Camping for the 2020 Season

Jacko4650

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Jacko4650

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The transit van is, if I recall correctly, a notorious POS mechanically.
I'm not sure if this is an old wives tale or not, but there are certainly a lot of very happy campers in their transit vans; many regulars to Island Bend through winter. They are quite a good solution if you are prepared to put chains on occasionally.
 
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Jasper Schwarz

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Prices are very good; particularly if you already have the Annual National Parks Pass; like zero. It may be different this year as they manage through Covid19 issues, though the only real dangers I see are toilets. As it happens, Kozi Nat Park has always been ahead of the pack with alcohol-based hand sanitiser at every toilet for many years now. It's not like people camp within 1.5m of your spot! There are no showers or camp kitchens or any other common surfaces that would potentially harbour a Coronavirus, so one of the safest places on the planet I suspect? Friday night "Weekend warriors" are the biggest issue, many turning up half blind thinking it will be fine to sleep in the car if they drink enough vodka and chop down enough trees for firewood before they pass out or the music stops as the battery in their vehicle goes flat (this is worst case I might add).
Otherwise, it's important to keep it quiet about winter camping in Kozi; it is largely very isolated, quiet and peaceful. Too much love though and it will get ruined, if you know what I mean?
This some very handy advice. I must admit I had full planned to sleep in my car, but am not nearly silly enough to leave anything running or even have it turned on. I have a 2007 Subaru outback wagon and my plan at this stage was
Get a super small air mattress (like one of teh cadet ones and put that it the back). I have a sleeping bag for equipped for under 3 degrees so my plan was to bring that plus an extra blanket. I would crack a window, just a little bit to get some fresh air, stop the condensation etc.
My plan was to then bring a small gas bottle stove to cook food on (my grandfather had one that hooks directly to the gas bottle, like a little attachment on top) and cook on that. In terms of showering etc, hadn't quite though about that yet, my folks suggested heading to the Jindabyne pool and swim and shower there (that might be the only exposure to Covid if it opens up).
In terms of keeping food cool etc. I dont have much experience with that. What do you guys usually do? go shopping day by day big ass esky etc. I have access to the exterior of the lodge at smiggins so maybe have a daily roation of icebricks, leave some there overnight and then come and get them in the morning when they are frozen again?
Also in terms of drying clothes and parkers etc. Do you build a fire and try and lay them out and try and dry them, or is it just unlucky and you have cold and when clothes in the morning.

How cool does it usually get down there? like what is the elevation like.

Sorry about all the question, I am only a young one and have always stayed at a lodge. So am heading into thsi rather blind would be open for some advice.
 
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Jacko4650

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This some very handy advice. I must admit I had full planned to sleep in my car, but am not nearly silly enough to leave anything running or even have it turned on. I have a 2007 Subaru outback wagon and my plan at this stage was
Get a super small air mattress (like one of teh cadet ones and put that it the back). I have a sleeping bag for equipped for under 3 degrees so my plan was to bring that plus an extra blanket. I would crack a window, just a little bit to get some fresh air, stop the condensation etc.
My plan was to then bring a small gas bottle stove to cook food on (my grandfather had one that hooks directly to the gas bottle, like a little attachment on top) and cook on that. In terms of showering etc, hadn't quite though about that yet, my folks suggested heading to the Jindabyne pool and swim and shower there (that might be the only exposure to Covid if it opens up).
In terms of keeping food cool etc. I dont have much experience with that. What do you guys usually do? go shopping day by day big ass esky etc. I have access to the exterior of the lodge at smiggins so maybe have a daily roation of icebricks, leave some there overnight and then come and get them in the morning when they are frozen again?
Also in terms of drying clothes and parkers etc. Do you build a fire and try and lay them out and try and dry them, or is it just unlucky and you have cold and when clothes in the morning.

How cool does it usually get down there? like what is the elevation like.

