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Big Red Bash Gear Guide

Camping on the red dirt is an amazing experience, and we’re here to help make sure you’re self-sufficient, bush-ready and prepared for an incredible time camping in the desert.

We know that some of you haven’t camped at the Bash before - maybe it’s even your first time camping in the outback! It can be hard to know where to start when you’re packing for a trip like this, so we’ve put this page together as a jumping-off point.

Please use it as a guide: there might be things on the list you don’t need, or things you’ll want to take that aren’t on the list.

Your Camp Setup

Winter in the desert is usually beautiful, warm and dry during the day and cold at night, but it can get windy and once in a blue moon it does rain, so come prepared for all weather:
  • Somewhere to sleep: Tent / swag / camper trailer / camper van / caravan
  • Sleeping gear: Mattress, pillows, sleeping bags / linen
  • Shelter from the sun: Awnings, tarps, umbrellas, pop-up gazebos etc
  • Wet weather: Extra tarps or awnings especially for swags and canvas tent
  • Lighting: Torch & spare batteries, camp lanterns etc
  • Table & chairs

Camping tips:

  • Bring a solid shelter with a waterproof floor.
  • Bring a tarp - great for shelter from sun, wind or rain, protecting your tent floor or just a little privacy!
  • Put a closed-cell foam mat under your inflatable mat for extra warmth and to protect from prickles
  • Bring strong pegs for the red dirt, and a set of sand pegs can also be handy if your campsite is a bit soft.
  • Avoid mesh-only tents - the dust comes right in


Your Camp Kitchen

  • Cooking gear: Stove and plenty of fuel/gas. Pans / Saucepans / Kettle
  • Keep it cool: Fridge / esky with ice (limited supply of ice available for purchase at the Bash)
  • Cleaning gear: Wash-up tub / Tea towel / Sponge / Dishwashing liquid
  • Grey water capture container: 20L drum or storage on your vehicle
  • Plate / Bowl / Mug / Cutlery
  • Rubbish bags

No glass is allowed in the concert, public or camp areas. Glass allowed in your camp kitchen only.

Please take all grey water, including dish water, to dump points - do not tip on the ground.


Eating and Drinking

You can buy basic groceries in Birdvsille and there’s a range of delicious food vendors at the Bash, but we recommend bringing some food with you as well. There is no drinking water available at the Bash so make sure you fill up in Birdsville before heading out to Big Red.
  • Plenty of food and snacks
  • Drinking water (Recommended 3L of drinking water per person per day)
  • Extra water for washing up
  • Cans/casks of alcohol

Food tips

  • Wraps keep better than bread
  • Individually wrap fruit and vegetables in newspaper and store in a cardboard box to keep them fresh
  • For quick and easy camp meals, pre-cook and cryovac or vacuum-pack your meals - soups, stews, curries and pasta dishes work great!



  • Protection from the elements
  • Hat, sunglasses
  • Head net/fly net
  • Lightweight scarf or ‘Buff’ .. to cover your face if it’s dusty. (You can buy a Big Red Bash buff at the Merchandise Tent for $15)
  • Rain Jacket / umbrella / windproof/waterproof jacket



During the day it’s generally warm and sunny, so bring lightweight clothing to protect from the sun, eg.

  • Long sleeved shirts
  • Long pants
  • Comfortable shoes/boots for walking on the dirt


Night time

It can get very cold at night, so bring plenty of warm clothing, eg.

  • Long-sleeved thermals and a fleece
  • Warm jackets and pants
  • Beanie, Scarf, Gloves



You might want to think about adding these things to your regular toiletries:

  • Toilet paper
  • Moisturiser and lip balm (it is very dry in the desert!)
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Towel
  • Wet wipes (dry shower!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Womens sanitary items

REMEMBER: you must bring ALL medications (there is no pharmacy in Birdsville or at the Bash)

Nice to Have

  • Firewood (No firewood collection at the event. Limited supply available for purchase)
  • Picnic blanket or chair for concert area
  • Cash (credit card services are limited at the Bash)
  • Car charger/portable power bank to recharge phone etc.
  • Games and boogie boards for dune surfing
  • Funky outfit for Bashville Drags race!


Bashville Site Rules

Please click here to see the Big Red Bash site rules. 


Emergency Gear and Safety

You’re going to need some extra emergency and repair gear for outback travel. Exactly what you need will depend on your vehicle and which route you’re taking.
The QLD Government resource Driving in the Outback is a good place to start HERE.

For more essential tips on planning for the Bash, don’t miss the Coming to the Bash checklist and our first timers guide to the Bash. You can also find more info about the event on our FAQ page.


Thanks to all of our sponsors who help us bring you this amazing event.

Presenting Partners

Major Sponsors

RedArc Unsealed 4x4 The Birdsville Hotel

Official Vehicle Sponsor

Volkswagen Commercial


RV Daily Regional Express

Government and Council Supporters

Big Run Events, the organiser of the Big Red Bash is enormously grateful for the various forms of assistance provided to the event by Tourism and Events Queensland, the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, and Diamantina Shire Council.

Outback Queensland Tourism

Birdsville Big Red Bash event extensions are funded under the Year of Outback Tourism Events Program during the Year of Outback Tourism 2019.


Big Red Bash is a unique high profile outback event, which draws significant media coverage. If you are interested in Big Red Bash sponsorship opportunities, please contact us, and our sponsorship manager will respond to you.

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