Page 42 - CemAir SkyNews 04/16-05/16
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ON A LIGHTER NOTE / RENÉ CONNELLY

Hey-ho, a camping we will go!

     THERE’S CAMPING AND THERE’S CAMPING. IF YOU COME FROM A LONG LINE OF BUSH WHACKING, ‘BOB-A-JOB’ CUB
     SCOUTING, LET’S BUILD OUR OWN TIPI WHILE DAD HUNTS FOR DINNER AND MOM BUILDS A BONFIRE PIONEERS,
     THEN GREAT – GO FOR IT, CAMP AWAY. IF HOWEVER YOU ARE KIN TO PAMPERED CITY SLICKERS WHO WOULDN’T
     KNOW A NETTLE FROM A PETAL, THEN BEST YOU STAY AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE. DON’T RUSH OUT AND SWAP
     YOUR GUCCI FOR KHAKI. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

There comes a time in everyone’s family when            greenish, brownish uniform before they leave          firelighters though don’t panic, just save the lint
well-meaning, albeit misguided parents feel the         their country of origin or do they rush to the nea-   from your partner’s navel. It is however strongly
need to take their children back to the ‘simple life’.  rest ‘Africa-R-Us’ type clothing stores once they     recommended that you remove it from said navel
This misnomer is, in theory, a lovely idea but truth    get here? Just a thought.                             before lighting.
be told, not all campers are created equal. This
undeniable conclusion is evident in the scores of       If however you decide to go ahead and brave the       This brings us to your choice of camping partner.
battered, bruised and sadly defeated individuals        challenges of camping, then the least I can do is     This will have a direct bearing on the one man
who end up annually at the ER, wishing they had         offer a few suggestions on what you should be         tent versus the two man tent option. A snorer will
never ventured out into the wild. Some would say        taking along for the trip. A ‘do not dare leave the   make a camping trip long and sleepless, so choo-
that men of mettle such as Bear Grylls, unwittin-       city limits without this’ list if you like. The very  se wisely. This next item is essential, if slightly
gly lead us down a path of misplaced confidence         first thing you should pop into the old rug sack is   controversial – a Sherpa or any suitable substitu-
in our ability as serious outdoor die-hards, some-      your medical aid card, you’ll thank me later. The     te. Have you seen the size of the back packs and
how making the idea of eating bugs and wrestling        second useful item is glow in the dark tape. Anyo-    camping gear a decent campsite requires? The
vicious creatures an attractive and doable pros-        ne who’s ever tripped over a tent rope in the dark    last tip I have for you newbies is more of a life’s
pect. I believe strongly that such shows should         will agree that this is a lifesaver. Which brings     lesson but also doubles up as a camping stalwart.
come with a ‘don’t try this at home’ warning. I’m       me to my next don’t leave home without it item.       When choosing friends for the trip you may want
confident that anyone who has ever been spra-           Plenty of loo roll. Obvious? You would think so but   to give this a bit of thought. You don’t have to be
yed by a skunk, chased by a moody bear or woken         you’d be surprised at how many city slickers un-      the fastest runner in the group but make sure
up with a huge, hairy spider in their hair would        der cater on this one. No matter how many long        that you’re not the slowest. When running from
agree wholeheartedly.                                   sleeve tops you pack, you still need paper to wipe    vicious, snarling creatures with long teeth, you
                                                        your nose on and of course for that other thing.      really don’t want to be the runner at the back.
So where do the scores of thrill seekers and            It must be said however that a great deal of hos-     Even though these helpful tips will indeed come
‘wannabe’ adventurers go? With wildlife nirva-          tility can be vented by using newspaper photos        in handy, if you favour not-so-comforting-crea-
na and vast camping sites on tap, sunny South           of politicians for toilet paper. Contrary to popular  tures, then rather stay at a nice hotel and watch
Africa is a no brainer. I’ve often wondered where       belief you cannot start a fire by eating Mexican      the Discovery or National Geographic channels
the khaki sales peak. Do the wide eyed and bushy        chili and then breathing on a pile of dry sticks, so  for your annual outdoor adventure fix and leave
tailed, ‘would be’ campers clad themselves in this      don’t forget the matches. If you forget to pack the   the camping to the professionals. Happy trails!

                                                                                                              Don’t worry - there are no
                                                                                                              bears in Africa!

42 | APRIL / MAY 2016 CEMAIR SKYNEWS
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