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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:08 am 
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Great Thread :clap: :clap:

Having recently got into camping in 2010, I all to aware of this. I started off buying a great big 10 sleeper campmaster.....We camped the first time at the 2010 cricket( Myself and my dad) and boy that was an experience, matress on the 1 table and 2 chairs. We used it a few months later with the whole family and after one rain storm it started having issues :slap:

So after that my Dad invested in a more expenive more modest 4 sleepers, but it was bigger and wouldnt fit in the car, so naturally the trailer eventually followed as well as a gazebo. Needless to say I did buy a lot of crap along the way that we dont even use any more. I can finally say we have our camping down to an arty now and we know what we want to do, we now how to pack it and we dont need any more fancy gadgets.

Here are some of my tips!
1. When buying a tent quality over quantity, and spend a bit more to get good quality.
2.Tent pegs, I have never found a standard tent peg that comes with a tent strong enough for kruger. You will have to buy stronger ones or make your own like I have, they go straight through concrete :mrgreen:
3.Hammers: Rubber Mallets dont work, get a good 4 pound hammer
4.Blow up matress's: I cannot express to you how much I hate these things, I am yet to find a good quality one that last for a good period of time. So I brought a stretcher, if you dont get a good nights sleep you wont enjoy the trip.
5.A table, you have to have a table, you cant use the cooler box, how are you going to get new drinks out??
7. Lastly make sure you are enjoying yourself, and camp in the way that makes you happy, dont try to keep up with the Jones'

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Here is a REAL confession.

When camping in winter, take an electric blanket. :roll:

Lying in bed at night, one hears the sounds of the bush, that chalet people miss.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Hi Avon! I loved reading that after trying all the fancy stuff, you're back in a tent!!!

I'm attaching the link to my first camping experience (I splashed out R200 on a tent as I wasn't sure if I'd even like camping!) A photo of my tent is about half way down the first page ...

viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48237&hilit=Confirmed+Kruger+Camper%27s+Trip

Since then I have bought a bigger tent and have a few more necessities and, apart from during the rainy season, I am a camping addict! Love it, love it, love it!

I stay in accommodation during the rainy season, but as you said, lying in a bed listening to the the air con unit and the fridge freezer just can't compete with lying in a tent and listening to the nightlife bush sounds!

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:50 pm 
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I have posted it about 2 years ago in another thread, but it is worth repeating it. Whilst on our way back from Zambia, we stopped and camped at Gweta in Botswana. Not that we are experts, but we have learned the hard lesson by packing in too much stuff. In no time flat, our camp was pitched and we then started the fire.

Just then two brand new Land Rover Defenders from Gauteng arrived. It was Oupa and Ouma in one vehicle and Sus and Daan in the other one together with their two kids. We could not believe what happened next. They opened the vehicles and unpacked everything, which was still in the original packaging. It was put in a semi circle behind the back of the vehicle. Suddenly they realized that there was nothing to sit on, so they looked for the bags with the chairs. After finding it, they could not unfold the chairs. Being good neighbours, we walked over to help them

By then it was getting dark and they could not find the box with lamps and torches. So, all their stuff were removed from the packaging and the latter were used to make a bon fire. After a lengthy period, the torches were found, but did anybody remember to buy batteries? No.

To make a long story short, By midnight, they have still not managed to sort out everything. And then came the cherry on the cake. Oupa and Ouma had a rooftop tent, but Ouma was unable to climb the ladder to get into the tent. Apparently she was too old and didn't have the strength to go upstairs. Oupa tried to push her up, but that did not work.

The next morning everything were thrown (not packed) into the vehicle and the return journey to Gauteng started.

