Happy Camper

In Articles, Technical by Glyn DemmerLeave a Comment

We have all heard the term “a happy camper” and it implies just that, someone who went away to the bush or a campsite anywhere else and for a period of time had an absolute blast, the wife and kids enjoyed themselves and the next trip was in the making.
Conversely we get the “unhappy camper “the individual whose family and possibly himself had a holiday from hell, everything went wrong from torrential rain, to the mosquitoes and wait for it-poor preparation!
This is generally followed by a garage sale of epic proportions in January when all the equipment has to go- and it will never be 1000’s of stars again-just somewhere between 3 and 5 that are fully catered-because Mom said so!
Okay well let’s look at a quick list of things that you can do to make the experience more enjoyable. The list is not necessarily the “be all “of checklists but rather a collection of tips and hints aimed at helping you!
• Have more than one first aid kit-keep one in the car and one at the campsite-helps when you need a small plaster or suchlike.
• If you need to wash clothing put it in a bucket or container (with lid) add soap and water and load it onto the back of the bakkie, while driving the motion is much like a washing machine and you will only need to rinse and hang up to dry on returning to camp.
• Pack a few items of clothing made from Technical Fabric for all in case rain does not allow you to dry washing (these tend to dry easily).
• Make quick firelighters by soaking used tea bags in meths and storing in a sealable container.
• Take Polenta and Couscous as a fast easy to prepare option to rice, pasta, potatoes or pap.
• Keep utensils in a cutlery organizer and take a few meat hooks for hanging stuff around the camp.
• Keep kids busy all the time, activities, walks, games and books are a must, they sleep better after a long busy day.
• Check for any toxic or poisonous plants, as the last thing you want is an allergic reaction or a visit to a Doctor.
• Take interlocking foam floor tiles to cover the tent floors, makes for a more comfortable experience.
• Keep tents zipped close at all times so that creepy crawlies stay out!
• Take “Tea Tree” oil, it’s amazing stuff with many uses and if applied to the ankles can also deter ticks.
• Store your stuff well in an orderly fashion and ensure that everyone puts things back in the proper spot.
• Invest in a double mattress and sleeping bag; it’s far more comfortable.
• Do not over inflate the air mattresses, you will regret it the next day or halfway through the first night.
• Take a French Press for coffee; do not sacrifice on the things that make for a good experience.
• Use micro fibre towels and dish clothes, they are lighter, take up less space and dry easily.
• Do not sacrifice on lighting even if you take a few extra solar lights to light up outside the tents.
• Use multi tools around the kitchen such as the “Kershaw Blade Trader” series; they handle the entire task but take up less space.
• Pack well, remember square containers fit better into “Wolf Packs” than a variety of round ones and take up less space! Fill the gaps between glass items to avoid breakages (Dish towels- soft items etc.).
Well hopefully we have been able to help you and all the folk at All Terrain hope you return home “happy campers” after the break-be safe

About the Author

Glyn Demmer

My first 4x4 was a Nissan Hardbody thereafter I started travelling all over the country. In 1992 we held a big 4x4 day with hundreds of Nissan families, and then the 4x4 bug really bit. A friend Monty Brett and I started running 4x4 courses at the Hennops Off-road Trail just outside of Johannesburg. At first we offered day-and-a-half courses that started on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday afternoon. Hannes Grobler the Rally Ace regularly assisted, and we reached a nice balance between our two styles and our skills.

Leave a Comment