For the Off-Grid Enthusiast to the Happy Camper
Summer is here, which means it’s time to braai, soak up the sun at the beach, swim, and camp. Most people love spending time in the outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of their lives. However, there are some people that just don’t enjoy camping, and it’s normally due to one or another bad experience. Perhaps he or she was attacked by mozzies, ate horrible food, or got lost in the dark – there are many possibilities. These circumstances are often easily avoided and associated with unpreparedness. Bearing this in mind, we are all accustomed to our own levels of comfort.
We have identified three types of campers that are frequently spotted in South African bush: the glamper (aka glamourous camper) or shall we say, the supreme 4x4 overlander, the gadget loving adventurer, and the happy camper. The outdoor enthusiasts at Sustainable.co.za have put together a collection of must have camping equipment
based on the requirements of our varying desired levels of comfort. Not only will the camping gear below make your next camping trip more comfortable, it will also reduce its associated carbon footprint!
For the Supreme 4x4 Overlander
If you’re planning a 4x4 trip to Namibia, Botswana, or even locally, to the Tankwa Karoo, you’re likely planning on staying a while, and where you’re going there’s probably very little amenities. Taking enough equipment with you to prepare for the uncertain is key and you will have to pack supplies to last the duration of your trip. Space is therefore very limited.
The Philips High Efficiency Cook Stove
is a super efficient and clean wood stove that utilises an internal fan and a rechargeable battery. This efficient biomass stove makes use of a built-in fan to force air into the top and bottom of a combustion chamber. This causes heat at the bottom, which vaporises the fuel, and the injected air burns the vapour as a combustible gas. What you’re left with is a smokeless wood-fire that produces intense heat by using little fuel. Price: R1,331.00
The Sunfire 12 solar cooker
concentrates the sun’s rays onto a pot or pan which is fixed centrally. The Sunfire 12 requires no burn fuel and can be used to cook, bake and even fry foods, which makes it perfect for long term off-grid trips. The cooker astonishingly brings water to the boil in 10 minutes, and has the ability to reach temperatures of over 200 degrees C. Price: R1,077.00
Peppermint Forty2 solar suitcases
(250Whr) is a powerful and durable solar power generator. The suitcase has a plug in power on functionality and even powers devices when the sun isn’t shining. That’s all there is to it. The Forty2 can power: a vast range of appliances from electric saws to computers and small fridges. It takes around 2 hours for the 250 wHr to recharge in optimal conditions. Price: R25,150.00
The Flexopower Namib-79 4x4 solar kit
is ideal for mobile and on-the go charging. The flexible solar panels are tough and virtually unbreakable, yet easy to handle (the panels fit into a carry bag after being rolled up). Even when punctured, the panels continue to deliver power. Another massive benefit to these panels is that they are more low light tolerant and soak up energy in overcast conditions (more so than glass panels do). The Flexopower solar 4×4 kit can be laid flat on the ground, over a gazebo, or mounted on a 4x4. Price: R6,004.00
The Solar Way G1 Lantern
is a combined LED lantern and cell phone charger. This ingenious lantern allows users to charge one cell phone (including smart phones) while using the light. The Solarway G1 works as a conventional desktop lantern or hanging room light. Enjoy up to 20 hours of light from one full charge (low mode).
The Gadget Loving Adventurer
You’re not quite willing to make all the fuss of hauling a lot of equipment on your trip, but you do enjoy taking some smaller, handy gadgetry along on your trips, which are normally shorter than 4x4 cross-country trips.
The Mbaula Green galvanised stove
is an easy transportable cooking stove and braai. The Mbaula is almost smokeless and uses less fuel (5 – 12 pieces of charcoal or 3 pieces of wood) than ordinary cooking stoves. Price: R767.96
The Ecoboxx Qube120
is a reasonably priced solar generator that also provides plug-and-play portable power. With unique lead crystal battery technology, EcoBoxx is highly durable and has a long lifespan. See the image below for the Ecoboxx Qube 120’s power delivery capabilities. Price: R2,899.00
The Waka Waka solar mobile charger
is a lightweight, extremely durable solar powered charger that will replenish your phone batteries 100%, while still providing hours of bright, safe light. The Waka Waka Power charges most Smartphones in under 2 hours and its LED light will burn for over twenty hours. Price: R799.00
The Luci solar lantern
is an elegant, inflatable and waterproof solar lamp that provides 12 hours of light when fully charged. When deflated, the Luci takes up very little space and fits into any backpack. The Luci solar lantern is the perfect partner for outdoor activities, home décor and emergency preparedness. Price: R220.00
The Happy Camper
Instead of spending a lot of time at your base camp you’d like to be having fun. Don’t want to mind the fire or sit around? Would you rather be mountain climbing or swimming in the nearest stream? Then our happy camper gear is for you!
The Stovetec Wonderbag
is an insulated cooker made up of two poly-cotton bags filled with expanded polystyrene (EPS) balls. The Wonderbag cooks pre-heated dishes through heat retention, and because no steam escapes during the slow-cooking process, the food retains taste and nutrients. A medium Wonderbag is suitable for a fairly large standard household pot, whereas a large Wonderbag can fit a 50 litre pot. Price: R297.00
Designed to charge cell phones with great results, the Solarway Mobile Charger
is capable of charging all types of cell phones and safely charges in temperatures in excess of 60 degrees Celsius. The charger comes with an integrated battery checker which allows the user to know when the solar charger is fully charged. Price: R331.00
The Solar Buddy
by Naturally Solar provides up to 10 hours of safe light with a single days charge. The lantern is tough and waterproof, and has been fitted with a Lithium-Ion battery and bright LED giving it a longer burn life. The Solar Buddy is a true companion at a braai, on the beach, when camping in the Cedarberg or simply during a power outage. Price: R154.00
As a happy camper you don’t want to be bothered with doing dishes. Instead of taking reusable plates and cutlery on your next camping trip, stock up on Green Home eco packing
. Green Home eco packing is 100% biodegradable and comes in a range of formats. Price: From R34.20
Now that you have a better idea of what camping equipment to take on your next adventure you must remember to pack everything! To avoid arriving at the location without your nifty gear, download this camping checklist. We hope that you have an amazing time on your next camping trip!