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 Post subject: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:18 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:29 am
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Location: Benoni, East Rand
So I am looking to book in at KNP sometime next year again. This year's trips are either over or organized. And I am looking at the availabilities and it strikes me that the most available (and least expensive mind you) options are camp sites. So I said to Bokkie, look here, dont you think that we should give this a bash? And she reminded me of the single time that we went camping about six years back. And she pointed out that it was far from a luxurious week spent at the seaside.

And I thought about it and yes, we werent happy. All sorts of things went wrong. The inflatable bed (brand spanking new) didnt keep it's air and I had to use the handpump about three times a night to get us off the ground. Quite a noisy business which got people giving us some funny looks during the day. And some nights the wind blew so that we had the tent flat down over our faces.

But if I think back, most of the discomfort was due to the fact that we werent prepared. We didnt have pots or utensils and stuff and I swear, I got so g##vol of eating braai'd meat with my fingers from a paper plate for breakfast, lunch and supper you wont believe.

So, how do you prepare for camping. Do you have a list of stuff that must go with? Is there any such a resource that I can refer to? Not looking for a 5 star experience but hey, after the abovementioned trip Bokkie looked me in the eyes and said listen sonny, dont you ever do that to me again. And I've sort of grown attached to her over the past 30 years and if it's possible, I dont want her leaving now because I take her on uncomfortable holidays.

Cheers - Ed


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:17 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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moobox, you need to be organized, no wait, very organized and you need to have a list that you can check against and then you need a special place in your house (we have a pantry) that everything gets stored in, as you need to keep your camping "things" separate from your other everyday "things" then before you go on a trip you have a trial run, to check on the tents, sleeping bags etc, we have done blow up mattresses :evil: :evil: and we don't do them anymore, they are a waste of money and time and we also believe in the cliché "less is more", we only take the very necessary items with us, all the above mentioned is how we do it :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Shingwedzi 21 - 22 December 2014
Letaba 23 - 26 December 2014
Olifants 27 - 29 December 2014
Tamboti 30 December 2014
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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:27 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:19 am
Posts: 140
Location: New Zealand/Australia
It is all to do with a good list

My mother was a master of the CAMPING LIST. She managed to take numerous children on camping trips in a tiny car where there were no toilets and definately no camp-kitchen. She developed the list starting from her carefree (husband and children free) days. Adding to it as time went by and children arrived. She had the same list, a scruffy piece of cardboard for more than 40 years. (she probably still has it somewhere)

So you have a lot of catching up to do

I in contrast invariable fly with a luggage allowance so have to plan my shopping. I too have a list, a shopping list. We arrive in ZA on the big bird. Here is the start of my list (depends on numbers)
1 x cheap tent
1 x cheap sleeping bag
1 x camping mat
1 x camping chairs
There we are - all you need for a camping trip (!!!)
I bring with me, grotty old crockery, cutlery , tea towel etc. Throw these all away when I leave.

Then off to supermarket and buy
Chilly Bin/esky/cooler
1 x frypan
1 x pot
Give these away when I leave

I have found through the years that excess luggage on the plane is just not worth the cost and drama of carrying too much. Anyway need the space for my shopping onthe return trip

So my advice
- start the list now.
- stay in places where there is a camp kitchen
- make sure that you can stand up in your tent.

I am visiting KNP in 2 months, I have 8 pages of lists !!!

Have fun
(OCD ??)


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:44 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 2536
Location: Durban
You need a tent and something comfy to sleep on and in, folding table and chairs, we have a small folding cupboard with 3 shelves that takes our clothing with a solid top that we stand a small electric lamp on. We take a skottel as well as an electric kettle and an electric 1 plate cooker (in case of inclement weather), camping plates, mugs, cutlery and other (minimal) cooking stuff, a thermoelectric cooler box. We also throw in a couple of rolled up mats to line the floor of the tent. Don't forget electrical extensions and multiplugs. Cable ties are also very handy. You can do just the bare basics but you will enjoy it much more if you have some of the comforts of life.


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:03 pm 
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You will also find useful tips and info in Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers, Moobox :D

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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:29 am
Posts: 382
Location: Benoni, East Rand
OK thanks people. Lots to start up with here. For one, I have fair sized bow tent (I think a three sleeper but I can only stand up in the middle and then I've got tent all around my head. So maybe I should get another tent "design" hey. As for the multiplugs, would that be the blue thing in the link that Matthys made mention of? Ja, I dont want all the worldly comforts but just some of the things to make life a bit easier. In KNP there are communal kitchens so I dotn think I'll bother with hotplates and gas skottels becasue I dont want to carry too much stuff around.

What are good alternatives for the inflatable beds? I know you get stretchers but do they take up a lot of room in your car?

Cheers - Ed


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Durban
The blue thing is the connection that you require to connect your extension cord to the power supply, the multiplug is useful in your tent to plug in more than one electrical appliance at a time eg light, chargers, kettle, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:54 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Durban
Inflatable beds take up the least amount of space to transport. Check it out at home first. You can get puncture repair kits for them or have time to replace it if necessary.

