I did it. I survived three nights of camping and almost 2,000km of driving. My tent held up a treat and at no point was I worried for my safety. All the time I spent working out the right gear was a worthy investment, as I lacked for nothing in that department.
The tent was pretty east to assemble. I could get the whole thing set up, including sleeping mat, sleeping bag etc, in about 10 minutes. Taking the tent down was just as fast, so I’m happy with how that went, too.
But with little more than a few threads of nylon between and the outside world, the biggest “problem” I found was the noise. Not of other campers, but of nearby traffic. Particuarly road trains using their engine breaks. The key learn there is to wisely choose camping sites and in fact my third night was spent on a farm about 9k outside a town, and it was super peaceful.
There was quite a bit of rain on that final night, so I spent some extra time to peg out the fly with additional guy ropes to make sure the tent remained dry, and that worked really well. Learning how to tie those knots before I left was definitely a good idea. I’m hoping for some clear weather on the way home so I can camp a night or two without using the fly. The top of the tent is mesh, so I’d be able to see straight through to the stars, which would be pretty special.
The only thing that went horribly wrong was due to my own stupidity. On the second night I locked my keys in the boot of the car. Fortunately, I had already set up the tent, had my toiletries in there and had taken the food and stove out of the car. A quick call to roadside assist had someone out to see me within an hour. But he was worried about setting off the car alarm so returned in the mornin. Armed with some extra information from Google, he was able to break into the car in less time than it took for me to pull the tent down.
So, my top tip is this: when car camping, put your keys in the tent as soon as you put it up.
My paranoia about keeping my belongings secure was my undoing, so I need to learn how to be more trustful. When I’m hiking in the wilderness, that won’t be such an issue fortunately.