Any single men looking for an adventurous Aussie lady who loves camping and exploring the outdoors?? We may have found the perfect lass for you! Meet Lauren Wallman from Western Australia. This gorgeous lady isn’t afraid to pack her swag, head out on trips and camp alone and we’d bet, she’d give some men a serious run for their money when it came to travel and off-road tips. She has big ambitions and an even bigger ‘travel to-do list’. Enjoy Laurens story!
Name: Lauren Wallman
City and State you live in: I am a West Australian girl. Perth born and bred.
Describe yourself in 5 words. Friendly, outgoing, adventurous, positive, independent
What are you up to right now?
Right now I’m travelling in Exmouth, WA. I work two weeks on two weeks off on Barrow Island which gives me plenty of time to go on camping adventures (I am so stoked with my roster!). I can’t go a month without some kind of camping trip, whether it be an hour away from Perth just for a night or like now, a 12 day trip up the WA coast to the beautiful Ningaloo Reef. Being out in nature, exploring and camping is what genuinely makes me my happiest.
What is your current off-road vehicle including your set-up/living arrangements?
Earlier this year I got back from 12 months travelling around Australia with an absolute legend named Hutchy. We are no longer together, but I can’t imagine a year topping this. Travelling around Aus in a 4wd had been my #1 dream since I was 17 (I am 32 now) and it exceeded my expectations, Australia is bloody amazing!! We did it in a 1998 Landcruiser Troopy, the ultimate touring vehicle I think. I now have a Hyundai Tuscan which is great because I can fit my swag in it if it’s really cold or windy outside, but it is not a 4WD. My sister gave it to me for free, and I am very grateful for that, especially because I hadn’t worked for a year! I’m now saving to buy a 4WD and thinking about buying a Cruiser or a Patrol, but really whatever I can afford.
How old were you when you started your 4WD adventures?
I never really did any real four-wheel driving until I was in my 20’s. My family are city folk and although Dad took us camping when we were growing up, we never really did any four-wheel driving. I bought myself a 1993 Pajero and my first proper go at four-wheel driving was on the beaches north of Perth near Two Rocks. It wasn’t until I travelled around Australia in the Troopy that my confidence grew. We went camping on Ningaloo Station with mates who were expert four-wheel drivers, and we got on the Two way, and they taught us everything. I asked a lot of stupid questions! I definitely think that a 4wd is essential if you want to get to the best and most secluded places in Australia. There is nothing else in the world better that being in the middle of the bush with no one for miles, sitting by a campfire drinking cold beer.
Who inspired you into this ‘adventurous’ lifestyle?
I am not sure, to be honest, I think it is just in my blood. I am quite different to the rest of my family, who do enjoy camping, but I love it and can’t live without it. I just love nature so much and exploring new places. After uni, I moved to Karratha for almost a year to save money, and I think that started my obsession. We would go to Karijini and Millstream National Parks on our days off which is so incredible out there. Karijini will always be one of my favourite places in the world.
Most memorable destination in Australia and why?
This is such a tough question!!! As I said I love Karijini, but I also have to say that that the Kimberley would be another absolute favourite. The Gibb River Rd was spectacular. There are so many amazing gorges, lookouts and epic camping spots. Another place that also blew me away was Tasmania.
The most bizarre experience you’ve encountered on your travels?
It would have to be camping underground in Coober Pedy, yep underground!!! Coober Pedy gets so hot in summer and cold in winter that quite a high % of the population live in underground ‘dugouts’ where the temperature is a constant 23 degrees. There is a Caravan Park just out of town called Ribas Underground Camping, and you can set up your tent underground. You have to see it to believe it; it’s that bizarre. It was perfect because when I was there it was 36 degrees outside and we all know that is not fun in a tent!
What’s your favourite dish to cook while you’re camping?
I like to keep things simple. I love cooking in the camp oven when I get a chance, but my go-to camping dinner would have to be lamb chops and salad. So simple and delicious! If I am trying to save money (like when I was travelling around Aus), I ate heaps of tuna. You can make a good tuna pasta with long-life cream, nothing in it needs to be refrigerated (very handy, especially on the Gibb River Road where fridge space was very limited).
Describe your ideal campsite.
My ideal campsite is miles away from any other camper, on top of a breakaway so there would be an amazing view, with a campfire and a million stars. I also love camping on the beach (when it is not windy!!) and in the middle of the forest. Anywhere secluded really, I am not fussy. As long as there is an esky of cold beer and good tunes on my UE Boom.
What Australian Tracks are on your bucket list?
I would love to do the Munja Track off the Gibb River Rd, the Old Telegraph Track to Cape York and anything in the Great Sandy, Gibson, Tanami or Simpson Deserts. I just need to find someone with more experience than me to go with (oh and I need to get myself a 4WD!). Right now I do most of my camping trips solo, which wouldn’t be a good idea if I went that remote.
Name one product you wouldn’t leave home without.
I keep things simple with my setup. Less is more I think. My basic set up consists of a $20 cooker, $5 chair from Kmart, an Ice Box from Bunnings, Swag, tent and card table. I can’t leave home without my Kindle because I love reading, especially when camping because it is so relaxing. I never was a fan of Kindles because I love real books, but they are so convenient and take up such little space compared to books.
Any advice for new camping/4wd enthusiasts?
Just get out and do it! Camping and exploring nature is seriously amazing and so good for the soul. If you are new to camping you don’t need to go overboard, just get yourself the basics and head out somewhere near where you live. Once you get the hang of it, you can venture out further and further. One of my biggest tips is to make sure you have a good comfy bed where you will have a good sleep. A good nights sleep is so important! It’s not fun being tired. I went to Clarke Rubber and bought myself a 50mm mattress for my swag which is so comfy, and I always have good pillows, earplugs and an eye mask in the car in case of loud neighbours (or birds that start chirping pre-dawn!). Also, don’t let being on your own stop you from going camping. I do it all the time and find it’s the best way to learn about yourself and really get away from it all. Just make sure you tell someone where you are going and be safe.
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