A GUIDE TO LAST MINUTE OVERNIGHTER'S WITH DAN CHAFER
Life doesn't always go to plan, and that's not a bad thing. One slight tweak in your schedule and you might just find yourself with a day or two free. If you happen to be prepared, then that's all that's needed for some damn good times... Have a read below as Dan Chafer gives us the rundown on all the tools/tips you need to be ready for those surprise overnight adventures.
It’s Friday morning and I’m feeling a little restless with not being away in a month. One quick call to my good friend Colby and his feeling the same, we decided to finish work early and head out to Misty Mountains before the sun sets.
Feldon Fact #1. Have a few containers organised with the essentials all ready to go – More time exploring on the other end then pulling your hair out and searching every draw for that coffee mug you blamed “The misso for moving”
It took us about 3 trips away to know what I needed and what I didn’t. Everyone is different in what they think is essential on a night away, don't focus on taking everything but the kitchen sink. Keep it simple and only bring the essentials, it won't take long for you to figure out your ideal bare bones setup.
I raced home and grabbed my containers with all the essentials ready to go, then a quick stop at the farmers market and I’m on the road to Misty Mountain. It was so cold that night we didn’t leave the fire and managed to drink all the red wines supply I’d kept from my wedding.
Feldon Fact #2. Grab a Crow's Nest, no brainer, makes it easy, set up in under 5 mins, can unfold in the dark if your running late on a Friday afternoon from planning a last-minute road trip!
The best decision I have ever made was buying a Feldon Shelter roof top tent. In the past I have always lugged around the huge 5-man tent that takes over an hour (& multiple sets of hands) to set up! It just wasn't possible for spur of the minute overnighters like this. If your like me and don’t want to waste your precious hours setting up and packing down, then wait till you set up the roof top tent for the first time! You'll have your rooftop home, camp fire and glass of red wine in your hand in about 10 minutes!
The next day we ventured out to find some new tracks.
Feldon Fact #3 – Having a good playlist.
What’s a road trip without a good tunes? I’m not sure what car your driving but my trusty old Defender’s speakers are all blown and crackly. It’s from the music blaring from that one mate that’s been out the night before and slightly hung-over yelling “Turn it up” while slightly still drunk in the backseat! As much of a pain in the arse they are they are normally the life of the party and contribute some rad stories around the campfire.
Colby’s self preservation thrives of being somewhere untouched, so we found ourselves deep in the forest in the hopes of finding a new location to call home for the night.
Feldon Fact #4 – You don’t have to go far, there’s magic right in your backyard!
You often forget how close a little adventure away in a remote area can be. The Misty Mountains is only located 1 hour from my house but feels like the middle of nowhere. No matter where you live there is always magic right in your backyard without you knowing it. Having a rooftop tent doesn’t limit you to any camp spots. I was able to jump on an app called You Camp and within 15 minutes on a Friday morning I’d locked in our trip for the night.
Unfortunately the weather turned on us so we marked the spot on our map in the hopes of camping here next time.
Feldon Fact #5 – The fastest route isn’t necessarily the best route to go!
I always type in my final destination into the Google maps. Then change it to the Satellite view. You never know what hidden gems you might find on the way just a street off the main road. Difficult roads often lead to scenes even more beautiful then your final locations! Some of my best journeys were spent navigating down dirt roads that I thought were leading to nowhere and found un-crowded surf or lookout points from the top of a mountain.
Feldon Fact #6 – Check the calendar first! See what’s on and try not to head away on school holidays or public holiday weekends. The benefits in planning a weekend away on a quiet weekend can be a game changer.
You’ll understand what mean when you forget it’s a long weekend and you arrive to remote campsite thinking you’ve scored an absolute gem to yourself. Only to find a convoy of people parking up next to you and cramping your fresh air. I also love being able to see the stars from my Roof Top tent, when you have a busy campsite all the light pollution affects the visibility to seeing the Nebulae and galaxies.
Feldon Fact #7 – Head to Misty Mountains for a night.
This place is magical to wake up to in the morning! You’ll see morning mist roll through the valley early and once all clears it reveals blue bird skies! The property is 3500 acres so there’s plenty to explore with little hidden waterfalls after some good rain. When your running pretty low on fire wood just a a short trip into the bush and there’s loads of fallen goodies for fire wood. Handy tip is to always have a mini chainsaw. If you are in the area, check out the Misty Mountains here.
Following these tips & having a setup like this has made it possible for me to always leave at the drop of a hat without putting much thought process into it at all. I’m never too concerned if I arrive in the dark either, as putting up the tent is such a simple process as long as I have my trusty head torch.
The age old saying "I'm here for a good time, not a long time" rings true for these type of adventures & I hope some of my tips help make your next over night mission that much better. Happy adventures!
Photos & Tips by the man himself: Dan Chafer