Advice on South Africa Trip in Sep for 2 weeks

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Advice on South Africa Trip in Sep for 2 weeks

Postby groovvyy » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:36 am

Hi All,

Sorry for bit long post in advance. Trying to make sure I got everything covered.

I and wife are going (flights n tour booked) to South Africa trip in September for 2 weeks via Gadventures (Tour - South Africa encompassed).
Never been camping ever and the first camping would be in Africa. Bit excited :)

Got the vaccination sorted. :)

Anyway, obviously need to buy a lot of stuff. As per the Gadventures website and itinerary checklist, below are things they mentioned.

We are trying to do the trip under a budget but with little bit of comfort as well, as mostly we are not going to the use the camping gear in near future

Suggested Items:
1. Fleece top - (Got it)
2. Warm sleeping bag - Kathmandu (Globe - 75$). Any better you guys recommend?
3. Windproof/waterproof jacket - Kathmandu - min $100, any better you guys recommend?
4. Small towel and swimwear - (Got it)
5. 4 shirts/t-shirts - (Got it)
6. Sun hat - (Got it)
7. 1 pair of shorts - (Got it)
8. 2 pairs of long trousers - (Got it)
9. 1 pair hiking pants/track pants - would any track pants do?
10. Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes - decent running shoes ok??
11. Sport sandals - (Got it)
12. Sunblock - (Got it)
13. Insect repellent - What’s reasonable good?
14. Sunglasses- (Got it)
15. Toiletries (biodegradable) - (Got it)
16. Water bottle - (Got it)
17. Pocketknife - What’s reasonable good? (Thinking of Leather man one, which one is good for our trip?
18. Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulbs) - What’s reasonable good?
19. Money belt - What’s reasonable good?
20. First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, Rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) ---What’s reasonable good?

Adding to the top would be my list....

21. Backpack x 2 - upon reading in this forum, “Black wolf” seems good? Other options please which are not too expensive?
22. Travel pillow - What’s reasonable good?
23. - Headlight - What’s reasonable good?
24. - Flashlight - would I need it? What’s reasonable good?

Apologize again for the long post as I haven’t been camping before.
If I have missed anything, please let me know.

Thanks everyone in advance.
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Re: Advice on South Africa Trip in Sep for 2 weeks

Postby ballu » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:34 am

I haven't done this specific tour but:

Sleeping bag: something that packs up small, mine was rated to 10C on one side and if you flip it over 0C on the other. I also had a sleep sheet for areas that were too hot for a sleeping bag...the silk ones are more expensive but pack up really small.

Water/wind proof jacket: Again, something that packs up small. I bought mine 10 years ago and still use it.

Hiking pants: Anything that will protect your legs in the bush from scrapes and won't get destroyed with a little mud or rubbing against twigs etc. I generally go for something like cargo pants.

Bug repellent: I go for 35% deet...something like Deep Woods Off

Pocketknife: I had one and lost it on my first trip 10 years ago, haven't bothered to replace it and haven't really missed it. If you bring one, don't pack in your carry-on

Flashlight: I prefer the headlamp type, and one that takes AA or AAA batteries because the lithium ones are expensive and harder to replace. If you can find one that takes 2 batteries rather than 3, then less batteries is better. The headlamp one means hands free which I find handy, you can also hang it on a hook in a bathroom stall or shower.

Moneybelt: I prefer the waist one that you wear under your pants, the neck one is lumpy and obvious under your shirt, the leg one is useless if you're wearing shorts.

I don't have an official first aid kit, but I have all those things listed. Just make sure you have anything you'll need medically, if you wear contacts, bring backup pairs. Something for headaches, bandaids, nail clippers, tweezers etc. Whatever you'd normally need. You'll also be stopping off at grocery stores to resupply every few days so if you are missing something you can buy it.

Backpacks are pretty personal. I'd recommend for most people something in the 60-70 litre size. You might want a travel pack that zips around because top loaders can be a pain. Try it down, most good outdoor stores will have weighted bags you can put in to get a feel for how it fits your body.

Travel pillow: I've got a thermarest one that rolls up and you can throw it in the washer and dryer...it suited my needs. I think it's a medium sized one. http://www.mec.ca/product/5009-948/ther ... um-pillow/
EMBRACE THE BIZARRE
http://www.gadventures.com/about-us/gadventures/

I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list

If you never get lost, you never get found


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Re: Advice on South Africa Trip in Sep for 2 weeks

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:31 pm

groovvyy wrote:Hi All,

Sorry for bit long post in advance. Trying to make sure I got everything covered.

I and wife are going (flights n tour booked) to South Africa trip in September for 2 weeks via Gadventures (Tour - South Africa encompassed).
Never been camping ever and the first camping would be in Africa. Bit excited :)

Got the vaccination sorted. :)

Anyway, obviously need to buy a lot of stuff. As per the Gadventures website and itinerary checklist, below are things they mentioned.

We are trying to do the trip under a budget but with little bit of comfort as well, as mostly we are not going to the use the camping gear in near future

Suggested Items:
1. Fleece top - (Got it)
2. Warm sleeping bag - Kathmandu (Globe - 75$). Any better you guys recommend?
I would recommend a highly compressible sleeping bag rated to 10 C and a sleeping bag liner (either silk or microfiber). Something like http://www.rei.com/product/868726/alps-mountaineering-diamondback-15-sleeping-bag-regular-special-buy and http://www.rei.com/product/868749/alps-mountaineering-rectangular-sleeping-bag-liner-microfiber-special-buy will do.

