Geskryf deur Therien Roodt
Spring is in the air and time has come to grab that swimming costume, hook your caravan or trailer, and exchange the cityscape for your favourite nature scene!
Let us be honest – everyone cannot be a camping king, but your dream breakaway does not have to turn into a nightmare!
The following tips, taken from the mini-series Tips & Trix, will help you to acquire the necessary knowledge in no time to make your next camping holiday a breeze.
First things first, make sure that you have made the necessary preparations before you leave – that is actually as much fun as the holiday itself. Make a list of everything you will need and has to be packed. That includes food, drinks and camping gear. Tick them off as you pack – that way you know that nothing stays behind.
It is important to have the caravan or trailer checked before you leave. Pack the heavy stuff first so that everything is secure. The front end of the trailer should not be too heavily loaded and the trailer should be correctly balanced.
Now that the trailer has been packed properly, you can hit the road. Make sure your tyres are the correct pressure, before you leave. Now your holiday can really start and you can leave without any worries, knowing that you have followed the right procedures.
Upon arrival at your destination, the first step is to effectively plan your campsite. Map your campsite for the best layout. Start by finding the nearest power outlet and then pitch your tent in the right spot – this will add to a wonderful camping experience.
Pitching your tent is so much easier if you have already done the following: Making sure that you have all the poles and pegs. If you have already marked your poles with coloured tape, it is so much easier to find the correct ones for the right holes. Always ensure that your poles and pegs are clean and dry before you pack it away, to prevent it from rusting.
Once you have mastered the skill of pitching the tent, and all the pegs are in place, make sure that all the ropes are tight so that the roof does not cave in when it rains. For a softer floor area you can use foam floor tiles, which can also serve as a carpet in your tent. This will not only be more comfortable, but the cleaning and packing up will be much easier and quicker. Try not to put your suitcases and clothes in the corners of the tent, because that is where it usually starts leaking first.
Apart from the trailer and tent, there are other life savers when you are camping. A small broom and dustpan are very useful when you quickly want to clean the children's mud from the floor, but also to clean the tent before packing up. A shoe organiser can also be used to keep your outside pantry tidy – and to keep food and gear from the ground.
A big part of a camping holiday is the food and the preparing of the meals. Camping meals must be quick, easy and simple, but do not necessarily have to come from tins. You can prepare meals for a king with only a few basic ingredients.
Scrumptious oatmeal bites are ideal for a quick snack to ease the hunger pains.
Use the following ingredients:
- 1 cup oats
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup minced flaxseed
- ⅔ cup roasted coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Mix all together, form little balls and freeze until hard.
Nothing spells "camp" better than a crackling fire and meat on the coals, but first you have to build it! Everyone, woman included, should be empowered to build a fire. There are different types of fires. The Teepee fire, named after an Indian tent, creates a good airflow and a lot of heat, but burns out quicker. The Pigsty fire is the best type for a braai, because it burns slower and generates heat over a prolonged period of time. The coals also last longer. The Swedish Torch fire uses less fuel and is ideal for low heat, and perfect for baking in a pot.
It can be a problem to braai meat on the coals if you have forgotten your braai and firelighters at home – but it is also not the end of the world. You can use an empty Milo can, your charcoal, a piece of tinfoil, your grill and believe it or not, Doritos.
Start by cutting strips in the Milo can with a pair of scissors, and cover the tin with a large piece of foil. Take a Dorito chip, set it alight and put it in the tin. Add your charcoal and voila – you will soon be able to put your meat on the grill.
When camping, nothing is as frustrating as wet matches. To prevent that, make your matches waterproof by dipping their striking ends in nail polish or candle wax. An alternative is to store your matches in a small Tupperware container to keep it dry. Glue a piece of fine sandpaper to the inside of the lid, and you will always be ready to strike your matches.
Apart from wet matches, wet toilet paper is everybody's biggest nightmare when camping. To avoid that, you can use the following tip. Take an empty plastic container and cut a vertical slit on the side. Place the roll in the container and feed the paper through the slit. No more wet bums, it is as easy as that!
So why are you waiting? Camping is not an excuse for being lazy! If you have followed all these clever tips, you are about to enjoy a carefree holiday.