To camping cot or to not camping cot? That is the question. What is the answer? As with many things the answer is… it depends! Here we will weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the camping cot to see if it is for you.I have been an avid camper for the past 30 years and have done all types of camping. Sometimes I want a cot, and sometimes I do not. Here is why!AdvantagesThere are a lot of advantages to having a cot. The most beneficial is that it gets you off the ground and adds some comfort. We were taught this as one of our first Boy Scout lessons. It is very important to have something between you and the ground when you are sleeping. Not only for dirt and bugs, but mainly for the temperature. When you are sleeping your temperature will drop and so does the cool night air. It is vital to have something between you and the ground when camping. Now, if you are seeking warmth, then a blanket/pad is the best thing to have between you and the ground. Believe it or not, you body actually warms the pad and blanket up and helps keep you warm at night. However, if you are not camping in freezing temperatures then a cot will do.Cots also add a ton of comfort. In my 20’s I could sleep anywhere. Now that I am a little older sleeping on a hard surface sucks. So a cot makes my sleep so much better comfort wise.These days cots are made very strong, lightweight and compact. They are not like the cots of the old days where they were extremely bulky and many times heavy. Nowadays with camping technology you can pack a cot that weights only 8 lbs and take it anywhere.DisadvantagesAs mentioned today many cots are lightweight and compact, however not all of them are. Some are still bulky or heavy. Over the years I have learned that bringing too much stuff when camping is just a hassle and necessary. Camping is better enjoyed with less stuff that is very effective. I apply the 80/20 rule when camping. It says that 20% of the camping equipment will be used 80% of the time when camping. If it doesn’t fit in the 20% then it is unnecessary. If you are backpacking then bringing a camping cot can also be a hassle. Also when backpacking more is less.In the end it really depends on the person, the type of camping they are doing and what they want their experience to be. I am willing to add 8 lbs. for a cot on any camping that I do because sleeping on a hard surface is just not comfortable for me anymore. I toss and turn all night.
Americans love sending their kids to summer camp and one of the things they consider is what kind of camp staff will be in charge of their kids’ wellbeing. After all, kids need to be a safe and enjoyable environment where they can learn and practice a great deal of skills. As the owner or organizer of a summer camp, you need to know exactly how to choose the right camp staff. Keep in mind that you will receive a great many applications for the few posts available and you need to exercise a great deal of care when making a selection.1. The first thing to consider is whether the potential camp staff likes to work with kids at all. Only a person who likes to work with kids will be able to put in all the effort necessary to keep them happy. One has to keep in mind that kids can be pretty demanding and hard to manage.2. You should also look for a person who has a positive personality. Camp staff have a great deal of work to do over long hours and they will not be able to do it if they do not have the right attitude towards their job. A factor which many people do not consider is that camp counselors function as powerful role models to the kids in their charge.3. The person you hire should have a good fit with your camp’s personality. Each camp has a specific style and there should be a good match between the personalities of the kids and counselors or else there some kids will feel left out.4. Hiring camp staff who have maturity will ensure that they can handle all kinds of issues that might crop up from time to time. Even the best run camps have to deal with problems on occasion because of the many kids who join them.5. It is also good to hire a few people who have a fair amount of experience. You might have to pay more to hire experienced camp counselors but this is very necessary to ensure that your camp is managed efficiently.Hiring the right camp staff will ensure that your summer camp is managed very well. Parents are no doubt very anxious about the comfort and safety of their kids and if you have the right employees they will ensure that the expectations of parents will be exceeded.