Sorry about all the question, I am only a young one and have always stayed at a lodge. So am heading into thsi rather blind would be open for some advice.
Wow, a lot of questions and undoubtably a newbie. I wouldn't bother getting you started, were it not for the approval of the brainstrust after your skiing efforts at Perisher last season and your sterling efforts helping others at the lodge.
Let's see, air mattress is good. Swag would be both warmer and more comfortable than vehicle. Swags don't blow away in the crazy weather you get up in Kozi (look at a King swag with mattress incl: https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/si...MIg77N1YbJ6QIVQlRgCh2hngB9EAQYAiABEgL6O_D_BwE)
I good night's sleep is critical. If you still want to sleep in the car (which I doubt after a few nights) you can store all of your gear in the swag. If not a swag, a low profile tent that will withstand 120klm winds that are possible in Kozi.

My biggest tip if you want to camp regularly would be for a diesel heater and there are now standalone models you can put outside your vehicle or swag quite safely (eg: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-8KW-1...566197?hash=item5da1444bf5:g:4vsAAOSwFnVelWH7
With one of these, any clothes you don't get dried whilst driving will be sorted with one of these!

Cooking: Recommend a twin burner such as this: https://www.snowys.com.au/travelmat...2ZUg07EAQYAiABEgJVl_D_BwE#instoreAvailability
Some come with BBQ plates included, so very versatile. Just don't leave the butane cans outside - they will not work unless they are reasonably warm (ie: tuck a couple in bed with you for morning coffee).

Showers: Jindabyne Pool or the Gym at Crackenback (bit of a drive but very much worth it). Alternatively, a cheap gravity feed system and hot water from a secret location at Perisher (PM me for details as this cannot get out to may people!).

Food: Little supermarket at Perisher keeps getting better and better, but WW's at Jindy never too far away. A hot chook does wonders during winter camping. Eskys are good, snow from Perisher or from camp for cooling. Importantly, an esky prevents important beverages like beer from freezing overnight.

Lot's to think about if the lodge doesn't change it's mind and keep you very busy getting it up and running again.
 

Jacko4650

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This some very handy advice. I must admit I had full planned to sleep in my car, but am not nearly silly enough to leave anything running or even have it turned on. I have a 2007 Subaru outback wagon and my plan at this stage was
Get a super small air mattress (like one of teh cadet ones and put that it the back). I have a sleeping bag for equipped for under 3 degrees so my plan was to bring that plus an extra blanket. I would crack a window, just a little bit to get some fresh air, stop the condensation etc.
My plan was to then bring a small gas bottle stove to cook food on (my grandfather had one that hooks directly to the gas bottle, like a little attachment on top) and cook on that. In terms of showering etc, hadn't quite though about that yet, my folks suggested heading to the Jindabyne pool and swim and shower there (that might be the only exposure to Covid if it opens up).
In terms of keeping food cool etc. I dont have much experience with that. What do you guys usually do? go shopping day by day big ass esky etc. I have access to the exterior of the lodge at smiggins so maybe have a daily roation of icebricks, leave some there overnight and then come and get them in the morning when they are frozen again?
Also in terms of drying clothes and parkers etc. Do you build a fire and try and lay them out and try and dry them, or is it just unlucky and you have cold and when clothes in the morning.

How cool does it usually get down there? like what is the elevation like.

Sorry about all the question, I am only a young one and have always stayed at a lodge. So am heading into thsi rather blind would be open for some advice.
Forgot to ask: If you are able to access the outside of the lodge, are you allowed to park there overnight?
 

Jacko4650

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got any other photos of this set up?
No, I use the other system as I now have a caravan (with hot shower!!!!!) but these types are perfect for the occasional trip or a vehicle where it may not be appropriate to drill holes in the floor.
You can use this type (which incorporates the fuel tank) for a tent, car, camper trailer etc. There are some important conditions when using them in our alpine regions (which can cause them to stop working) but those things are only relevant to people who buy diesel heaters and I'm happy to share info on that to anyone interested?
For your you beaut set-up Skull, I would consider a permanent diesel heater installed under a seat or something.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/12V-5KW...507217?hash=item1f0f2baed1:g:waMAAOSwOoFeumF9
For occasional (perhaps only one season) campers like Jasper, a portable unit might be a better option - at a cost less than a night in a motel room?
 
