About Us

We are excited at the prospect of helping you to independently and comfortably camp and travel safely when you may not have thought it was possible.

Welcome to Set To Camp!

This website and our Camping Kickstart Program really started out as a way to help urban families to experience the many joys of camping just like any other family. The problem is, unlike in the good old days, many families are living in smaller properties, with ever decreasing backyards, if indeed there is one. 

Check out the freeways heading out of the cities at the start of a summer holiday period or long weekend and you will see plenty of camping families, but they are mostly towing something - trailers, camper trailers, caravans or RV's. There are not many that don't. In fact, at a recent very popular camping holiday park, less than 10% of sites appeared to be "trailer free". 

That's where we step in! This site, as well as our member only portal, The Campus, is aimed at helping families to equip themselves for comfortable camping and safe travelling without the need for any kind of trailer, including choosing the right camping gear and the right car as well as packing it safely.

While we "bang on" about camping trailer-free all of the time, much of the information on this site and in The Campus would be of interest to anyone wanting to simplify their camping, lighten their load and save some time and money along the way. 

So, whatever type of camping you enjoy, we love having you here.

Who are we?

Hi, my name is Joanne and, together with my sister Helen, we have worked tirelessly to bring you Set to Camp, a unique resource to help families and beginner campers to camp comfortably and safely without the need for any kind of trailer or RV.

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!
As for me, well I'm the trailer-free camping obsessive! I have a background in financial and business management and corporate governance, and a desire to transfer those skills to the campsite. 

We are both excited at the prospect of helping you to create many happy memories through camping.

Where it all began

After a week long camping holiday of solid rainfall with our then five month old son, we realised the importance of an effective camping setup to cater for all weather conditions. More precisely, we realised how inadequate our recently purchased six person dome tent was in the face of a week of solid rain amounting to almost 100 mls.

Image of camping setup in the rain with wet camping gear

As you can see in the image, our early family camping setup wasn't very inviting. With a flimsy awning and constant rain, we had little shelter to sit or cook under, and anything not inside the tent sat out in the rain.

Rather than starve and be cocooned in our tent, we had to rely on the hospitality of our co-camping friends who had plenty of undercover shelter and other creature comforts brought along courtesy of their trailers.

In the end, we packed up our waterlogged tent a few days earlier than planned and headed home to dry out, while everyone else happily continued on with their holiday.

After this experience, we went back to the drawing board. Basically, we wanted what our friends had - but minus the trailer. We didn't own a trailer, didn't want to own one because we had nowhere to store it in inner city Melbourne, couldn't borrow one and weren't particularly confident in towing, parking or reversing one anyway.

Family tent camping setup

We purchased a new touring tent with some useful accessories and a much bigger external awning that we could transport on the roof racks of our car. The image depicted above is our current setup and just one of many options available to you.

That has become the basis of the comfortable and safe camping setup we’ve put together to rival that of our friends, without spending too much money, and most importantly, without the need for a trailer.

Some years later, a request from our son to bring along a friend (together with their luggage, sleeping gear, chair and possibly even their bike) sent us into a mild panic at the thought that our precious car back seat storage space would effectively be gone.

More importantly though, the safety aspect of transporting four people and their camping gear without the assistance of any kind of trailer became a real challenge.

Our further modified camping setup really grew from our son's simple and reasonable request to invite a friend, and has inspired the creation of this website to help others experiencing similar challenges as well as other barriers to camping.

We’ve always really enjoyed checking out the latest gear and working out our optimum trailer-free camping setup, and we get a real buzz out of finding solutions to even the smallest of challenges. We hope to have a bit of fun with this website, but more importantly, we are excited at the prospect of helping you to independently and comfortably camp and travel safely when you may not have thought it was possible.

Our camping Code

Comfortable, safe and responsible camping:

  • We care about the environment and aim to leave no trace
  • We aim to buy well and buy once
  • We are considerate of local cultures and communities, fellow campers and our hosts
  • We are safety and budget conscious, and resourceful
  • We love the great outdoors and enjoy the simple pleasures
  • We like to have fun and focus on family and friends and meeting new like-minded people