Home / Activities / Hiking / Equipment, Clothing and Food

The following is recommended in David Britow's Best Walks of the Drakensberg and is simply used as a guide. There is a variety of equipment and clothing stores specifically for hiking.


Please note: Whatever time of year you go hiking in the Berg, it is essential that you go prepared for
allseasons. Please click here to see a general overview and month-by-month forecast for the Drakensberg region (opens in a new window). You will see that the key words here are 'unpredictable' and 'snow falls' which can occur throughout the year - so it is vital that you are prepared for any weather conditions.

Equipment:

  • Tents (essential even if you are staying in caves- you may not always get there): Sunseeker Iso Domes with Kevlar poles (the tent should be strong enough to withstand savage weather)
  • Sleeping bags: Down and hollowfibre are available. Down will keep you warmer, while hollowfibre will retain some measure of warmth when wet. In summer you need not be too fussy but winter at the top of the Berg requires a full down expedition bag.
  • Backpacks: there are plenty of good local brands. Find the one that fits you best and get the sales person to show you how to adjust it to various sizes. Try it with a lot of weight to get a realistic idea of how well it suits your frame.
  • A 'pocket-rocket' stove with one gas cylinder can last 2 people 4 to 5 days if used sparingly and is essential as no fires are allowed in the 'Berg. Obviously pack spares for emergencies such as being snowed in.
  • A small first-aid kit: A space blanket, triangular bandage, crepe bandage (for ankle injuries), plasters, safety pins, antiseptic wipes or antiseptic lotion (such as Detol), headache tablets, insect repellent (such as Tabard), Antihistamine cream (such as Anthisan) and something for those aching muscles (such as Deep Heat).

Note that there is cell phone reception along much of the escarpment so carry one for emergency use. Please remember that most people are hiking to get away from the rat-race so keep the phone off unless it is for an emergency.

Clothing:

  • Avoid cotton where possible.
  • Gore-Tex (imported) or Ventex (locally manufactured) are best used for outer rain-proofing.
  • Polartec and Polarfleece make for good insulating materials.
  • Use woolen socks or modern combination socks such as Falke TK2 hiking socks or TK4 trekking socks (combination of polypropylene and wool). Also Cape Mohair offers Trailmaster or Skimaster (mohair-synthetic fibre) and K-Way Snow Peak (polypropylene, wool and lycra mix).
  • Boots are essential so do not skimp here. Aim for a combination of sturdiness, insulation and comfort (remembering that you will generally be wearing thicker socks).

Food:

  • You can use zip-lock plastic bags, small plastic jars and bottles to store your food and drinks. Keep in mind containers for water storage.
  • Breakfast:
    Time for energy boosters such as muesli, breads & cheese, hot chocolate, oats.
    Lunch:
    High-calorie meals time like provitas, salami, cheese, biltong, chocolate, peanuts and raisins.
    Supper:
    The high impact low-weight energy foods- pasta & sauces, tinned foods, 2-minute noodles, salami, tinned tuna, pickled fish etc.

Also remember sundowners (spirits and wine) and snacks (pates, cheeses and anything light that you really fancy). I cannot think of a better place to enjoy a neat whisky with chicken liver pâté - but maybe that's just me.

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