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Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers

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ecojunkie
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Camping hints and tips

Unread postby ecojunkie » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:13 am

Mgoddard suggested I start this thread - so here goes!

Any practical hints and tips for making camping or caravaning in SANparks a more comfortable experience welcome.

1. To make the awning slide easily into the channel try rubbing a candle along the edge of the canvas (and a Wonderwielitjie helps too)

2. You don't need to remove the awning every time you move camp - flipping it over the top of the caravan and tying it securely to the handles on the side/front works for moving within a park - not sure it would be a good idea on the open road though!
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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby Mgoddard » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:00 am

Thanks EJ, I hope all those seasoned campers come forward and give us lots of advice :D :D

What is a "wonderwielitjie" :shock:

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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby ecojunkie » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:19 am

It is sold at caravan shops. A small gadget that fits in the awning channel and has a wheel attached. You thread the rope from the awning through (need a long rope, so may have to tie extra on) and then you can pull on that like a pulley while feeding the awning into the channel. Much easier when coping alone.....
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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby naomi c » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:06 am

Rubbing a bar of sunlight soap against the canvas also works very well.

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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby Shidzidzii » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:58 am

I have done a lot of caravaning in the Cape (especialy Tsitsikama in spring )where wind dictates much of the time . Learnt a few measures .

- To lessen the strain on the guy-ropes splice and tent grommet run the rope down along the pole about 150 mm , then do a blanket stitch so that there is a loop around the pole from which the rope emerges to the peg . You can now pull the rope up as tight as possible because it is pulling on the pole directly and not around the peg at the top .

- to reduce the "swaying / rocking" of the van in high wind , use ratchet tie-downs running downwards from the 4 corner moving handles to pegs in the ground and pull them up tightish . The increase in downward force means the van stands more stable on it's corner jacks so it can't rock .

- in KNP I only use free standing gazebo's so that on the last night these can be taken down (quicker) for an early morning start .

- all the fridge/ freezer , coolboxes , plastic food bins have got little snap hasp locks fitted so that no primates can open them .
These "snap hasp locks" are mini versions of the trailer lid lock levers and hardware stores stock them .
For the life of me I don't know why the camp managers don't put them on the fridge doors of the bungaloes .

- put those model rubber snakes around your camp and on the roof . makes primates wary .

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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby ecojunkie » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:40 pm

I do the rope around pole trick - and as my awning only has one rope at each point I have made extra ropes so I can have 2 ropes at each point pulling at approx 90degrees from each other for stability. I made a loop at the end of the extra rope which just slips over the top of the pole where it protrudes through the eye.

My awning also does not have side poles at the top, just corner poles. Fellow campers here have shown me separate 'eye' pieces which can be bought to put into the end of the full tent frame poles so I can use them with the awning corner poles. Now I will be able to make up sides for the awning when I get home and check on length.

Thanks for the rachet/handle idea!

For cool boxes etc I use a suitcase tie of the sort used round luggage for flights. A bungee rope can also be useful.

A net curtain fixed at the door of the caravan helps to keep bugs out - and is also useful if in the tented accomodation as they don't have screen doors!

And shoebags to keep small items easily available but neatly stowed away are very useful.

Keep sharing ideas - they spark off others!
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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby Shidzidzii » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:14 pm

Lets try and explain the rope around pole trick beter , it's simple when you try it .

The guy rope (or ropes) are hooked to the top of the pole sticking through the grommet of the tent fabric . One end is free and is going to the stormpeg and then it will be drawn up tight . That's the normal way that I hope you visualize .

Now rather before you take the free end to the peg , run it down the pole , hold it loosly with your left thumb , swing the whole rope around the back of the pole making a loop around the pole which you complete by pulling the end through the rope above your thumb ( a blanket stitch ) and then pull the rest of the rope through to the peg . It is not a knot so comes loose easily . The tension from the peg on the rope pulls on the loop around the pole .

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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby ecojunkie » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:26 pm

Make it easier still...

This is what a wonderwhiel looks like
Image

And this is what the ropes look like when tied as mikev suggests
Image

It helps when you are set up and can photograph it!
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Re: Camping hints and tips

Unread postby BunnyHugger » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:07 pm

I have taken 2 litre coke bottles (Most 2 l bottles will do), cut off the bottom (obviously after having consumed the contents) :lol: , drilled a hole through the lids, and used them to shield my electrical plugs from rain and dew, especially where one cable is plugged into another because it's too short to reach from the electrical box to the camp site.
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Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers

Unread postby mizzbee » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:39 pm

Tsendze it is.

I have 4 tents. One not worth talking about, a 20+ year old nylon 2man hiking tent, a 18 year old 4 man cotton canvas A-Frame and my canvas safari travel tramp for easy pitch one night stays.

I have travelled all over South Africa visiting many of the SANParks with the three mentioned. I personally do not use the hiking tent anymore, but it is still in use by the kids I take camping.

My only disappointment is the gazebo I recently purchased. It is a good make but not canvas. It has stood its ground in gale force winds but is useless in rain.

I also use a thermal electric fridge which I read many months back that you don't like. Mine makes a dreadful racket so I am in the market for a new fridge. Any recommendations?.
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Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:25 am

I cannot give any advice on fridges . Mine was exchanged for a good few fireside stories over a few Red Hearts , it is a 3 way fridge , I use it only on the gas mode - I have never even tested the 12v/220V modes - as I prefer camps without 220v , they tend to be quieter and attract those who can do without haird dryers etc - though I am amused that some folks pitch up with electric air pumps to inflate matresses ...

The 3m x 3m ripstop material tent was bought allmost new for R1500 , a bargain I had to grab , the gazebo is of the same make .

I neglected the packing bit till the evening before I left , and with a brand new car with 50 km registered and a removeable towbar that took a while to figure , I left home in the early hours . With this lot of untested equipment - I had not yet even tried pitching the tent - I arrived at Tsendze at gate closing time in March 2007 and managed to pitch camp without assistance , this after a fair amount of cussing born out of desparation , and I lit the braai fire at 9 pm .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:50 am

ndloti, how much gas does your fridge use? (per day)
Does it keep cold enough on gas?
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Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers

Unread postby ndloti » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:00 am

It keeps goods towards the bottom frozen , uses less than a bottle - the size just under knee height , you can see it above next to the fridge and cooler box - over 6 days .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers

Unread postby ecojunkie » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:43 pm

I cope with everything myself too. The best way to manage height problems is to put the last part of the poles in after all the other bits are fastened.
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Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Lovers

Unread postby Senyetse » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:18 am

I have a 14 year old Edesa gas/220 v absorption freezer I got from my father. Works well but battles a bit when its hot and it has to be dead level.

Compressor camping fridges are much better at handling high ambient temps but you only get them in 220/12 V so you'll have to get a dual battery system set up if you're going camping where there is no electricity and you have to make sure the battery is not drained so you'll have to drive the vehicle every day to charge the second battery. But that should not be a problem in KNP.

mizzbee, you should look at the Campmaster, Engel, Snowmaster/Kellerman and National Luna fridges. Most of them make both absorption and compressor fridges (not on the same fridge though!).

I still want to get one of those compressor fridges (very pricey though) and a good quality gazebo. I've got one of those cheap ones and the poles snap when the wind blows a little.
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