The need to unwind and relax comes naturally to humans. However, every individual has a different definition of relaxation. Some like to take a weekend getaway at a beach resort while others take a road trip to the mountains. The whole idea is to leave your usual living quarters and get a change of environment where you are not followed by your daily worries.
For those who adventurous, camping is one of the top-notch choices. Nothing can beat the relaxing feel of the soft grass while you connect with nature as closely as possible. When it comes to camping, South Africa is one of the best destinations.
If you are into wildlife and camping in the woods, South Africa has to be on your bucket list for its expansive national parks, the diverse fauna and flora and gorgeous landscapes. Moreover, the best thing about South Africa is that it is much more developed in terms of infrastructure compared to other African counterparts.
Although accommodation options for tourists traveling to South Africa are pretty pricey, backpackers and budget travelers should definitely have camping on their to-do list when traveling to the region.
Apart from easing off the burden on your pocket, you will get to experience the real side of Africa and that too closely. There is no doubt that camping is a fun and adventurous experience. However, going for an overnight camping is nothing like heading to a resort. You will be on your own under the open sky and therefore it is important that you take necessary steps to be able to enjoy your experience. There is no use of taking a camping trip if exhausts you and puts you in a risky situation. Here are a few tips that will let you make the most of your overnight camping trip.
Check the Weather Forecasts
One of the best things about camping trips is that you are not required to make prior reservations for your accommodation, unlike hotels and resorts. However, many new campers believe that they can just pick their bags and head towards the campsite. This is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself.
Remember, that no matter how beautiful your campsite is, you will be under the open sky and nature will be directly “in your face.” It is not humanly possible for most people to battle against fierce weather conditions and even the best quality sleeping bags and camps will not be able to help much on a stormy night.
Make sure you double check the weather forecasts at your camping destination before you leave. This is the most basic thing to do as your packing checklist and the choice of canvas tents will be determined by the weather conditions.
Picking the Right Kind of Tent
Most amateur campers do not think over this seriously. Not every bell tents fits every camping trip. If your camping plan involves trekking up a mountain, you are not going to like the idea of carrying a large 5-man tent on your back when you are just two people. Likewise, if you are eyeing a longer stay in the meadows, a tiny 1-man camp won’t be a wise option. Moreover, tents are made of different materials and respond differently to weather conditions. Evaluate the dynamics of your trip and pick the tent that is a perfect fit.
To Pack or Not to Pack
Smart packing is what most travelers find troublesome. However, under normal tour conditions, a bit of over packing or under packing doesn’t harm much since you have the infrastructure and support system to take care of the trouble.
Unfortunately, camping is a different ball game altogether. Do not over pack. You won’t need those heels or a large vanity bag in the middle of the jungle. At the same time do not make a blunder of leaving your sunblock back if you are going to a beach.
Again, see where are you going for camping, how long will you be staying and pack accordingly. Make sure you pack all the necessary supplies but do not take along anything that is not needed. There are certain basic items that should be on your checklist such as:
- Sleeping bags
- Cooking supplies
- First aid kit
- Cell phones, camera, chargers, power banks and any other important electronic supplies
- Garbage bags
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Any necessary medicines, insect repellants, and sunblock
- Comfortable and weather appropriate clothing
Arrival at Campsite
Most expert campers will always advise you to take care of the time of your arrival at your campsite. Make sure you do not arrive in the dark. You are going to hate the idea of setting up your camp relying on that flashlight. At the same time, if this is a summer camping trip, the scorching heat between 11:00 am to 4:00 PM is likely to drain you out. Reaching an hour or two before the sunset when the sun is not at its peak but the light is just enough to let you set up your camp comfortably will be the best arrival time.
Location of your Camping Spot
If you are camping in the woods or a hilly terrain, choose your camping spot wisely. Choose a spot that is at the lower side of the hill and is under a shade so that it remains drier in case there is rain or heavy winds. If you are eyeing a nearby river or lake for your water supply, make sure it’s easily accessible and you do not have to trek down every time you need water.
Late Night Drinking
You are in the middle of the jungle snuggled in your sleeping bag, you can hear wild animals growling and squeaking in the background and you get a call of nature. Difficult situation – and even scary for some people. Do not spoil your comfortable camp sleep by drinking too much in the night, or you will find yourself making uncomfortable bathroom trips throughout the night.
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