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skull

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or your you beaut set-up Skull, I would consider a permanent diesel heater installed under a seat or something.
we went to a few installers here in Canberra and they aren't keen on doing the job. Currently waiting to hear back from a fella who does work for trakka
 

Jacko4650

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I am not unfortunately. The lodge is in smiggins (about a stone throw away from the Link T-bar). I can drive there but cannot park overnight
Shame, I was actually wondering if I could park my caravan at a lodge, since many of them are not opening. Such a waste of resources, sigh.
 
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Sean Sunley

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I must admit I had full planned to sleep in my car, I have a 2007 Subaru outback wagon.
I sometimes sleep in my Outback with my wife at the snow. I use my camping gear, self inflating mat and sleeping bag. We're warm enough but I'm (180cm) not happy with the room. The back is a little short and the roof is not high enough for me to sit up. Wife (160cm) doesn't mind.
Storage is tight, skis on the roof, ski boots behind the front seats and a couple of bags that move from the bed to front seat and back again.
We eat simple prepared food in the front seats.
It's primitive but works and serves a purpose.
 

Jacko4650

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we went to a few installers here in Canberra and they aren't keen on doing the job. Currently waiting to hear back from a fella who does work for trakka
Prolly cos your van is so "compact" and they may encounter issues with liability insurance?? Worldwide, installers are baulking at installing cheap chinese diesel heaters, but not the expensive german ones for a cool half million or so. Hence, the all-in-one units might be worth a shot for you - though you will need a window insert panel or something for the air-circulation to work (ie: cabin air is sucked out of the van, heated and sent back into the van as hot air). Of note is their use of battery power: they chew up quite a few amps to get started and then a much smaller amount over the duration of your heating, but a separate battery would be highly recommended. I know this might disgust you, but have you considered a small trailer for "stuff" during your winter camps? ie: tow it to your winter location and leave until it's time to go home, but the security and extra storage of snowsports gear would be invaluable. I believe you don't have room at home, but surely you know somebody who can store a small box trailer; better still, loan you theirs!!!
 

skull

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Prolly cos your van is so "compact"
yeah pretty much

Jayco said they would need to re-engineer the configuration and would mean getting it checked over again. Said it can be done but expensive. Another mob we went to suggested by Jayco again said they could do it but expensive and wouldn't set it up to the tank but put one external which would involve more mucking about. The trakka installer might be be good to go as I have seen where thy set it up on their VW vans. I will be paying for a brand name heater there though, rather than a cheap chinese one.

If they aren't keen then the portable might be the go. We can probably easily go without as we done the last few years with a tent and without a heater.
 
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skull

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considered a small trailer for "stuff" during your winter camps?
live in an apartment, so no parking options for trailer. I tried to get a quote from the storage mobs to get an idea of parking one there, but it was difficult getting a simple answer from them. They all wanted specs and sizes to and a bunch of other information before they would provide a quote.
 

Jacko4650

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I sometimes sleep in my Outback with my wife at the snow. I use my camping gear, self inflating mat and sleeping bag. We're warm enough but I'm (180cm) not happy with the room. The back is a little short and the roof is not high enough for me to sit up. Wife (160cm) doesn't mind.
Storage is tight, skis on the roof, ski boots behind the front seats and a couple of bags that move from the bed to front seat and back again.
We eat simple prepared food in the front seats.
It's primitive but works and serves a purpose.
This is how I got hooked! Next thing you need a good tent, then a camper trailer, then a cheap van, then one with a shower - camping has been a part of my life ever since my father used to take me up into the Snowy Mountains with his mates a bloody long time ago. For mine, camping in the mountains, in whatever form, is an important part of living.
 