3. Windproof/waterproof jacket - Kathmandu - min $100, any better you guys recommend?
You don't need to spend $100 on a jacket. Something like this http://www.rei.com/product/867448/rei-wind-pro-jacket-mens-special-buy is good enough.
4. Small towel and swimwear - (Got it)
I like pack towels that are more absorbent than terry cloth cotton. This http://www.rei.com/product/832935/rei-multitowel-lite-x-large-towel-54-x-25 is a good example.
5. 4 shirts/t-shirts - (Got it)
I recommend something like 3 tee shirts and 2 light overshirts, preferably microfibers that dry quickly.
6. Sun hat - (Got it)
7. 1 pair of shorts - (Got it)
8. 2 pairs of long trousers - (Got it)
I would go with 2 pairs of convertible shorts/pants, preferably made with supplex nylon or other synthetic that dries quickly.
9. 1 pair hiking pants/track pants - would any track pants do?
Probably don't need these if you have the convertibles above.
10. Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes - decent running shoes ok??
Forget the hiking boots. Trail running shoes are better, regular running shoes would be adequate.

11. Sport sandals - (Got it)
12. Sunblock - (Got it)
13. Insect repellent - What’s reasonable good?
I use 98% DEET like Cutter Outdoors or Off! Deep Woods
14. Sunglasses- (Got it)
15. Toiletries (biodegradable) - (Got it)
16. Water bottle - (Got it)
17. Pocketknife - What’s reasonable good? (Thinking of Leather man one, which one is good for our trip?
A Leatherman is okay, I generally prefer a good all-purpose knife like a Buck 110.
18. Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulbs) - What’s reasonable good?
A headlamp with rechargeable AAA batteries will be your best option as it leaves your hands free. This http://www.rei.com/product/876126/princeton-tec-fuel-headlamp-2013-overstock is a decent one for under $20. I keep a backup LED flashlight, something simple like a 6 or 7 LED job using 3 AAA batteries.
19. Money belt - What’s reasonable good?
I use both a waist belt wallet like http://www.rei.com/product/837261/rei-rfid-money-belt and a neck wallet like http://www.rei.com/product/837260/rei-rfid-neck-security-wallet. The first holds my main cash and backup credit cards while the second has one day worth of spending money and my main credit card and passport. If I need more cash, I make a convenient trip to the restroom but otherwise the only money vendors (or potential robbers) see is the very limited amount in the neck wallet.
20. First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, Rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) ---What’s reasonable good?

Adding to the top would be my list....

21. Backpack x 2 - upon reading in this forum, “Black wolf” seems good? Other options please which are not too expensive?
For overland trips, I prefer a wheeled duffel bag like http://www.rei.com/product/877555/golite-travelite-wheeled-duffel-30-2013-closeout but bigger. Otherwise, think about a front-loading rather than top-loading backpack or a convertible suitcase/backpack. I like http://www.rei.com/product/863333/rei-grand-tour-85-travel-pack-mens, http://www.rei.com/product/803310/osprey-farpoint-55-travel-pack, or even http://www.rei.com/product/870903/osprey-porter-46-travel-pack. Like ballu, I'd recommend 60-70 liters.
22. Travel pillow - What’s reasonable good?
Don't bother. Use an empty pillow case (if you even need that) and your fleece as a pillow.
23. - Headlight - What’s reasonable good?
See answer to #18.
24. - Flashlight - would I need it? What’s reasonable good?
Technically, the headlamp should be enough but a backup is fine (see answer to #18).

Apologize again for the long post as I haven’t been camping before.
If I have missed anything, please let me know.
I like to carry 50-100 ft of 550 polycord or 1/8-inch polyester line to use as a clothesline or for general purposes lashing. I would advise good hiking socks, polyester-wool blend if possible. A collapsible spare bag for souvenirs might be good too (e.g., http://www.rei.com/product/866313/rei-classic-duffel-bag-large-special-buy). My travel first aid kit includes various adhesive bandages, 2-inch gauze pads, first aid tape, pain relievers, anti-diarrhetic, decongestant, anti-histamine tablets, sore throat lozenges, Ace bandage, tweezers, and motion-sickness pills. You may also want to consider bringing a 2-4 oz bottle of hand sanitizer.

Thanks everyone in advance.
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
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Re: Advice on South Africa Trip in Sep for 2 weeks

Postby kateyb » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:52 pm

I would skip the hiking boots and just take trail runners or even regular runners. Skip the pocket knife. I stopped taking mine years ago as I never used it and I haven't missed it. Headlamp is idea, leave the flashlight at home. I was told by my guide that the mosquito repellant that you would buy there is much better than the stuff that we brought from home. I took his advice as it isn't anymore expensive over there than here. However I did not notice any bugs at all. Evenings are so cool that you are wearing pants and shoes so if there were any, they wouldn't bother me much. I hate mosquito repellant and don't use it until I have to. (unfortunately here in Manitoba you do as they are awful)
Your list is good. As you will be making so many stops along the way, it is nice to keep the packing to a minimum. I brought a clothesline as we tended to wash our clothes at camp. I brought a pillowcase and stuffed my fleece and other clothes in there instead of packing a pillow. A compression sack for you sleeping bag would be recommended to save space in your bag.

Pepto bismal and immodium were very helpful!!
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Re: Advice on South Africa Trip in Sep for 2 weeks

Postby groovvyy » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:04 pm

Thanks all for the helpful hints and tips. I will take that into account and plan properly.
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