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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Time for energy boosters such as muesli, breads & cheese, hot
High-calorie meals time like provitas, salami, cheese, biltong,
chocolate, peanuts and raisins.
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.