The bottom line is, know your equipment before you go camping. You can even pitch your tent in your garden and stay there for the weekend. Then you will know what is working and what not.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Very interesting topic. Brought a few smiles. My parents told me I was 1 month old to the day when they took me camping by the sea. Mind you the whole family went, Granny, Grandpa, aunts, uncles cousins and all. So I started young. My cousin was a month older than me and we shared a cot (a proper iron cot) so it was luxury for me. We camped every year over Christmas holidays (6) weeks at the sea until my late teens. Later years my SO and I bought a caravan when our kids were 7 and 5 years old. They are now 42 and 40. The caravan was packed over June/July school holidays and we went at first by ourselves then later with caravaning friends all over SA, and even Zimbabwe and Namibia.. My kids know South Africa and especially Kruger. My oldest takes his family at least twice a year and they camp in a good size tent. Their equipment is packed into a 6ft Venter but I daresay it will be getting a bit too small for all the equipment soon. I enjoy the luxury of a caravan, we now have a 2 man van, light and easy for two old fogies to move around and tow. My fondest memories are the Kruger and Namaqualand flowers.
One thing about tent pegs and Kruger. Take an electric drill and long bit of the correct thickness. Drill the hole in the correct place then knock the peg into that hole. A 4 pound hammer is also an essential. One camper also wrote that 6 inch nails (each one with a washer) is best for tenting.
I hope you enjoy your tenting for a long time - and lie back and enjoy the night sounds of Kruger for many years.


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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:25 pm 
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After reading a post a couple of years ago about the 6inch nails and washers I went to buy a kilo of them. I couldn't believe how easy it suddenly became to pitch the tent, and when returning home, I threw away all the bent and damaged tent pens that came with the tents. I swear by those nails and washers :thumbs_up:

As a kid we also went caravaning all over the country, then I bought a tent some 10 years or so ago, and replaced it later with a special two bedroom tent brought from Holland by Roaneric. Now we have the 2 bedroom tent, a 3 man tent and a 2 man tent. They are all stored away in our truck now, and only taken out when the kids are going along on our trips, or when we have guests that prefer camping to chalets.

At this stage, our truck is the best, as the only thing you have to do when set up camp is to loosen the 2 tables that are fixed on the side, take out our 2 camping chairs and there you go, ready for a fire :twisted: If we are staying in one camp more than one night, we put up the gazebo and leave the chairs under it. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:05 pm 
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So I'm not alone :wink:

Groundsheets

Can anyone remember the days when the campsites were nicely covered with lawn? Those were the days - until someone realized that if you cover the grass with a solid groundsheet for two weeks at a time it's a hopeless task to keep the pristine lawn going. At Lethaba the solution was to lay some brick paving at each and every stand and requesting people to make use of it.

The years went by and the lawn deteriorated into bare ground, the solid groundsheets were replaced with the netted versions that were easier to clean and so much lighter. Some people even decided to make use of both (because you already had a solid one anyway). Then on that one trip the rain came down by the bucket load.

Well, I suppose the whole idea behind having groundsheets surrounding your villa was to try and keep the sleeping section (which by now was only about ten percent of the total floorspace) completely dry and free of dirt. Add-a-room-tents with more folding tables, more stretchers for the kids, washing machine and tumble dryer for the rainy days, etc. taking up the rest. Have you ever seen so many people digging trenches for the water (with a tin mug) to run around the villa instead of through it? At the time some even realized that maybe a spade would be helpful in the future and they never went camping without one in the years to follow. Now to pack up and go with the very wet and dirty mess of tents, furniture and six groundsheets, because you had to get from Lethaba to Lower Sabie to do it all over again.

Fortunately this knowledge served us well during our camping trip to Maroela during the 2012 floods. Rally tent, two folding tables and two folding chairs can be packed up in a hurry - even when it's soaking wet. Keeping dirt and rain out of the sleeping area became much easier when we found a simple solution - remove your shoes/sandals, put them in a bag and place underneath the step or hang them somewhere convenient just on the outside of the door. You are going to clean the inside of the van when you get back anyway, not so?

