australian dollar, and most products at present are linked to Australian retailers, we also provide detailed descriptions to help you to source products locally as well. We also where possible reference imperial as well as metric measurements.
Beginner campers and families new to camping would gain the most out of a SetToCamp.com membership. That said, we still believe we have useful information for any camper, especially if you are looking to streamline your camping and lighten your load, but perhaps the Basecamp program might be more suited to you. We also have a lot of time and money saving tips that would help any camper.
Beginner campers and families new to camping would gain the most out of a SetToCamp.com membership, especially in relation to trailer-free camping. There is still a lot of useful information for any camper, but the core offering won't be particularly relevant to you.
Yes you can book a one-on-one consultation. You can also ask questions from within our community forum / Facebook group forum. We also run regular live Q&A sessions, where you can pre-submit your questions or ask them live.
Of course, get in touch with us and we would be happy to talk with you.
The Camping Kickstart Program is a one-off payment and includes 12 months membership. After this time you can renew as a member. You can change from monthly to an annual membership with a couple of clicks from your account page. Our system will automatically take into account the time left on your current subscription, so you'll never be double charged either.
When you join you will receive our 7-day money back guarantee if after working through the planning module you decide the program is not for you, you provide us with the completed workbook, and providing you have not downloaded documents other than the planning worksheet.
Still not sure if the campus is right for you?
Who the Campus for
If you are a beginner camper or if you wish to camp with your family, you will receive the most immediate benefit from this website, especially if you want to car camp without a trailer, caravan or RV.
If you live in an apartment or smaller property, or have limited space at home to store your camping gear, you will be interested in our home storage solution.
If you don't have a car, or the right car for camping, you will be interested in our car advice, especially on sourcing the right vehicle through a borrowing, renting or hiring arrangement.
If you are a young adult or young couple, we can help you to start accumulating your camping and outdoor gear as part of a long-term trailer-free plan.
If you are experiencing other barriers to car camping, then please let us know. We'd love to see if we can help you and others with similar challenges. Where there’s a will there’s a way!
While this site is intended for trailer-free car and tent campers, much of the information will still be of interest to you if you just want to simplify your camping and lighten your load.
Who is the Campus not for
We want to focus our time and resources on the good fit members.
We won't turn you away of course, but think twice before joining us:
If you are looking for a quick fix and not willing to dedicate the time required to work through the tools and resources on our site. Proper planning and preparation for camping is important and shouldn't be rushed. You WILL reap the rewards in the long run, and your time will be repaid many times over.
If you already own a trailer, camper trailer or RV and plan on taking it with you on all of your camping adventures. There will be lots of general tips that you might find informative, but the core benefits of this site at this stage at least are around camping and touring trailer free.
Expect guaranteed results - we know our system works because it's been tried and tested, but there are a lot of variables and getting things right takes time and practice. That part is up to you.
Before you leave though…
Ok, so you've gone this far and you are still not convinced. That's fine. We won't take it to heart. We tried but we know we aren't for everyone.
We're not right for you, but consider whether we might be of interest to those around you - family, friends, children, grandchildren.... If so, do them a favour and share it with them! We'll be happy to help them out.