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
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Yes and will it apply to Island Bend, Thredbo Diggings and Ngarigo?
And what of staying in huts in KNP!
A brave new world?
As far as I understand @Untele-whippet it will include Island Bend, Thredbo Diggings and Ngarigo but as expected, not really practical to book a site in the back country so that won't be included. Each site will have a cap on numbers which is all related to being able to demonstrate that NPWS can comply with the current social distancing requirements. Overnight stays in huts are not likely to be permitted (unless it's an emergency) and looking like there will have to be limits on number of people in a hut at a time during the day (again to meet the 4 m2 rule). Certianly a brave new world trying to balance allowing use of these areas whilst meeting Covid rules?!
C/- @Boutros
 

Jacko4650

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Yes and will it apply to Island Bend, Thredbo Diggings and Ngarigo?
And what of staying in huts in KNP!
A brave new world?
As far as I understand @Untele-whippet it will include Island Bend, Thredbo Diggings and Ngarigo but as expected, not really practical to book a site in the back country so that won't be included. Each site will have a cap on numbers which is all related to being able to demonstrate that NPWS can comply with the current social distancing requirements. Overnight stays in huts are not likely to be permitted (unless it's an emergency) and looking like there will have to be limits on number of people in a hut at a time during the day (again to meet the 4 m2 rule). Certianly a brave new world trying to balance allowing use of these areas whilst meeting Covid rules?!
C/- @Boutros
Source please? You have never been required to book ahead for Kozi if you have an "All Parks Pass". The beauty of the All Parks Pass is that whilst you don't get free camp sites in other NSW National Parks where you have to pay, you don't have to pay "Entry fees" anywhere, including places like the Light House at Byron Bay, or parking in other places. Some parks charge and entrance fee for day visits and a camping fee for overnight.
I have no issues pre-booking, nor paying "extra" for that matter, but it would be unique for Kozi Nat Park I believe?
 

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
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Source please? You have never been required to book ahead for Kozi if you have an "All Parks Pass". The beauty of the All Parks Pass is that whilst you don't get free camp sites in other NSW National Parks where you have to pay, you don't have to pay "Entry fees" anywhere, including places like the Light House at Byron Bay, or parking in other places. Some parks charge and entrance fee for day visits and a camping fee for overnight.
I have no issues pre-booking, nor paying "extra" for that matter, but it would be unique for Kozi Nat Park I believe?

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/the-bc-chatter-thread.47700/page-328#post-4296287
 

telecrag

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Bigger job, but ACT has had a permit for camping system for decades. Sure people sometimes don't get one and just go. But it does give some control of numbers for environmental and safety purposes.

Be interesting to see how they do this, just rego plate? Signs at the areas obviously.

Again, like with all of it, a spike could change everything at the drop of a hat hey. And IMO from a weeks time its game on. It either goes OK, or bam.
 

nfip

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Source please? You have never been required to book ahead for Kozi if you have an "All Parks Pass". The beauty of the All Parks Pass is that whilst you don't get free camp sites in other NSW National Parks where you have to pay, you don't have to pay "Entry fees" anywhere, including places like the Light House at Byron Bay, or parking in other places. Some parks charge and entrance fee for day visits and a camping fee for overnight.
I have no issues pre-booking, nor paying "extra" for that matter, but it would be unique for Kozi Nat Park I believe?
https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws-covid-19
edit : might be there in my swag with y'all if the club is jammed.
fcuk.
have done the bivvy in Antarctica , all down-hill from there.
 

nfip

Cold 'n Rusty
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thinking I'm going to cash in my pass and just do bc this year.
hopeful the club can manage a suitable work around.
tho I'm not so keen to share it all regardless of the laws as they roll out.
as elsewhwere the mountain villages / jindy etc is a petrie dish of gastro and flu in a good year.
so content enough to sit it out for now.
will see tho when the good stuff starts topping the base, cold temps , low viz ..... sob...;)
 

nfip

Cold 'n Rusty
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off topic but sharing from fb Katoomba 1965.
99296938_10158513825412369_6618108702610161664_n.jpg
 

Belly

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Lol at @Jasper Schwarz asking about keeping things cold. Keeping things warm is the challenge, not cool. Cool is everywhere down there. Somewhere out of the sun is cold during the day. At night you need to keep liquids around the heat so they don't freeze.
So true, but I still like having my beers in an esky and on ice. Stops them freezing :)
 

telecrag

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Be fair, they have put in some copper logs!

Haha

The infrastructure in the area was outgrown some time ago, with all the inherent problems. No cheap accommodation for staff, that trailer park at the Claypits is not visitors guys. The demand has been growing, and this season with Covid is going to make it even more crazy.
 