We have a 6 man tent. Now our kids have grown and left home it is positively palatial for just the 2 of us and so comfy. It has a built in separate living area which is nice if the weather is cold or rainy. It is worthwhile investing in a decent sized tent and you will probably go camping more often if you are comfortable as you will enjoy it more.


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:58 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
Posts: 817
Location: Johannesburg
Hi Moobox

When you start camping it will always be a hit and miss kind of situation in my opinion. You can read as many tips and look at as many peoples setups as you like but you still might not be happy. The key to being a happy camper is being comfortable. Now every body has there own needs when it comes to being comfortable.

The biggest and most universal need is a comfortable place to sleep, you can have all the other home comforts in the world but if you cant sleep properly you will never have a good time. My vote goes for a stretcher, yes they are more expensive and bigger but I have never slept so comfortably while camping ever! Also if you have to replace blow up mattress after a while they will start costing more than a stretcher.

We Keep a box full of camping crockery and cutlery, its nothing fancy. With all these plastic shops around you can really get some nice stuff for a good price, instead of the outrageously priced kits that outdoor shops sell. That will stop you having to eat braaied meat with your hands :)

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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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spargish, you have hit the nail on the head, no blow up mattresses rather a good camp stretcher/bed, that is the route we have gone :roll: :roll:

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Shingwedzi 21 - 22 December 2014
Letaba 23 - 26 December 2014
Olifants 27 - 29 December 2014
Tamboti 30 December 2014
Berg en Dal 31 December 204 - 03 January 2015


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:29 am
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Location: Benoni, East Rand
OK, so now I have a wendy hut outside with all the stuff I'm collecting for the camping thing. I'll tel you what is that I'm going to get a bit of a bigger tent. The one I have is one of those bow tents with a little stoep and all and it's quite big. But I can only stand up in the very middle of it and that just feels wierd anyway.

But something that I thought about two minutes ago, is how do you keep cool in a tent? Can you get a little aircon or something? Or at least a portable fan? I cant find too much about this on the webz.

And then another thing. If people are lifting cash and things out of huts and bungalows, what's to stop them just zipping open your tent and taking stuff?

Cheers - Ed


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Ed, if you are going camping during good weather, it is not worth buying a too big tent. You will find you spend hardly any time other than sleeping and a place to keep your stuff, and dressing, in the tent. For eg in Kruger.

We have camped in the worst heat, and also are looking for a way to keep cool. We have an off road van, but that is much the same as a tent. We do have a portable fan that runs off 12v (cig lighter) but it is not very effective (available at most outdoor shops). What I do find very effective is a spray bottle to spritz oneself with cool water, and if you can get one with a fan that runs on batteries, all the better. I call mine my portable aircon.

Just today we saw a portable desk fan that runs on electricity and can charge and run for about 3 hours on the high setting on the charge. This was at Builders Warehouse and an outdoor shop. I think we might go for that one as we cannot find anything better suited.

I would say the lifting of cash etc is not the norm, but still take precautions. In the past we have locked out tent zip with a small padlock as the tents usually have two zips on the door and then we locked them together.

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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:20 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 2536
Location: Durban
Moobox we always take a couple of small padlocks along (the type that you would use on a suitcase) and lock the zips on the tent at night or while we are away from the camp. We also don't leave anything of real value, like electronic toys, cameras, money, etc in the tent if we are not there.
On the whole, campers are an honest bunch and we've never had any trouble. And of course the staff don't service your tent so there aren't those kind of issues.

We have a tiny electric heater which we pack if we're camping in the berg in the colder months. I guess you could take a fan to plug in as most campsites have electricity. Hope you've got plenty of space to pack it all in!
Tents can get very hot so it's a good idea to try to pitch in a spot where it is shaded if possible. Also, especially if you are thinking of getting a new tent, look for one which has good ventilation. Our tent has 2 door openings and 2 windows so it can be opened all the way around and the heat doesn't build up too much.


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:39 pm 
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Location: Benoni, East Rand
Thanks DinkyBird and Stampajane
Ja, I'll go over and get a fan at Builders then. One rioght near the office in Centurion. But you know, my father in law had a farm at Mooketsi in the lowveld. And summertime I had to take my wife there. And she would complain something too terrible while we were there becasue of the heat and the lack of amenities. The folks led a bit of a spartan existence with gas and pumped water and an outside longdrop and after about two days all of this became my fault and doing. And if I asked her what she was having a go at me for she said it's becasue it would hurt her folks' feelings if she said anything to them so she said it to me. But that's got nothing to do with this discussion. I just remember that when we fired up the generator and hooked up a fan, it sort of helped but not nearly enough to stop the complaining.

As for the size of the tent, I dont plan to spend a lot of time in there. After all, the aircon is in the car ne. I'm just not so keen on the style of these bow tents that you've got to curve to adapt you shape to when you move around. So I'm thinking a cabin style tent might be a bit better. I see they've got tents they reckon you can slap together in about a minute. A 4 sleeper that is 210 high and I am 190 high.

Cheers - Ed


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 Post subject: Re: I wanna go camping
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:31 pm 
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There are all sorts of tricks to keep cool, another one is coving yourself with a wet towel when lying down.

You must be meaning the Oz tents. They are very nice, and have additions you can put on too that make an extra section in the front. But they are long, 2m, when packed up.

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