Start Exploring South Africa

Start Exploring South Africa

Start Exploring South AfricaIt really is as simple as that; start exploring South Africa, and once you do so; chances are, the exploring bug will bite, and who knows where it may lead.

We talking about exploring the wilderness here, not your local mall, that would be very easy, just find the info desk, and your exploring will be done in a matter of minutes. We would like to get as many people as possible out and exploring the magnificent wilderness areas which characterize South Africa. Whilst the idea of exploring the wilderness may appeal to many, it remains just an idea, perhaps a dream even, but fear of the unknown, and perhaps how to go about it, stops many from even trying. This is understandable, we are fed all sorts of information about the dangers of exploring the wilderness, and ironically have no problem jumping into our car and driving down the road, something which is generally infinitely more dangerous than heading out of town. So lets go through some very simple steps to help you start exploring. But before we do, our idea is start the process of setting you along a path, which we hope will never end, but will just get more and more adventurous. To this end we can start exploring with minimal kit and equipment, for you to ‘test the water’ if you decide its not for you, you have not lost much, and you can off-load your kit and try stamp collecting perhaps (no disrespect intended to stamp collectors).

Lets start exploring South Africa;

  1. Time: decide on how much time you would like to dedicate to a wilderness adventure.
  2. Distance: decide how far you are prepared to travel from home.
  3. Who will be joining you: drag the family along with you, or perhaps even some friends.
  4. Wild or mild: perhaps start with a location where there is some infrastructure to ease you in.

Some useful resources;

Thankfully there is an abundance of tools and resources to make the process of exploring really easy, and once you have answered the previous questions you can carry on with your planning.

  1. Since we previously suggested perhaps start with ‘mild’ head on over to the Camp SA website, it has an awesome search tool with a huge number of locations all around South Africa. Many of them have their own websites for more information. It will also have information on accessibility, something worth considering if you are planning to use a regular sedan.
  2. Kit and equipment; This is where things can get a little tricky for the novice explorer, but don’t panic, much of what you will need, you already have right at home, and for the rest head on over to Seagull Industries website, they have an awesome range of camping kit and equipment, particularly the OZTRAIL and AFRITRAIL brands. Browse through what they have in the various sections, and then search for these items, and you will find exactly where you can buy them. We are also available to procure these on your behalf.
  3. Take a look at our blog for ideas on exploring the wilderness, and under the category section, check out ‘exploring the wilderness’.

More about Kit & Equipment;

Lets chat a bit more about kit and equipment, and we will take you through some important items to remember, and it may appear to be obvious, but you will be amazed by what folk tend to forget, and there are few items which are really essential to making your adventure as pleasurable as possible.

  1. Tent: selecting the right tent is not a critical issue, but spend a moment or two on selecting one, which is going to be big enough to dump ALL your kit in, to free up space in the car, if you’re planning on doing some driving around. We would recommend nylon tent to begin with, and perhaps consider one of the OZTRAIL Tasman range of tents.
  2. Furniture: a table is very important, and something many people forget. There must also be a chair for everyone who is joining you.
  3. Lighting: the most important light you can have is a personal light, and yes a torch will do, but at the very least, a head mounted light is essential. Add one or two LED lanterns as well.
  4. Sleeping: sleeping bags, and no a bag is not a bag. Be sure to select a sleeping bag based on its temperature rating, they generally range from +10 degrees to -5 degrees. This can get expensive if one is expected to buy a bag for each season, so we would suggest that pick one in the middle somewhere and add warm clothing to sleep in, if and when it gets really cold. The duvet from home also works.
  5. Mattresses: here one must be careful with the blow-up type, they generally deflate through the night, and transfer cold really well. We would suggest the fold-up, high density foam mattresses, and if you can manage, a stretcher is an awesome inclusion.
  6. Food; something we never seem to get exactly right is the quantity of food to take along, more often than not, we tend to take too much, but that would be better than too little, what is as important is keeping your food cool or cold, and cooler of some sort is essential. Most locations sell ice, which is a great help, remember to try and keep the ice bagged to avoid drowning the contents of your box in water.
  7. Cooking; for most of us, this is probably going to be on a fire, so check out the location for stock of charcoal or wood, and remember fire-lighters. BUT, making a fire early in the morning to boil water is a real pain, and small gas burner is well worth the investment. Remember; chopping board, knives, tongs and condiments.
  8. Cleaning; almost always, we forget to include a small basin to wash crockery and cutlery.
  9. Rubbish; black bags and more black bags.

That’s it. All that is left for you to do is start exploring South Africa, and please drop us line and tell us how it went, and if you have some feedback on an awesome location, we would love to hear about that as well.

Wayne Pritchard

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