Want to go camping but you don’t have the kit and clobber? It is not as expensive as many people think to get yourself sorted out with the gear to enjoy a holiday in the outdoors.

The first thing to do is to buy second-hand. “It’s crazy for first-time campers to buy new gear” says Estelle Nagel of Gumtree SA. “Down the line, when you know exactly what you want and need, it might be right to invest in new equipment but starting out, when you’re on a learning curve and short of money, there are serious savings to be made in the second-hand online space.”

She advises online buyers to make sure they check the equipment thoroughly before committing to a purchase: “as an example, erect a tent before you buy it to make sure all the poles, pegs and pieces are there, and the fabric is in good condition”.

Nagel’s second key point is to get the right gear. “Camping is so much more enjoyable if you have the basics covered to stay dry, warm and comfortable.”

Nagel offers this check list of camping essentials and their approximate price online.

  1. Tent. Invest in the right size for you. Remember that tiny tents can get very claustrophobic if it rains. Four-person tents available from R400 – R6000
  2. Sleeping bag. Preferably lightweight and easily packable. Get it dry cleaned after purchase.Sleeping bags available from R250 – R1500
  3. Inflatable mattress. The ground is hard – never under-estimatethe comfort of a decent mattress. Inflatable mattress available from R350 – R1000
  4. Camping chairs. Nothing beats sitting comfortably around the fire. Camping chairs available from R150 – R650
  5. A foldable table. Essential for preparing food. Foldable tables available from R150 – R800
  6. Cooking & eating equipment. You can cobble together a braai grill, pots, utensils and crockery from home but you also can get a complete camping kit which is always ready to go. Camping kits available from R1200
  7. Lights. You need torches (head torches are especially useful) and some form of communal lighting for the cooking area.Solar powered lights charge in the day and provide hours of light at night. Solar lights available from R85 – R200

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