Once again the folk down the road asked me for advice as they were going to stay in chalets near the Hartbeespoort Dam but were unsure as to what to take and needed help to get organised.

To me it’s always about the kitchen, a good kitchen needs to be organised and in many cases, this is an area that many folks neglect. They provide the bedding, towels and amenities but skip the basics in the kitchen.

I do not like using plastic bags as a bin as you tend to fill one every day, instead, I take the liner from a small bathroom bin and use that. It fits comfortably into an ammo box and gets cleaned when I return.

I also take extra pots and pans which I use for hiking but my ceramic wok is a winner, great for chopped bacon and scrambled eggs, yet you can simmer a dish in it at night or even do a quick pasta dish.

Remember, camping does not mean that you have to sacrifice nutritional values.

I have a beautiful set of eating utensils that I bought in England many years ago. They give me a knife, fork, and spoon as well as a salt and pepper shaker. I am never without them.

My pantry consists of dry goods such as cereals, coffee and tea yet depending on the destination I may take fresh stuff until I can purchase fresh foods.

One needs to remember that when travelling to certain destinations you need to be self-sufficient.

And never forget that you need to wash everything, I warm water up on the gas stove and use a collapsible sink.

The sink I have had for over 30 years courtesy of a long-departed friend who taught me so much.

She even camped in her G-wagon with Stuart Crystal glass encased in foam and aluminium boxes, RIP Charlotte you were a legend.

Then you get let down with bad knives, I take a multi-purpose Opinel and a sharpener but also take a “Blade Trader” which is a handle that accepts a variety of blades that allows one to cut bread, carve and even fillet fish.

Coffee is difficult, you can take a good instant or a plunger but anything more will take up space. Tea remains a good option, it’s easy and tasty.

One must is a decent flask and coffee mug, essential on any trip as the cardboard mugs taint a good coffee and do not keep it warm.

Then many folks neglect the bits and pieces, never forget;

  • Toilet paper 
  • Roller towel
  • Serviettes
  • Tissues
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 
  • Condiments 
  • Soap and shampoo 

And I always take an extra toothbrush. On numerous occasions, a member of the group forgets just that, especially when the nearest shop is miles away.

Travel safely and take care.

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