Self Drive Africa

A Beginners guide To Camping

Have you ever wanted to watch a lion in their natural habitat? Have you ever wondered whether you can cut it without electricity or running water? Then why not give camping a go?

It’s a great way to be at one with nature and see some of the most wonderful sites South Africa has to offer.

Whether you’re going for 3 days or 3 weeks, it doesn’t matter. There are still some basic things that you must know. For you veteran campers some of the tips I’m going to give may seem obvious, but you may find use in a few others.

For those of you who are heading out for the first time. Give this a read.

I promise that you’ll find something of use in here.

What to take

If you head out camping every weekend then it’s likely you already have a long list of camping gear to take with you. And it’s likely that you already have it all stowed away. But if you’re new to this all the equipment you’re going to need can be a little daunting.

Let’s cover the basics

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Stove
  • Lantern
  • First aid kit
  • Food & drink
  • Toilet roll
  • Air bed/sleeping mat
  • Clothes

All of the above are the basic camping items. After a few trips and through trial and error you’ll soon learn what else would be handy on the campsite.

Don’t scrimp

One thing you mustn’t do is cut corners when it comes to quality. I’ve heard many first time campers say that it was ‘awful’ ‘uncomfortable’ and so on… When I’ve delved deeper into their experience I’ve usually found that they didn’t purchase quality camping equipment.

Cheap sleeping bags are usually too thin. Cheap tents are usually flimsy, small and cramped. Cheap stoves are a pain to light. All of these things add up to a bad experience! Yes, you’ll have to spend a little more but you’ll be able to use the gear time and time again.

Choose the camping site wisely

Another reason that I hear people complain about their experience is because of where they stayed. The views weren’t great. They didn’t catch a glimpse of the wildlife they wanted to see. There were too many people near by…

To avoid this make sure you do plenty of research before deciding on a camping location. It’s important to remember though that you aren’t in control of the weather and you aren’t always going to see the wildlife that you want to. That’s camping for you! Unpredictable.

Camping is great fun. Just make sure you don’t let yourself down by not doing enough prior research.

Have fun!