Looking to get into weekend camping




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  1. #1
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    Dec 2016
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    Default Looking to get into weekend camping

    Hi All!

    I've landed on the forum as a newcomer to weekend camping. I'm situated in Pretoria and would appreciated some guidance taking into account the following information:


    • We're a family of 3. Me, my wife and our 6 year old son.
    • I want to get into weekend camping. Thus, just deciding during a week, we're going camping this weekend! Grab the camping list, start packing throw all on the bakkie and leave for the camping weekend.
    • I don't want to struggle getting the tent pitched. The weekend is so short and this is the last thing I want to struggle with. Preferably I should be able to pitch the tent myself, having my wife sort out some of the camping stuff and my son exploring the camp site.
    • I want a tent with ample space, something in the line of a 8 man tent. I want to be able to walk inside the tent without too much trouble. The tent must keep water & insects out and must be practical.
    • We must sleep well, thus, I'd think to invest in a good & practical air mattress. If one does not sleep well, all are grumpy and you might as well have stayed home.
    • I'd think that some kind of gazebo is important if there's not a lot of direct shade. Please give your opinions on this.
    • The camp site must have clean ablution facilities. Must have warm water.
    • For the rest, its all just 'camping'!
    • The above is my minimum requirements for have a good weekend camping trip. I'm not even mentioning things like braai facilities etc, thats a given for camping.


    So, a big question I have at the moment, which tent to I buy? I like the Coleman tents, but, unfortunately only the old models are available in S.A. The new FastPitch range has not ETA on when it will be available. The model I'd be interested in is:

    FastPitch Instant Cabin 8 -> http://www.coleman.eu/co.za/p-26655-...t-cabin-8.aspx
    FastPitch Instant Dome 7 -> http://www.coleman.eu/co.za/p-26111-...nt-dome-7.aspx

    Which tent is the best value for money and will tick the tent related requirements above?

    I know theres a lot around camping, but, for me, to sum it up, its about enjoying the outdoors by having a good shelter, getting a good nights sleep, doing a good braai, and having a warm shower. What am I missing!?

    Thanks in advance!
    Rico

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    Welcome Rico. I have the 7 man Coleman tent and are happy with mine but have never experienced any rain as we normally use it when we tour Botswana. We are only 2 persons and it's big enough for our matresses and clothing etc. To sleep well you should then also consider getting stretchers and proper matresses. I personally don't like the air matresses and have invested in Carmaquip self inflating matresses which is durable and quality products. Have a look at a gazebo that will fit over the tent that can act as a shelter and kitchen during foul weather. The correct tent pens (maxcon) and/or storm straps will ensure that you don't lose your gazebo during high winds.

    There are various camping spots that will suit your basic needs.....

    Please note there is a camping forum where you can post further camping related posts

    cheers
    Paul

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    I prefer geodesic tents. I feel they deal with severe forces much better. Any corner is just a weakness that will break. Thus, I would go for the dome tent.

    I have had many occasions when the weather turned from perfect to monstrous. Both in terms of severe winds and heavy rain and thunderstorms. You want to be safe and dry inside your tent till the weather passes.

    Get yourself some plastic boxes that fit nice and snug in your vehicle. These boxes always stay packed with your camping kit and in the garage. The afternoon you decide to go camping, you just load these boxes, the cooler box, braai grid and bedding and off you go.

    I have 1 box with mattresses, bedding, torches, etc (housy stuff) and another with kitchen stuff; cutlery, paper plates, cups, dishwash stuff, coffee & creamer, kettle, pan, serviettes etc.

    A cadac gas bottle is very handy for coffee and warming stuff in the pan.

    Remember, all you need is a warm, dry bed and a full tummy for camping. Everything else is a luxury.

    THUS, DO NOT go out and spend R20k on rubbish and end up never using it. As you camp you will see what is nice to have to make life more comfortable and what other clever gadgets other campers have.

    PS - Blow-up mattresses can get VERY cold. We always have a thick blanket with us to cover the blowup mattress with.
    Last edited by RogueFrontier; 2016/12/23 at 12:48 PM.
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    Isuzu Frontier 280LX 4x4 2001

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    • We must sleep well, thus, I'd think to invest in a good & practical air mattress. If one does not sleep well, all are grumpy and you might as well have stayed home.
    • I'd think that some kind of gazebo is important if there's not a lot of direct shade. Please give your opinions on this.
    Blow-up mattresses are great while they work, but be prepared to replace them OFTEN, no matter how much money you spent on them. PS - Make sure you have a good ELECTRIC pump.

    You will learn quickly natural shade is much better then a gazebo. A gazebo is a nice-to-have on occasion tho.
    -----------------------------
    Isuzu Frontier 280LX 4x4 2001

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    Hi Shrick, judging by your requirements, why not just book into the Lost City for the weekend? 🤣 sorry, just an Irish sense of humour!

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  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    Maybe camping isn't your thing...
    2014 Pajero 3.2DiD SWB
    2008 Pajero Gen4 3.2DiD LWB - SOLD
    2016 Nissan Qashqai 1.2T Acenta
    Metalian Maxi

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  8. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    I know of people who wanted more and had to buy a Metalian to get it

    A good shelter is the first point to consider, let mommy get wet one time and it is over, no more camping. I am not sure of your choice of tent, in my experience they are fine to set up and excellent in dry weather but bring a few drops of rain and you have drama

    jpg.gif

    My personal choice has always been a canvas tent and these have lasted many years, unfortunately they are heavy and an extra set o hands to pitch is always welcome.

    I have had very good service from my inflatable beds just get the one with the collapsible base and you sleep like a king.



    Think about the food and food prep side, life is too short to eat bad food. You will need a decent stove and some light cookware as well as a table and decent chairs. Forget the cheap supermarket specials they are rubbish, spend a buck and get something substantial. Throw in a few LED lanterns and head lights with a torch or two and you are on the right track
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    Last edited by hbannink; 2017/01/06 at 01:18 AM.
    Henk
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    Howzit Rico,

    I reckon one of the biggest questions regarding a tent, is how much packing space are you willing to give up? Canvas tents are amazing tents and they will last you a life time if you look after them right, however, they are (for the size you requested) extremely heavy and bulky - if alone, can be tricky to set up.

    In terms of synthetic tents, like the Colemans mentioned, you need to look at flysheet material and thickness of poles etc. Cape Union Mart offers amazing K-Way tents which use rip-stop nylon, silicone seal poles and stick lines. Have a look at the Horzion 6 man tent - it won't let you down.

    Where are you based? I am a Merchandiser at Cape Union Mart (so I buy plan and develop products for all of our stores ) -I used to handle tents; furniture and sleeping ( now do knives, tools and lighting) I don't mind taking you to one of our stores and going through what you might need. If you not in the area I will arrange that a product specialist at your closest store can help.

    PS: I have access and the ability to order almost all of the brands mentioned above so I am not favoring K-Way over any other brand. I personally believe that through use and testing, we offer great synthetic tent.

    I can help with the rest of the goods needed too.

    Hope you come right - cheers
    "Do or do not there is no try" master Yoda

  10. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Looking to get into weekend camping

    The more elaborate your setup is the longer it will take to setup and the less you will enjoy it.
    Camp lite and view many different examples before making up your mind, otherwise it can become a very expensive hobby.
    Don't think that the first setup you see which is better than yours, is the best.
    Don't rush it, at your age camping is not going to run away.
    Send me a private message with your email address and I will send you an indication to assist you in making a decision.

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