So, you’re going camping for the first time, all excited and it’s time to pack. Depending on how you want to camp you can turn it into glamping or you can do the bare minimum. I think we will discuss the more minimal side, with added options if needed.
First thing you will need is a tent, if you’re not in a tent it’s not really camping. There are many available, from multi roomed tents to a single man tent where you can just squeeze in, most go for a comfortable two-man tent, remember to pack in the rain cover and tent pegs as these are often forgotten. A ground sheet is always recommended to help prolong your tent from being in direct contact with the ground.
The bed, mattresses can come in many forms from a thin yoga mat to blow up beds (known for deflating in the night), all depending on how much space you have available, if you get a blow up bed don’t forget the pump; electric car pumps works best and helps if you have slow punctures with your tyres too. Sleeping bags are always handy and pillows, most people love taking their own pillow and you can even get blow up pillows.
Food, if your true South African, all you really need is firelighters, tumblers, tongs and a braai grid. Dop n’ vlies (drink and meat) is all you need, and if you fancy veg; corn, mushrooms and potatoes can be wrapped in foil and tossed into the coals, with starters being braai broodjies on the braai grid too. For those like me who enjoy a hot drink, a kettle placed on the fire works wonders for hot water. Plates, knives, forks, spoons etc can be optional extras. Don’t forget the marsh mellows, sticks can be used from locally sourced branches near by.
Torches are very handy for getting from A to B, especially to watch out for snakes and scorpions. Head torches are great, though hand torches are often more powerful.
And for a little extra comfort, camping chairs are always very handy especially if you’re not sure on the area you are heading to. If you have a bakkie (pickup truck), the back can open making great seating. A table is often very useful, but again the back of bakkies are often used as a table too if other seating is available.
When it comes to packing more personal items, toiletries etc, don’t forget sunscreen, flip-flops (sandals; mainly for showering in public showers and for outdoors), closed hiking shoes, warm clothes as nights can become very cold, swimwear, towel, insect repellent and a small first aid kit in case of allergies, diarrhoea and headaches are a good idea.
I have added a more comprehensive list, this will be helpful to double check just incase those last few things slip your mind.