Texas Hunting Forum

Hunting/Camping with my sons

Posted By: Dimitri

Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/18/21 10:19 AM

For many years, my late dad and I camped for a week on our annual hunting trip to a friend's farm in the Limpopo province. There was no electricity or running water. Whatever we needed we took with us. Our fridge was the coolerbox with a bucket of ice in it. Our stove was the fire. A spade and a roll of white gold was what we took with into the nearby bush when nature called. Our accommodation was a thin nylon 5-man tent. I have such fond memories of those camping/hunting trips. I can't say I particularly enjoyed having to pack all the extra gear that was required, compared to staying at the lodge, nor the amount of time "wasted" setting up camp and packing everything up again. But the end result was worth it.

My dad and I also used to do one or two hunting trips a year to another friend's farm in the eastern Free State. I've carried this on with my sons. Our accommodation there has always been an unused house on the farm. However, family of the farmer have been staying in that house for the last year so that house in no longer available to us. The farmer invited us to stay in his house with him but, although we really appreciate the offer, we kind-of want to do our own thing and we don't want to inconvenience the farmer. If we get up at 5.30am to get ready we might wake up the farmer or his wife. If we want to cook liver on the stove for breakfast we worry about the farmer's wife waking up to a liver smell wafting through the house. We landed up not doing that trip last year due to the accommodation issue as well as COVID travel restrictions. This year we don't want to miss the hunt again and I have decided to camp in the bush with my two boys - just as I did with my dad.

However, its been more than 20 years since I last camped in the wild with no facilities so I need to to make sure I've planned for the important stuff. There are some things I have to consider and I would appreciate any advice.

CONSIDERATIONS

1. The Free State gets bitterly cold in winter. It regularly goes below 30F overnight and can be in the low 30s during the day. I'll use the same old thin nylon tent that I used with my dad and there is no budget to buy new cold weather gear. My sons are 12 and 10 years old. They have hunted with me a lot and can walk all day. However, they have never camped in the wild. I think they will find it fun and exciting but they are not as "battle hardened" as I was when I camped with my dad in the bush. I was in my 20's and 30's while they.are much younger. There will be no electricity or running water. Anyone have any experience camping in such conditions with young children? Any advice?

2.. Any suggestions on safety? I don't have a self-defence handgun. Only a .22 pistol which I carry on the farm. What is your security plan when you camp in a remote area?

3. We will have to phone my wife daily to prove we have not succumbed to the cold or anything else and I will also need a charged phone for emergencies and for comms with the farmer, where necessary. I'm thinking of buying a small solar phone charger and battery pack. I will leave the battery pack plugged into the solar charger to charge during the day and plug the phone into the battery pack to charge overnight. How do you charge your phones when doing say a 4-7 day trip in a remote area without electricity?

4. I want to keep it as simple as possible. tent, table chairs, some lighting and warm bedding. We walk long distances and retrieve, gut and skin our own game so I'm not planning on making elaborate and time-consuming dishes at night. I'll take meat that I can cook over the coals and some meals that have been pre-cooked by my wife that I can simply warm up. Where I can get away with using paper plates I'll do so.

Any general thoughts on this and any camping tips from the experienced campers out there?

I must say that I'm very excited about this and although we are still a month away, I'm already planning and dreaming.
Posted By: NRAman

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/18/21 11:55 AM

Dimitri, I think you have things pretty much in mind that are of importance. I used to camp often as a kid and still do depending on where I am hunting or fishing. If there is any chance of rain, I would seam seal the tent and take large garbage bags or tarps to wrap your bedding up during the day in case the tents leaks- I can remember too many nights trying to sleep in wet sleeping bags. Bring some white gas or lighter fluid to help start the fire when all the wood is wet. When camping that many days and in the cold, make sure you have adequate padding under your sleeping bags to make it warmer and increase comfort- it sucks to wake up to a sore back or hip-kids can sleep on rocks and be fine, but older people need a bed. If your sleeping bags are light duty, bring some extra blankets to throw over the top to keep you warmer-especially the kids tend to get colder easier. Bring a deck of cards or some other game to play to give you something to do if you are stuck in camp for some reason. Bring a backup source of light- batteries go dead- a propane lantern with extra bottles is a wise investment. When I was very young, my dad used to keep a few hard candies in his pocket to brighten the attitude of the young son who was tired or discouraged during the camping trip. I think you will do fine if you can anticipate things that might not go just right. Have fun!
Posted By: Texas Dan

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/18/21 01:48 PM

When it comes to raising and spending time with kids, "the days are long but the years are short."
Posted By: Dimitri