Jacko4650

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After ignoring the rise in popularity of camping for 4 decades, NPWS finally admit they can't manage it without restricting demand on their 1980's facilities.

How much f'n money do NPWS need to make each year before they wake up and build for the future.

No new camping facilities for 50yrs.
They have actually restricted campsites quite significantly - it's the asbestos in the ground from Snowy Hydro 1 works back in the day; apparently. Some of my old favourites areas are goneski, including a couple you could go to if things got a bit busy. At least 4 "areas" that I know of off the top of my head, so probably 50-80 camp sites.
Whilst these are neither to scale nor accurately geographic, you get the idea for just this small precinct.
Guthega_Camp02_LI.jpg
 
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nezumi

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This is how I got hooked! Next thing you need a good tent, then a camper trailer, then a cheap van, then one with a shower - camping has been a part of my life ever since my father used to take me up into the Snowy Mountains with his mates a bloody long time ago. For mine, camping in the mountains, in whatever form, is an important part of living.

I used to camp out a bit with my dad, but not in a long while. All the gear I have now is tailored towards ultralight hiking, not car camping.

Similar to @skull, I would be camping with a pair of small ones (currently 4 years old, and 1 week old), so it has been a case of weighing up the pros and cons of a campervan (self convert or commercial), a caravan or camper trailer, or a tent arrangement.

Being able to leave the campsite fully rigged in the morning and drive a car/4WD up to the resort or skitube has a certain appeal, but in either case I am a bit worried about the potential size and impact on others.

There is also the issue of having a destination in Victoria for it. We're based in Melbourne, and although it currently looks like Perisher will be home for the next 5-6 years, after that I think somewhere a bit closer would be nice.
 

skull

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is not visitors guys
The last couple years there was a Thredbo instructor that we met living in a tent during the season. Last year she split between Digging and Ngarigo, the year before just Diggings.
 

Goski

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Remember hearing about an international visitor who spent much of a season sleeping in a snow cave near Falls Creek. He was said to have had a hospitality job in the resort and campes out to save his cash for romancing the fairer sex. So in a bigger snowfall season who would consider a cave?
 

Goski

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Remember hearing about an international visitor who spent much of a season sleeping in a snow cave near Falls Creek. He was said to have had a hospitality job in the resort and campes out to save his cash for romancing the fairer sex. So in a bigger snowfall season who would consider a cave?
BTW has anyone heard of the mystery Falls snow cave gent?
 

Goski

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Think I'll be leaving our little 13ft (4M) caravan at Mt Beauty caravan park this year for Falls Ck day trips if the on mountain accom is over-subscribed. It's a bit small for 2 adults and 2 x16yr olds but I'm considering adding a 4 seater sprinter/hiace/transit van which would give us 2 beds in the van and 2 in the camper plus cooking inside the caravan. However we'd want caravan parks in Vic to be allowed to open the communal bathrooms first. Hopefully by June 22.
 
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Goski

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They have actually restricted campsites quite significantly - it's the asbestos in the ground from Snowy Hydro 1 works back in the day; apparently. Some of my old favourites areas are goneski, including a couple you could go to if things got a bit busy. At least 4 "areas" that I know of off the top of my head, so probably 50-80 camp sites.
Whilst these are neither to scale nor accurately geographic, you get the idea for just this small precinct.
Guthega_Camp02_LI.jpg
Found this photo on Google Maps user photos. Does look like a lot of space is off limits. Only 30 sites are listed now at https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/island-bend-campground. This is the first year I'm aiming to come and and camp a few days in winter so mid-week will be the go.
upload_2020-5-26_21-31-0.png
 
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Jacko4650

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Found this photo on Google Maps user photos. Does look like a lot of space is off limits. Only 30 sites are listed now at https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/island-bend-campground. This is the first year I'm aiming to come and and camp a few days in winter so mid-week will be the go.
upload_2020-5-26_21-31-0.png
This would only be an issue on Friday/Sat nights and during Splitfest but with more people planning to do backcountry, demand may increase. At a guess, there would normally be less than 15 camps across both upper and lower campground areas most of the time and most of those are close to toilets, so plenty of other sites further afield.
 
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