Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara


Don’t sweat the small stuff

There’s so much more to camping than merely having a tent. You also need sleeping bags, camping beds, ground sheets… the list goes on. However, as we all know it’s the little things in life that make all the difference and while the aforementioned ‘big’ items are important, ANTON WILLEMSE SNR examines a few smaller items that can make or break a camping trip.

With camping being part of what we do, one would think that the Adventure Afrika team have packing down to a science. Alas, that’s not the case. And we’re not alone – campers everywhere often have the wrong tools or equipment on hand or simply forget to pack the obvious stuff. This you usually only realise once you’ve reached your destination and start setting up camp. I, for one, often forget the tent pegs at home – not a train smash as both our tents can be pitched without them, but they do provide peace of mind when the wind comes up.

On our most recent trip I also left the windbreaker at home. It would really have come in handy as the wind howled across the salt pans of Botswana and I have made a mental note to make it a permanent fixture on my packing list. It could also have double as a bit of a barrier when we went camping in a lion infested spot and would have provided bit of a barrier in case a lion decided to approach us from the back of our camping spot. But then as the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the telescopic poles for tent awnings or tent extensions. These should be with my other tent poles but for some reason they never are. So many times, I have arrived at our destination, started to set up camp and then realised that I couldn’t add the ‘comfort items’ because the telescopic poles were missing.

Every now and then my wife would also complain that she doesn’t have space when washing the dishes. A lot of trailer campers or foldable workspaces only have one basin, and an additional basin would be really convenient for rinsing purposes or to pack washed dishes in if you need to carry them around. Finally, probably the most annoying tool to forget is that rubber mullet! It is never where it is supposed to be, or you bought a crappy one and now the head flies off with every second hit on the peg.

Fortunately, our friends at Tentco provide durable and cost-effective solutions for all of these camping niggles. I wonder if they can invent some kind of switch to magically pack everything…

Pile driver peg set

This 17-piece peg set will make your life so much easier when setting up camp. The 15 steel pegs with heavy-duty heads come in a convenient carry case and are 20cm long. The set also includes a socket adapter to screw them into the ground, but you will need a cordless drill for that.

*Price: R300

Telescopic tent poles

At about 1.2m long when not extended, these aluminium telescopic poles work like a charm. The inner aussie clamp is strong and keeps it at exactly the length you want it to be. The sturdy and durable pole consists of an outer pole at 25mm and the 22mm inner telescopic section. The spigot at the top slides easily into most tent eyelets and is long enough to also hook over your guy ropes. Best of all, the poles are compatible with most other tent brands that use telescopic poles – and are most definitely a more cost-effective option than other branded products.

*Price: R130


At 5m long and 1.5m high, this windbreaker will provide shelter from the wind in winter months and keep the dust out of your camping site. Manufactured from 120gsm shade net it will also act as a barrier when wild camping in places like Mabuasehube. It comes with yellow passivated electroplated steel upright poles measuring 19mm in diameter and is easy to set up, pack away and store.

*Price: from R850

Folding basin

This versatile folding basin has no funny round corners and, when folded, fits easily into your Tentco Box. It is a decent size (28.5cm x 28.5cm x 16.5cm) and has a 13-litre volume, making it big enough to use as a standalone basin setup. It is even big enough to wash a few pieces of clothing in. Constructed from durable 500D heavy duty PVC it should last a lifetime.

*Price: R155

Bits and bobs

Where to hang your braai tongs or cloths? The Tentco multi hook will fit on most poles from 19-25mm thick. It is made from mild steel and have six hooks with rubber caps to ensure your cloths or braai tongs don’t land in the dust.

*Price: R110

Storm straps and spring pegs

If you’re looking for a robust tent strap solution, look no further than the storm straps from Tentco. Measuring 9m when fully extended, the straps feature 5mm ski rope at the ends that easily hook onto your tent pegs or pole spigots, while 50mm nylon webbing is used for the rest of the construction. Used together with Tentco’s spring pegs, they should withstand even the worst stormy weather. The spring pegs come in sets of two and the storm straps are sold separately.

*Price: R110 (straps) / R120 (pegs)

Get hammered

Tentco’s bright orange dead blow hammer is hard to overlook when you’re packing for a camping trip. Constructed from steel and coated with a bright orange PVC, it has a diamond textured non-slip handle that ensures you won’t lose your grip when grounding your tent. In addition, the shot filled head adds extra force to the hammer and eliminates rebound.

*Price: R140

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