Packing picks

Much like the water in the Kalahari desert, there never seems to be enough packing space when preparing for your adventures. Anton Willemse popped into Tentco in Boksburg in search of a solution.

Whether we are venturing out to the wide-open spaces of the Namib or the waterways of the Okavango Delta, there never seem to be enough space for everything I need. Enters Tentco, your one-stop shop for camping gear and particularly some nifty storage and packing solutions. My shopping list included ammo boxes, ammo box pouches or covers, waterproof covers for the ammo boxes and some much-needed travel bags.

Amazing Ammo

Ammo boxes have been around for many years and options currently available are based on the military-grade boxes introduced by the army many years ago. Trusted and successfully used by overlanders worldwide, this is a stalwart for storing anything from food to cameras on overlanding trips. The ammo box with a raised lid for additional storage from Tentco makes for a welcome addition to our collection. Along with the ammo boxes, the Tentco team hooked me up with waterproof covers made from extremely durable ripstop material and large enough to cover anything from one to eight of these boxes.

A bevy of bags

As for clothing and bedding, the choices are endless! Do you go with suitcases or duffel bags? What are the pros and cons? My wife swears by her Samsonite hard-side suitcase, but since this rigid structure takes up too much space, I had some work convincing her to change it for a duffel bag. Fortunately, the high-quality canvas bags I picked out made easy work of this! When she realised she could pack everything and the kitchen sink in these sturdy bags, she merrily went about packing up to three outfits per day, not to mention all the shoes!

Apparently, in the bundus, you need day shoes (sneakers or boots – preferably colour-coded to your outfit) and evening shoes to round off that outfit! As I’m a light packer (three shorts and a couple of t-shirts), I am yet to understand this bush fashion thing! But… happy wife, happy life! She was also super impressed with the bags designed to hold our bedding – thick plastic covers keep the dust at bay!

All-star aluminium

The new kids on the block – super handy aluminium containers in different sizes – is definitely my new storage favourite. They come in a variety of sizes, are easily stackable and very rigid. The massive 94-litre container was ideal for keeping our camera gear dry and dust-free – a winner in my mind!

*Visit Tentco’s website for more information: https://www.tentco.co.za/

Don’t forgot the basics!

More often than not, explorers focus so much on the big items when packing that they forget the personal items:

  • Passport, itinerary, travel insurance docs and eTickets (if relevant)
  • Correct currency and bank cards
  • Cameras and binoculars
  • Phone & laptop/tablet
  • Chargers for your electronics
  • Sunglasses, a hat and sunblock
  • Prescription meds
  • First Aid kit (remember to pack preventative meds for diarrhea, nausea, hay fever and general pain and aches)
  • Maps of the area (yes – sometimes the GPS is not totally accurate)
  • Strong flashlights
  • Clothes and toiletries

The clothes maketh the man

Wearing clothes in layers is the most practical way to cope with fluctuating day/night temperatures and cool evenings while exploring Africa. As the day warms up you can peel off another layer. Then, as it begins to cool toward evening, you can put them back on. Here’s some “must-haves”:

  • T-shirt, shirt or blouse – long sleeves and collars help to protect from the sun and mosquitoes
  • Fleece or warm jacket
  • A pair of safari trousers – those that zip off at the knees is very handy
  • Comfortable walking shoes (or boots) and socks
  • Hat
  • Bandanna or cotton scarf and a sarong
  • A pair of open sandals for general daytime use in warmer months
  • Swimsuit
  • A light, compact raincoat or disposable rain poncho

…Finally, be sure to pack your spirit of adventure, sense of humour, patience and some common sense!

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