Camping tips and tricks

March 31, 2020

Camping – your worst nightmare?

Read on for my tips and tricks to help you fall in love with the experience! In no particular order (and by no means an exhaustive list):

  1. Stretcher bed – I’m a fan of sleeping off the ground, especially as it creates usable floor space in your tent. Tents are a tight squeeze and it’s a game changer being able to store your bag and shoes under your bed.
  2. Side table – a side table is a must for your light, book, water, etc. I recommend the Natural Instincts Compact Aluminium Table. In fact, get two so you have a drinks table when sitting around the fire. Most camp chair drink holders in the arm of the chair are no good for wine glasses.
  3. Camp chair – you’re likely to spend a lot of time sitting around the fire so be sure to invest in a comfortable camp chair (to go with your side table). Test out chairs in store rather than ordering online.
  4. Head lamp – a head lamp is essential for hands-free light. To prolong the life of the batteries, use your head lamp on a dimmer setting – either way, don’t forget spare batteries! Also, remove batteries between uses if you don’t use your head lamp regularly.
  5. Door mat – a door mat is important to keep sand out of your tent. I know someone who uses a persian carpet – it’s very effective, as the sand trickles through the rug. You can buy a sand mat from most outdoor stores.

Where to go once you have all your camping gear? The wilder the better (for me), e.g. I’ve discovered smaller rustic camps in the Kruger National Park that I would highly recommend. I recently camped at Tsendze Rustic Camp (gate: Phalaborwa) and what a gem! Kruger’s rustic camps offer a nature experience with more spacious, secluded sites and you’re allocated a site or you can even make a specific request. If you’re lucky, your site might not have cellphone signal.

Tsendze has no electricity nor a shop/restaurant, etc. (tick for rustic). It has hot water and a fence for less-seasoned campers. Mopani Rest Camp is 6km from Tsendze with supplies in case you forget any essentials. Knowing what to pack comes with experience. There’s a fine balance really and less is often more in the case of camping. You know how at the end of a holiday you can’t fit all your clothes in your bag? Think of your vehicle as your bag and camping gear as your clothes.

FYI: Tsendze is run by the brilliant Rogers and Elina who visit every site each night to check how you’re doing. The area is renowned for owls – we saw an African barred owlet, scops owl, pearl-spotted owlet and an African eagle-owl, with a baby – and Rogers will help you spot them.

Camping was just one of my inspirations for co-founding our insurtech business JaSure: a mobile app that offers on-demand protection for your tech and lifestyle gear. I don’t get to the bush as often as I would love to and as a result don’t get to use my binos, camera, tent, etc. frequently. JaSure enables you to simply switch on cover for your assets when you need it. If only spotting a Pel’s fishing owl was as easy as switching on your insurance with the JaSure app! Download the JaSure app now and let us know what you think (or get help) via the in-app live chat feature.

Please note that the views in this article are not intended to provide or constitute advice.

Written by Jaclyn Prior

Jaclyn is a co-founder of JaSure, Chief Operating Officer by title, but “Jack” of all trades in (start-up) practice. She keeps the business wheels turning. Organised and driven, she’s inspired by the dynamic city of Joburg that she now calls home. She has a passion for the outdoors and takes time out by travelling to remote campsites in Africa and beautiful beaches in the Eastern Cape.

Photo by Jack Sloop on Unsplash

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