Camping, a term that gets used loosely in conversations, you either do it or you don’t. There is simply no grey or dust area on which side of the fence you find yourself. The question does however, linger whether it is a no go zone due to a horrible former experience or just because you can’t help but imagine the worst from little creepy crawlies right up to untamed hair without a straightening iron and mirror?
Much has changed when it comes to camping and with the right outlook and the right equipment you and your family can be set for an amazing, fun time close to nature. Camp Master, a provider of all things outdoors offers a range of items to ensure an affordable fully kitted out experience. “Sometimes just being prepared and having all the items you require will make all the difference between a good and a not so good camping experience,” says Kristin Allen, Business Manager for Camp Master. “There are a number of options available when deciding on the camping experience you are looking for. Below we take a look at the basic elements you would require.”
The first step is to have comfortable sleeping arrangements. Start by sweeping the ground area you have identified, followed with the positioning and securing of your groundsheet. There are a number of tents available which vary in terms of size and how quick they are to assemble. Family cabins are bigger and require a bit more time to build as opposed to instant tents which will have you ready to sleep in minutes. These would be more convenient when you are not camping at a site for more than a night or a weekend at a time while family cabins will offer a comfortable stay for those longer stays. It is always a good idea to set up your tent at home before departing on your camping expedition to see which pole goes where and check that you have all parts to erect your tent.
The next step will be to assess the space available and the number of people who will be sharing the tent with you. There is an assortment of blow-up mattresses, fold-up mattresses and stretchers available. If you are in need of space, fold-up mattresses for the kids and stretchers for mom and dad will be a good combination. Stretchers will allow for additional storage space underneath them. Ensure that you have a good sleeping bag for each person, as it could get cold at night even during the summer months.
Where do you go with your clothes and personal belongings also pose a potential crisis. This shouldn’t be keeping you up at night as there are a number of options to consider, ranging from furniture, such as cupboards to pack your items in – space permitting, or it is as simple as using your trailer (if you have one) as your cupboard. Cupboards also work great for storing grocery items in. Alternatively consider having some Camp Master utility boxes which can be stacked on top of each other for your groceries, cleaning products, cooking utensils and cutlery. It is crucial to remember to pack a broom, bucket and cloths. A dustbuster also comes in really handy to quickly vacuum the inside of your tent to avoid dirt and mud.
For the outside and relaxation area there are some basic requirements such as camping chairs and a table to prepare your meals on and to eat at. Pack a picnic bag with mugs, plates, bowls, cups and cutlery. Remember a dishwashing bucket to place all dirty dishes in. It is advised to take one or two lanterns, as these can be used outside and inside your tent. Having a gazebo to offer some shade during the day is also not a bad idea as it could get fairly warm in the bush or at the coast.
Other basic elements to remember are towels, flip flops (for showering), mosquito nets and repellent, flashlights, batteries, sunblock and cooler boxes (Camp Master offers a range of compressor fridges and safari cooler boxes which will keep ice for up to five days).
Most campsites (unless you are roughing it) will offer the following basic facilities:
- A braai (remember your charcoal and firelighters)
- A communal kitchen area (dishwashing facilities, stove tops and boiling water)
- Abblution facilities (toilets, baths and showers)
- A dustbin
- Electric point
- A watertap
“It is advised to contact or do sufficient research around the facilities at your campsite before departing. Have a checklist for accommodation, sleeping, food, seating, cooking, cleaning etc.as well to ensure a smooth camping experience,” concluded Allen.