Mebbe a rethink about that battery powered drill with the flat battery for the tent pegs are in order :twisted:

What's wrong with me, men don't easily admit having bough junk :)


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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:55 am 
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Freshly baked bread anyone?

Us humans are funny creatures. I cannot even begin to count the times I have uttered (and listened to) the words "ek wil nie sukkel as ons kampeer nie" (I want things to be easy when camping). We can easily and at length try to justify the reasons why we bought some new gimmick, but to admit that we may have wasted our hard earned cash requires us to go through a process. This process can take a while, sometimes even years will go by. Firstly you must be able to admit to yourself that you might have been wrong, then you need to start questioning the reasons why you now think that way. We all buy stuff based on the information we have available at a certain point in time (impulse and crafty salesmen plays some part in this as well). Secondly you must be able to admit to yourself; and only after that to others, that you were indeed wrong and then start investigating alternative solutions. The more you do this the more you realize that it's not the end of the world and the easier it becomes.

Sometimes plain old stubbornness makes the above rather difficult. Picture this - the smell of freshly baked bread drifts across the camp in Satara. You cannot help but wander across to find the source of this rather unusual and out of place aroma. You start talking and gathering information and as soon as you get back from your trip you visit the gimmick store and purchase the following:- One scaled down version of a Weber charcoal dome braai (because it's only for two people anyway). Two scaled down versions of aluminum bread baking pans. Four packets of instant ready mix wholewheat bread (just add water). Charcoal and firelighters - you have listened well and know that you only need six briquettes and know the exact time it will take to bake the perfect bread in Kruger.

On the very next trip (after trying your newly acquired magic at home) you find some space somewhere in the vehicle and cart everything with to Maroela. Even before you run out of freshly baked bread purchased at Hoedspruit you fire up your contraption and bake two lovely and healthy wholewheat breads. The choice is now yours - either you will be eating bread only for a few days or you will share with your new neighbors that pitched camp next to your site. And so the cycle starts all over again.

At the end of the day you could have stayed at least six extra days camping with the money spent on two (make that one, because that was your share) perfectly baked breads. :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:25 am 
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He he he ... reading some of these stories has really had me :lol: :lol: :lol:

Avon, interesting about the groundsheets ... I thought the reason the campsites were pretty much bare ground was to prevent snakes (or at least make it easier to see if there’s one around ...)

Can someone explain to this relatively “newbie camper” why you would take a spade with you ...

Last year when camping at Skukuza I was sitting next to the fire enjoying the night sounds of the bush when I heard a “ping” .... the people camping behind me had brought their microwave along!!!

Another strange “necessity” I witnessed whilst camping at Satara was an exercise bike sitting on the groundsheet outside the caravan! Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the plastic flowers that were in the vase in the middle of the table a little over from the exercise bike as well!

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Man on man, some of the Caravaners bring enough equipment with they could run a 5 start restuarent from it, microwaves, ice makers, rice cookers, slow cookers :doh:

If it rains enough and the water could run underneath your tent and around your outside area sitting area, this will create a lot of mud and make life very difficult. You would use the spade to dig a little trench around your camp,this would stop the water flowing into your area :P

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:36 pm 
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WendyA you would only need a spade when you picked a bad camping spot during the rainy season, or maybe if your vehicle got stuck in the mud on one of those No entry roads :wink:

When camping at Maroela during the 2012 floods we just moved the caravan :lol:

If you like to set up semi-permanent structures around the fence area a spade is a must :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:01 pm 
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Hi WendyA. My SO and I have caravanned since 1977 and I thought we have seen it all - plastic flowers and all. But an exercise bike! Never seen that one before. In our senior years after the kids left home we acquired a small caravan and only take the necessary but SO still complains about the extra clothes. Warm woolies to get to Kruger in July (it's freezing on the way there) and cool clothes while we are there. Otherwise an electric plate to cook outside the van (saves using the stove inside) a small skottel and a small bakpot (cast iron flat bottomed pot) for potbread, and the two of us are sorted. And a supply of braai wood or charcoal. And the beers. And the braai meat. And a supply of rusks and the flask for coffee. And the biltong, etc. etc. But beyond all that to find a spot at the fence and to just enjoy all that Kruger has to offer is all I ask. We have never needed a spade as it never rains in Kruger July/August/September.


