Camp at home during Easter

Wednesday April 17 2019

Tourists set up tents at a tourist lodge

Tourists set up tents at a tourist lodge outside Bwindi National Park. You can set up small camping tents or big family tents in your home compound. Photo by Tony Mushoborozi 

By Zuurah Karungi

The Easter season always gets people trapped inside their homes because they cannot travel as it is a short holiday. You can make the best of this season by camping in your compound. Emmanuel Wanjala, a camping expert at Fox explorer, says camping is the best way to bond and have fun with your family and friends.

Setting up the camp
Ensure you have all the things you need to use set outside. For instance, take out gas cookers if you do not have an outdoor kitchen, food, spices, and beddings.

Tents
“You can put up the tents early or wait until evening hours,” Wanjala says, adding that you can hire a small tent that accommodates two people at Shs20, 000 per night or a big one that accommodates eight people at Shs60, 000, a night.
Wanjala recommends a big tent for families with children as you cannot give them a separate tent. He says a big tent has demarcations, children can have their room separate from that of parent within the same tent. Alternatively, you can buy your own. Tents range from Shs200,000 to Shs1,000,000 and more. They can be bought in Kikuubo in downtown Kampala, supermarkets, online and other shopping centres around the country.

Clear compound
Clear the place to avoid accidents as children will be playing. In case of a bush around the area, clearing it will also help avoid insect invasion, for instance, you will not have to deal with mosquito bites. However, this does not mean you should not use a mosquito net.
Camping means getting off the usual so avoid the house as much as you can to achieve your target so get everything you need in time.

Light a fire
Fire is one ingredient that makes camps lively and memorable so set up a camp fire. However, it can also cause damages if not controlled.
Micheal Kakaire, a fire fighter, advises that you have a fire extinguisher close buy in case of a fire.
“However, you don’t need to wait for it to get out of hand, light the fire a distance from the house and the tents because even the sparks could turn into a blaze,” he advises.
Wanjala adds that you should also keep an eye on children, especially toddlers to avoid fire accidents.

Music
Music is a must have at camps so you need a music system around.
Food
Wanjala says you can do barbecues or meat roasting. Camping takes you off meals you have on an ordinary day although you can have them if you want.

Mats
You can get mats for sitting on while you eat. There are different types of mats you can choose from. For instance, the common palm leaf mats, plastic mats, yoga mats or outdoor mats. You can get mats from vendors and shops in your neighbourhood, stores in town, or online. They can go for as low as Shs15,000 depending on where you buy from and quality.

Activities
Choose fun activities to spice up the season, for instance story telling and poetry recitals, dance competitions. You can also have team building activities such as sack races. Wanjala says these activities strengthen the bond between parents and children or friends. You could choose games that are both entertaining and educative.

Security
Patrick Akena, a security officer, advises that if you stay in a place with poor security, consider hiring security personnel to ensure safety outdoors at night. “You should also consider putting bright light in the compound and around the tents,” he adds.

Preparing a fire spot
Emmanuel Wanjala, a camping expert at Fox Explorer Salama Road, gives us tips on how to prepare a fire spot in your garden.
Sometimes people don’t want their lawn burnt so they need to create a fire spot.
1. Dig a shallow portion in your compound probably in the middle.
2. Build it with bricks or stones.
3. Leave it to dry.
After the season, you can fill this space with container flowers, or cover with soil to get the initial look.

Decorating the camp site
Sharon Amoding, a landscaper, notes that camps don’t require decoration because they are best in the wilderness. Leaving it natural would be the best way.
“However if you want your garden designed, you can use simple plants to bring in a more natural feel,” she says, adding that you can also use natural air fresheners such as Boston fern to give you a more lively night.

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