Ask any non-campers why they don’t enjoy this lifestyle and the answer will most likely relate to one of two things: the weather or worries about needing to use the loo. While there is not much one can do about adverse weather conditions, the days of long drops and unhygienic conditions are long gone. Mary Willemse takes a closer look at some portable ablution solutions.
One of the reasons it took me so long to embrace the outdoor and camping lifestyle related to the fact that the only squat I feel comfortable with are those done in a gym. I am by no means a “glamper”, but the whole boys to the left, girls to the right thing has never quite tickled my fancy… Thankfully, the camp genies over at Tentco have some great solutions available for campers.
Keep it clean
There are very few things better than a nice hot (or even cold – especially when the mercury rises well above 40 degrees in places like Botswana) shower after a long day in the bush. Upon closer investigation, I was surprised at the large number of types and styles of camping showers available on the market today. Tento offers a range of shower cubicles and tents priced from under R1 000 for a basic shower tent to just over R2 000 for a convenient solution that attaches to your vehicle’s roof rails. I quite fancied the middle-of-the-range canvas cubicle that can be set up in a private spot and stay put for the duration of the trip. It is reasonably lightweight at 9kg and doesn’t take up too much of the packing space my better half is so precious about! Speaking of – he, of course, prefers the vehicle cubicle as it is much lighter at 4.6kg and can be conveniently stored atop the roof of your vehicle. Don’t tell him, but I tend to agree with him on this one. I particularly enjoyed it on a recent trip when its “take-along-on-the-drive” practicality allowed me to take a quick shower during our brunch stop after I fell into some mud!
An even more critical part of any portable sanitation camping kit is the toilet. Even if staying at a full-facility campsite, a portable loo is super convenient to avoid a midnight excursion to the ablution blocks. Probably one of the most popular portable toilets ever made, Tentco’s Porta Potti offers a 12-litre water tank and 20-liter detachable waste tank. It is easy to clean (make sure to stock up on your Bio Sanitary fluid and rinse while at Tentco), and it can be used up to 20 times between tank discharges. Additionally, there’s a seal to protect from odours and leaking. The whole thing is plastic and only weighs about 15kg, but it can handle a weight capacity of up to 140kg when filled. Tentco also makes a durable and convenient bag to store your “throne” (excluded from list price).
What’s in the bag?
On a recent road trip, I saw a sign at a farmstall which resonated with me: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bag – and that’s kind of the same thing!” And happiness is what you will find when strolling through the bag aisles (yes – plural!) at Tentco. They have storage or carry solutions for all your needs and even some you haven’t thought about yet. This month we take a look at their range of toiletry bags, of which they have a total of seven in different shapes and sizes, all made from durable and easy-to-clean ripstop canvas. I particularly enjoyed the bathroom vanity bag, which is more of a portable vanity case. Featuring an adjustable hardened packing shelf, two mesh pockets and a large mirror, it transforms any portable shower cubicle into a convenient bathroom space. Best of all, it folds flat when not in use, so the camp commander (hubby) can’t complain that it takes up too much space! Partner it with the deluxe toiletry bag, which is big enough to fit the entire family’s goodies. This canvas bag comes with a side pocket and two inner pockets to organise your things. Another popular option is the hanging toiletry orange bag, which is priced slightly higher but offers a nylon inner lining, one large inner pocket and three clear inner tube pockets that can take a full-size bottle. Both offer hooks to hang it within easy reach when showering or out of the way when not in use.