About us

Who are we?

Portrait sq1rMy name is Joanne, I am married and we have a son. I am an accountant by profession (yes, a bean counter... and proud of it!) and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I have been a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand for longer than I care to admit, but lets just say it's well north of 20 years.

I started out in private practice before moving to the not-for-profit sector and have been mainly involved in the areas of accounting, financial and business management and corporate governance.

In recent years, on top of the responsibilities of family life and raising our son, I have been working in our family business, wearing many hats, as well as (rather obsessively) applying my skills to our own personal trailer-free camping setup and then subsequently to this website.

Helen is our IT guru and has single-handedly put this website together - we absolutely and most definitely wouldn't be here without her. She also lives in Melbourne and started out as a maths teacher before moving into the IT sector. As well as her 20 plus years (she's not keen to admit too much either) experience in IT and website development, her four children have kept her busy.

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.

Tent in wet weatherAs 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.

Camping setupWe 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. 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 philosophy

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