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 Post subject: Re: Confessions of a Kruger Camper.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:42 pm 
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I remember one of our first Lower Sabie camping trips - it was during the migrant bird season - hot and humid. Newbies back then we just had to pitch the tent underneath the biggest tree that we could find, no, make that the the second biggest tree. Because by then we have at least learned a few things. If you can find a level area underneath a shady tree, that's the one you should go for. The biggest tree was only about twenty meters away, covered with it's bounty of wild figs.

Darn, those fruit-bats (whatever happened to the ones at the restaurant area anyway) were clever - they picked the fruit from the mentioned largest tree, then flew of to the second largest tree to enjoy their feast (and what usually follows after such a feast). Combine the migrant residue with the above and we had a lovely spotted tent after only two days. A few regular campers will know that to keep the tent watertight, you should never use any kind of soap to wash the tent.........

OK, another lesson learned and we just had to find a solution to that problem. Instead of doing the obvious - just pick an area away from any trees - we visited the gadget shop again. Did they have any solutions? Sure, quite a few actually, just swipe the plastic card over here thank you very much. Off we went after purchasing not one, but two "solutions" - one being made out of canvas, to be rigged as a cover all to the tent; and a very clever newly designed lightweight one that will in theory also reflect heat away from the tent (to be rigged a few centimeters above the canvass one to allow airflow). Ja right, as if that would stop those bats; leaving more stuff to be cleaned upon return.

Nowadays I just sit and watch people spending precious hours setting up semi permanent structures (at eleven o'clock in the morning), sweat dripping, knuckles bleeding, etc. in that little bit of available shade. I do this from the comfort of one of our fold up chairs which I have moved into my little bit of shade for that time of the day of course. I have already parked my vehicle in the glaring sun on the levelest area I could find to mark my territory for the night. I have learned that I can set up our sleeping quarters in less than ten minutes after sunset. Nice and cool, quick and easy, no problem should it rain and SO will stay on her side of the bed because I picked a level area to park.

I hear someone say it will only work if you do camp hopping and that it's not the ideal solution when camping for a fortnight. Maybe so, but isn't it because we have been brainwashed into the idea of semi permanent structures surrounding a tent or caravan? Portable should mean exactly that, portable. Move that camping chair and table a few meters instead of trying to find other solutions. I have seen some amazing ideas being used and then standing there unoccupied from the moment the gate opens till the fires are lit in the evening. Creatures of habit we are, breaking those habits is not so easy but it could (and it does indeed) make camping so much easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Love
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:17 pm 
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[quote="Josh of the Bushveld"]There are lots of discussions around beds etc.
I've got a queen Intex (single layer). Very comfortable but we got tired of sleeping on the floor halfway through the night, then finding and fixing punctures.quote]I can vouch for that - don't waste money on that brand ...

Good news !

I have seen an advert for durable double matresses (which from the catalogue photo appear to be identical to my single matress which is a canvass fabric type - very durable indeed) adverised in the Campworld supplement to the latest Go ! / Weg (afrikaans version) magazine !

http://campworld.campworld.co.za/index. ... &Itemid=81

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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.


Last edited by ndloti on Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Camping Equipment Owned By Serious Outdoor Wildlife Love
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:07 pm 
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hi mites

I have not read all the postings so I don't know if this has been covered,but I wonder if someone could help.
I havn't camped at the KNP before. I heard that a special plug is needed to use the electricity socket.
I'm from JHB. Where can I get hold of one in JHB? Apperently it's called the "BLUE plug"

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