If you really want to get out into the Australian backcountry, chances are you're going to be crossing plenty of desert. With that in mind, you'll probably need to pitch up a tent and sleep in the desert once or twice. It can be wonderful to be out under the stars in such a location, but there are several issues that will face anyone who wants to camp in the desert.
Luckily enough, you can eliminate many of them simply by choosing a roof-top tent instead of a traditional ground tent. These are stored on top of your vehicle, folding out and erecting on the roof, and they come with several advantages over traditional tents when it comes to desert camping.
Here are just four.
1. Protection from Wildlife
Whether you're a visitor or a native, you'll probably be aware that Australia has more than its fair share of dangerous wildlife. If you're in the desert, most of those animals can be hard to spot. If you're pitching up on the ground, you might be very close to hazardous spiders, snakes, and scorpions. A roof-top tent raises you up from the crowd, so you won't need to worry about anything crawling inside. You'll also be safe in case any kangaroos come investigating.
2. Fewer Anchor Points
Pitching a tent is often a bit of a chore, but it's much harder when you're working with sand instead of firm ground. The desert is often very windy, so you need to pitch out plenty of guy-lines, and it can be very annoying having to find rocks to weight them down when the sand won't hold them. Roof-top tents do still require some guy-lines, but you'll need far fewer than you would with a traditional tent.
3. More Comfortable Bottom
If you're crossing grassland, it can be relatively easy to find a flat stretch large enough to pitch a tent. This is much harder in the desert; sand tends to pile in small dunes and slopes, and you'll often find it moving around a lot at night. As such, you'll find it hard to find a level place to pitch up. This isn't an issue with a roof-top tent.
4. Reduced Sand Problems
Did you know the desert has quite a lot of sand? Probably. This can be very annoying when you camp on the ground since the wind will blow sand against your tent, and you'll find that it is blown into any belongings you have on the ground. This problem is alleviated by being a little higher up.