Some of the best memories and the most wonderful pictures taken are from having been in nature. Picture this…
The glow of the coals, the fresh, cool breeze and the whispers of nature in the background – there’s nothing quite like pitching your tent or setting up your caravan and enjoying the great outdoors – even on your doorstep! It sounds a bit like a mini paradise for the adventurous, doesn’t it?
We’ve compiled our favourite tips and tricks for making the most of alfresco living.
- You don’t need to pack multiple outfits, especially if you’re just away for a weekend. No-one’s going to judge you for wearing the same pair of shorts twice in a row!
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared. A light jacket for cooler evenings is a good idea. Prepare for sudden showers by packing a rain jacket or poncho. A good hat will help protect your skin and eyes from the blazing sun.
- Be ready for all types of weather, by choosing a heavier sleeping bag. Pack a sheet or light blanket for hot evenings.
- Consider packing an additional ground sheet to spread underneath your tent. It will smooth out the terrain (think sticks, rocks, roots, etc.) and will help protect you (and your belongings) from getting wet due to rainwater, dew or condensation.
- A good torch (with batteries charged, of course) can come in handy when you need to make your way to the car or bathroom in the dark – or simply need to check out bush babies playing in a tree.
- A rubber hammer for securing your tent can be very handy.
- Do remember some cloths to wipe surfaces with and to use as protective ‘gloves’ for picking up hot pots safely. The cloths (together with some dish washing liquid) will come in handy when washing your pots and pans too.
- For your first night, plan a simple meal, such as pre-cooked sausage or vegetable skewers (even braaibroodjies!) that can be warmed up (or eaten cold) while you settle in.
- Get creative by cooking on an open fire without fancy dishes – like a hamburger patty in a hollowed-out onion, or dessert in a hollowed-out orange – poached eggs can even be made in your enamel cups! A cast-iron pot or ‘potjie’ can cook a lovely stew for a large group and the lid can be turned over and used as a frying pan.
- A table cloth is an instant way to make sure you eat on a clean surface and it can take your meal from drab to fab in seconds. Use stones as weights or even a fitted sheet to ensure that the wind doesn’t interfere with your meal.
- Keep mosquitoes and flies at bay by filling a jar or bowl with apple cider vinegar and dishwashing liquid. Pour enough vinegar to cover the bottom of the jar or bowl then add a drop of dish soap. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the top.
- You can also rub citronella or tea tree oil on your skin to repel bugs.
- If you have already been bitten, apply topical anti-itch cream or lotion, aloe gel (even straight from the leaves if there are any nearby), ice or heat (a heated teaspoon works well).
Getting out into the outdoors is about switching off and spending quality time with loved ones; connect with us before you connect properly with your loved ones by getting an online insurance quote for your home insurance and have peace of mind that your possessions are taken care of when you’re travelling with the family.
Once everything is taken care of at home, escape from your computer, technology, and media saturation and enjoy our beautiful country to its fullest.
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.