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Gear and Equipment (Camping)

We are often being asked, which particular sleeping bag, jerrycan or roofrack we would recommend. Although we are not getting involved directly in the supply of gear and equipment, we have compiled some commentaries on equipment we have tried and tested ourselves. You also find direct links to suppliers

Dometents are a popular choice. Saharatravel uses professional expedition type tents manufactured in South Africa. Once well impregnated, those tents protect well, are extremely durable but also heavy, expensive and only suited for vehicle based expeditions. If you wish to purchase a tent that you can keep for a long time and is virtually indestructible, the Mashatu tents are first choice. In the UK they are called Campmoor and are distributed by Footloose. Click Here

If you don't want to use the tent after your safari with Saharatravel or you are unsure about camping, we would advise to buy the cheapest tent you can find. Don't spend more then 30 and make sure there is an inner tent, ideally made of cotton.

A rooftent is a comfortable alternative to a groundtent and our favourite. You can leave all your bedding in place and just flip the tent up within minutes. Bear in mind that a lot of the available tents require you to purchase a roofrack for mounting, easily doubling the initial cost for the tent itself. If you want to use the tent in Europe as well as in Africa (which you probably will) German made tents are much better suited to the rain and wind that we call weather over here then the popular Eezi Awn, Hannibal, Maggiolinas, OverCamps or Jaques Barout. All those are made in countries with a lot more sunshine than the UK. The Rolls Royce is the Autocamp which has been around for more than 20 years and although expensive you can expect to use an Autocamp for the rest of your life when you look after it. They come with roofbars and bolt straight on to your vehicle. Autocamps in the UK are distributed by Mark Brooks 4x4 Touring Gear. Click Here

Another rooftent we can recommend is the Beduin Explorer. Unfortunately Beduin does not have a UK distribution and they have to be ordered directly in Germany. Christine with Beduin speaks good english though so communication is not a problem. Click Here

Vehicle Tents (Caranex type)
Some travellers prefer the versatility of extending their vehicle to the rear with a Caranex. The best of those tents come from New Zealand and are again distributed in the UK by Mark Brooks 4x4 Touring Gear. Click Here

Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Bags can be found in price ranges from 19 to 299, filled with down feathers, hollowfibre or other materials. If you want to use your sleeping bag for trekking as well as for the tour with Saharatravel, we would advise you to consult an expert in an outdoor shop and have a look at the different models for yourself. If you are buying primarily for our tour or for vehicle based camping trips, go for a model that is rated to minus 15 degrees. (Don't worry - it will not be that could) Not easy to find in the UK - the one in the picture is called North Pole and at 59,- one of the very few examples offering good value for money. The North Pole is distributed by Outdoor 2 Go. Click Here

Campbeds are a popular choice but can be quite restricting if you move around a lot at night. Choose a model with tubular legs running across under the bed rather than the ones with simple pole type legs - those ones quickly damage the groundsheet of your tent. Again, there is not much choice in the UK, an example of a suitable camp bed can be found with Argos. Surprisingly cheap at 8.99
Click Here

Air Mattresses
Some travellers prefer air-mattresses. Personal preference is very much the key to what is best for you. If you do go for an air-mattress, make sure you bring a repair kit along and go for one that ideally fills out the entire size of your tent for insulation purposes. Again, good value items can be found with Argos. Click Here

Sleeping Mats
The self inflating Therma Rest sleeping mats are famous with outdoor people. They insulate well and are worth considering. If this is an option for you, you should go to an outdoor shop and try one out. The full range of original Therma Rest's can be found with Gear Zone. Click Here

Fleece is an ideal material - light, warm and comfortable. You might want to bring a simple fleece blanket if you are worried about being cold at night. .

Maglites are probably amongst the worlds best torches. For the Sahara they are less suited: The fine sand gets everywhere and can obstruct the functions of a Maglite. Torches made entirely of plastic are better for the desert; the new LED type ones are particularly suited as a set of batteries lasts for more than 100 hours. The standard in LED torches is the Lucido Lightwave which can be found with Gear Zone. Click Here

Gas Stove
A small gas stove is handy for hot water for washing or making a cup of tea. Go for one with the pushpin-type containers (Campinggaz 206). The more modern type versions with a valve are fine but the containers for those cannot be found in Tunisia and are hard to come by in other countries whereas the 206- replacements are readily available all over the world.