South Africa’s breathtaking landscape, amiable climate and amazing wildlife make an ideal setting for a thrilling camping experience. For those of you who love soaking up the sights, sounds and serenity of nature, check out this list of top 10 camping sites across South Africa.1. Driehoek Farm, Western CapeLocated 240 kilometres from Cape Town on the N7, the Driehoek Farm nestles at the heart of the Cederberg Mountains and offers quite the picturesque camping site. This camping site makes the perfect base for hiking to well-known landmarks such as Tafelberg, Sneeuberg, the Maltese Cross and the Wolfberg Arch.Prices: R150 for up to 5 people2. Tankwa Karoo National Park, Western CapeThe 143 600 hectare Tankwa Karoo National Park is home to a fascinating diversity of life. You can take in the rugged splendour or the Karoo at the two newly-developed camping sites in the Park. Surrounded by amazing moonscapes, mountainous cliffs and rich plant life you enjoy a rather rustic camping site that is unlike any other.Price: R100 for 2 people3. Yellowwood Forest Campsite, Morgan Bay, Eastern CapeIf you are looking for a peaceful forested camping site, the Yellowwood Forest Campsite in Morgan Bay could be the perfect choice for you. The grass-covered, shady camping sites are an ideal pick for campers with kids. The Yellowwood Forest camping site is where you go to enjoy the best side of great outdoors.Price: R170 for up to 6 persons4. Glen Reenen Rest Camp Golden Gate National Park, Free StateThe Golden Gate National Park lies nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains and is 22km East of Clarens in Free State. The brilliant shades of gold that are cast by the sun on the sandstone cliffs of the Park certainly make it a place worth camping at. The Glen Reenen camping sites allow you the chance to be enthralled by the gorgeous views and admire local birdlife and game.Price: R165 for two persons5. Magalies Sleepy River Campsite, GautengLocated just 60 minutes away from Johannesburg, Magalies Sleepy River Campsite gives you a quick getaway into a peaceful environment that is surrounded by lush vegetation. The massive shaded campsite on the banks of the Magalies River sets the perfect backdrop for your outdoor adventure. This campsite is a good base to visit the nearby Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves.Price: R100-00 per site per day6. Ilanga Resort and Caravan Park, KwaZulu-NatalIf a beach camp site is what you are looking for then visit the Ilanga Resort and Caravan Park. Lying adjacent to the Banana Beach of the Hibiscus Coast, this site offers access to exciting rock pools and plenty of sand, sea and surf. Something you certainly have to catch is the glorious Sardine Rush that happens during winter months.Price: From R460 for 6 persons (mid-season)7. Bontle Camping Site Marakele National Park, LimpopoLocated just three-and-a-half hours from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Bontle Camping site in Marakele National Park offers plenty of grassed camping sites and lots of shade. The Marakele National Park is home to diverse animal life, however, game sightings are few and far between. What you can look out for is rhino and elephant. The Marakele National Park also inhabitsthe world’s largest breeding colonies of the endangered Cape Vulture.Price: From R185 for two persons8. Forever Badplaas Resort, MpumalangaIf you are looking for complete outdoor family fun, the Forever Badplassis a great choice. Nestled within a nature reserve at the foot of the Hlumuhlumu Mountains, the Forever Badplass Resort offers 300 picture-perfect caravan and camping sites. There are lots of fun activities you can indulge in like fishing, game drives, tree walking trails, horse trails and more. You can also pamper yourself at the award-winning Hydro Spa.Price: From R113 per person per day9. The Growcery Orange River Camp, Northern CapeSituated on the banks of the Orange River, The Growcery is a grassed, basic needs bush camp with all the bare essentials needed to provide an unforgettable experience. The endless views of the river and the surrounding rock formations offer campers a tranquil environment to be one with nature. The Growcery offers fun outdoor activities like swimming, tag and release fishing, mountain biking, combination 4X4 guided safaris and Orange River rafting trails.Price: From R150 per person per night10. Klien Paradys Caravan Park, North WestKlein Paradys means ‘little heaven’ and for a good reason. The spots here are the perfect place to relax, laze about on the lush lawns and enjoy the serene views of the dam close by. The sites are equipped with electricity, braai stands, water taps and clean ablution blocks. A weekend break at the tranquil Klein Paradys Caravan Park is all you need to refresh yourself. The camping sites are closed to visitors during the winter months of June and July.Price: From R530 for up to 4 people, per stand per weekend.