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/21/21 06:37 AM

Originally Posted by NRAman
Dimitri, I think you have things pretty much in mind that are of importance. I used to camp often as a kid and still do depending on where I am hunting or fishing. If there is any chance of rain, I would seam seal the tent and take large garbage bags or tarps to wrap your bedding up during the day in case the tents leaks- I can remember too many nights trying to sleep in wet sleeping bags. Bring some white gas or lighter fluid to help start the fire when all the wood is wet. When camping that many days and in the cold, make sure you have adequate padding under your sleeping bags to make it warmer and increase comfort- it sucks to wake up to a sore back or hip-kids can sleep on rocks and be fine, but older people need a bed. If your sleeping bags are light duty, bring some extra blankets to throw over the top to keep you warmer-especially the kids tend to get colder easier. Bring a deck of cards or some other game to play to give you something to do if you are stuck in camp for some reason. Bring a backup source of light- batteries go dead- a propane lantern with extra bottles is a wise investment. When I was very young, my dad used to keep a few hard candies in his pocket to brighten the attitude of the young son who was tired or discouraged during the camping trip. I think you will do fine if you can anticipate things that might not go just right. Have fun!

Thanks for the tips, NRAman.
Posted By: Dimitri

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/21/21 06:38 AM

Originally Posted by Texas Dan
When it comes to raising and spending time with kids, "the days are long but the years are short."



Too short.
Posted By: Ringtail

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/22/21 05:28 PM

Sounds like a rough but fun hunting experience with your boys coming up!! Thirty years from now they will be the ones telling of the great time they had camping with their dad and "roughing it"! Enjoy!
Posted By: dogcatcher

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/23/21 02:30 AM

Originally Posted by Ringtail
Sounds like a rough but fun hunting experience with your boys coming up!! Thirty years from now they will be the ones telling of the great time they had camping with their dad and "roughing it"! Enjoy!

X2
Posted By: ZK-315

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/25/21 02:45 PM

A lot of good input already in here. One thing I learned on our trip to Colorado and charging phones. If it's that cold at night, keep your power bank and phone in your sleeping bag with you to help keep it warm. We would charge our phones at night setting out, and the cold would drain the phone battery and the power bank, leaving us with dead phones in the morning.
Posted By: talkturkey

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/25/21 02:55 PM

A lion proof fence? scratch
Posted By: BOBO the Clown

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/25/21 05:28 PM

Originally Posted by ZK-315
A lot of good input already in here. One thing I learned on our trip to Colorado and charging phones. If it's that cold at night, keep your power bank and phone in your sleeping bag with you to help keep it warm. We would charge our phones at night setting out, and the cold would drain the phone battery and the power bank, leaving us with dead phones in the morning.


X2 And water filters. Freezing destroys a lot of the filter membranes
Posted By: Texas Dan

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/25/21 05:29 PM

Not sure if you'll be camping at higher altitudes but I remember a post sometime ago by a member who discovered the low oxygen sensor in his propane Buddy Heater kept it from staying lit while camping high in the mountains. I also seem to remember seeing an altitude limit being mentioned in Buddy Heater instructions.
Posted By: Dimitri

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/26/21 09:25 AM

Originally Posted by ZK-315
A lot of good input already in here. One thing I learned on our trip to Colorado and charging phones. If it's that cold at night, keep your power bank and phone in your sleeping bag with you to help keep it warm. We would charge our phones at night setting out, and the cold would drain the phone battery and the power bank, leaving us with dead phones in the morning.

Thanks ZK. Great advice that I will use.
Posted By: Dimitri

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/26/21 09:27 AM

Originally Posted by talkturkey
A lion proof fence? scratch

Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for the lions, there are no wild lions roaming where I will be camping.
Posted By: Dimitri

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/26/21 09:27 AM

Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by ZK-315
A lot of good input already in here. One thing I learned on our trip to Colorado and charging phones. If it's that cold at night, keep your power bank and phone in your sleeping bag with you to help keep it warm. We would charge our phones at night setting out, and the cold would drain the phone battery and the power bank, leaving us with dead phones in the morning.


X2 And water filters. Freezing destroys a lot of the filter membranes

Thanks Bobo
Posted By: Dimitri

Re: Hunting/Camping with my sons - 05/26/21 09:28 AM

TD, we will be at around 1,100m (3600 feet) above sea level. However, I don't have a Buddy Heater anyway. Going to have to rely on warm clothing.

Covid numbers are increasing here and I'm concerned that the govt may introduce inter-provincial travel restrictions at some point as they have done in the past. That may put the trip in jeopardy for June.
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