Warning! Camping is addictive!becaleb
There are few things in life as exciting as going away for a break, and nothing quite beats a camping holiday for an adventure.
Whether you’re a city slicker who prefers “glamping” (glamourous camping with all the amenities of home), or a die-hard survivalist determined to start your braai with a single matchstick, there are some essentials that no camping trip can do without.
Camping Tips for the Long Weekend
Plan and shop ahead. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of going away for a holiday, but excitement can quickly turn to tears when you’re three hours away from home and have forgotten something vital – like toilet paper. Make a list of everything you’ll need for the trip and check it off as you pack.
Depending on your destination, you may need to take several days worth of groceries with you. Camp sites are normally situated quite a distance from towns, and no one wants to spend their holiday in search of toothpaste when you could be roasting marshmallows over a fire. Plan your meals and shop accordingly.
Tent trial-run. Tents are generally made of high quality canvas, but it’s a good idea to set them up and make sure they’re weather-proof before you leave. A soggy camp site can wreak havoc with your good mood if your tent leaks. Set it up in the garden and hose it down. Make sure you give it enough time to dry thoroughly before you pack it up. If it has got a tear, you can use a bicycle repair kit to patch it up. If it’s irreparable, you may need to borrow one or invest in a new tent.
Pack all-weather clothing. South Africa is fond of presenting the unwary camper with “four seasons in one day.” Make sure you have different layers of clothing so that you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature may throw at you. If you intend to do any hiking, save packing space by wearing your walking shoes or hiking boots while you’re travelling to your campsite.
Ten useful items to take on a camping trip:
- Toilet Paper – Just in case.
- Tin Foil – Handy for cooking over a fire.
- Water – Even if your camp site has water, make sure you have a container for emergency use.
- Torches or headlamps – Camp sites can be dark. Attaching your headlamp to a plastic bottle of water creates a great light source.
- Pocket knife – Preferably one with a built in bottle and can opener.
- Glow sticks – Attach them to your tent lines so that you can see where they are at night.
- Bug repellent – Mosquitoes and flies can ruin an otherwise perfect trip. Citronella torches or a few sticks of sage thrown on the fire are also effective at keeping them away.
- Tarps – a weather-proofing must have, use it as extra shelter or a groundsheet.
- Rope – Practical uses aside, practising tying knots is a fun camping activity.
- First Aid Kit – A necessary precaution in case of accidents.
Glamping or going into survival mode, the most important thing to take with you on a camping trip is your sense of adventure!