So I was chatting to friends of mine who are heading off to Namibia for their first time doing something slightly wild and untamed. Going to these wild and rural places is amazing but so often when we don’t know where to start or what to bring it can turn into an overwhelming experience. So here are some of the things that I would recommend especially when travelling with kids.
You need to have a rough idea of distances and times to be covered each day. The one thing which has made a HUGE difference is that on the days that you are having to cover quite a large distance is to have a meal already made. This worked so well for us because as we arrived at camp my husband would setup and I would prep supper for the kids and it would be ready within 10-15 mins. You then weren’t having to set up camp and then start to prep meals on fires etc and have children who were moaning and unhappy. We took along a bolognese so only had to cook the pasta, a chicken curry so just cooked rice and just froze them before hand. Always have a few backup ‘easy meals’. I take a few pesto’s that can be put on pasta or soups that only need to be opened and heated. Again, problems can arise like wheel issues or engine problems so that you can be delayed getting to your destination. In places like Namibia and Botswana there aren’t exactly restaurants you can just pull up to en route.
It’s also good to be prepared to make some bread. If you don’t have time to knead and leave then try my Beer Bread on the Fire as it is quick and easy to make. Irish Soda bread in a pan is also a winner. This can be used for lunches and breakfasts and doesn’t need a lot of prep time.
Don’t forget to zip loc or wrap anything in paper bags or cardboard. We opened our trailer once to find flour everywhere when the bag exploded due to driving on rough roads. An oil lid also popped off once and a Jimmy’s Braai sauce also exploded….cleaning those was no funding the residue and smell lingered for ages! We also bought milk in cardboard cartons and they started to leak due to rubbing along the bottom of the crates. The next time we put a layer of bubble wrap and paper and it was much better. Also labeling your crates with a basic list of what is inside can be a huge timesaver.
When kids have to be in the car for lengths of time they seem to snack incessantly. I would make a ‘lunch box’ each morning before setting off. Bars, biltong, a sandwich and fruit. You can’t always stop when they expect lunch so this holds them off for a while but takes a bit of planning as you have to make sure you have enough for the whole trip.
So below are some essentials I take along. It is a pretty basic list but its a good start to then build from. Let me know if there is anything you would think is an ‘essential’ that I should add as well 🙂
BASIC SHOPPING LIST
Condiments: salt, pepper, olive oil, cooking oil, fresh garlic, liquid stock sachets, dried rosemary, basil and thyme, mayo, tomato sauce and butter if possible, jam, peanut butter, nutella (can be used for smores), bovril/marmite, honey, mustard, pesto. We forgot all spices our first trip and food was pretty bland! Nothing like a pooitjie with no spices. I like to take along some smoked paprika, chilli, curry powders so that we have the option of a curry or a tagine on the fire.
Lunch aids (when you can’t get bread): pre-packed wraps – we use the Woolworths ones as they last long, they can also be used for bacon and egg breakfast mornings when bread may be finished. Dry biscuits like provitas and rice cakes are good backups and snack fillers if necessary.
General Food Goods: Rice, flour (either decant into a tupperware or double wrap), couscous (can be used for salads or supper base), baking powder, baking soda, oats, marshmallows, teas & coffee, sugar, bottled beetroot, olives, sundried tomatoes, vinaigrette, tuna, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, corn, tomato paste, longlife cream, longlife milk, coconut milk, custard, marshmallows, marie biscuits (for smores), tinned apples (Desserts in the Desert), jelly (a winner with the kids but have a tupperware with an airtight lid)
General Items: Rubber gloves, leather gloves (for collecting wood), dishwashing liquid, handy andy, hand washing powder, dish sponges, wire pot scrubber, kitchen cloth, dish towel (they get so dirty so pack a few extra) double thick black bags (often you have to take your rubbish along and you don’t need them breaking), smaller bags for rubbish, extra thick tinfoil, plastic wrap, kitchen towel/serviettes, wet wipes, zip loc bags various sizes (great for leftovers as they then fit in spaces in the fridge as containers can be restricting), a few tupperwares
I am a firm believer in not skimping on the good things because when you have those added ‘luxuries’ a hard day just becomes that much more palatable and good food should never be compromised on!
Shop, be adventurous and enjoy