Lesotho was an incredible experience, but what made is as epic as it was had a lot to do with what I took with me, so I thought I’d share these Gear Tips, based off my learnings, in case you’re headed out on an adventure through the Mountain Kingdom.
Gear Tips 01 – The importance of A LOT of Batteries!
I cannot begin to stress the importance of taking a lot of batteries with you, be it for your camera(s) or torch, take a lot because when travelling through Lesotho the way we did with Kingsley Holgate, you’re going to be in some of the most remote areas of the Mountain Kingdom with little to NO electricity.
Though our adventure, I found a few villages along the way that were willing to give me a charge here and there, but remember that you’re using their very limited power, so return the favour in food or supplies that you have. If you’re giving money, give to the right people and rather try give supplies if you can as these are sometimes appreciated a lot more.
BONUS: If you’ve got a 4X4 you probably already have one, but if not, buy an inverter to convert power from your cigarette lighter into proper power to charge laptops, batteries, etc.
Gear Tips 02 – Memory cards will save your Laptop!
As mentioned in my previous tip, batteries are like gold, so anything you can do to save power on camera’s, laptops etc., you should do. What I found was that because I have 3 x Lexar 64GB cards for my Canon 5D iii, I could snap photos and shoot video for 2 days at a time and only then did I have to transfer over to my laptop. Doing this spread the battery life of my laptop, which was almost impossible to charge during the adventure.
Gear Tips 03 – A decent tent is essential while in Lesotho.
Lesotho is situated HIGH up in the Mountains, hence it’s nickname “The Mountain Kingdom”, which is why you really need to make sure that you have a decent tent if you plan on camping along the way.
Cape Union Mart invited me on this adventure and the tent they gave me to sleep in has to be the most comfortable I’ve slept in yet and it comes highly recommended by not only me, but other avid adventurers too.
This is the K-Way Solitude 2 Man Tent, which comes in my favourite colour Green as well as red and it was big enough for me, as well as all my gear every night.
Gear Tips 04 – When nature calls, make sure you’re sorted!
Camping has it’s perks, of which one of them has to be the views from some of the toilets you’ll find along the way, however if you don’t have the right tools for your morning squat, you’re in deep sh*t.
The tools you’ll need include:
- Enough toilet paper to last your trip.
- A Spade to dig a hole for your poop.
- Matches or a lighter to burn your toilet paper when you’re done (DO NOT LITTER).
- A Bottle of Water to prevent a run-away fire.
Gear Tips 05 – Pack Light to prevent unused clutter.
When I pack for trips, I generally overpack and come back with clean clothing and unused camera equipment. This is why I’ve started limiting what I pack to prevent not only clutter, but possible overweight fees at the airport.
If you’re going on an adventure, who really gives a damn about a clean shirt every day? Rather pack a clean pair of jocks for 2 days of wear, a shirt for 3 days wear and new socks daily.
When it comes to gear, only pack what you KNOW you’re going to use. I packed my slider, which I had every intention of using, but because I was in a large group of people and the slider was often in a different vehicle to me, I didn’t…
Gear Tips 06 – Soft bags are MUCH better than hard luggage.
Last year I went on an adventure through Namibia and I got a Medium K-Way Evo Gear Bag which is big enough to store a lot more than you think!
The advantages of having this bag vs. my hard luggage, was that it was easy to squish into tight spaces in the already fully packed Land Rover’s we were driving around Lesotho in.
You’ll also love me for this tip if you plan on flying in a light aircraft anytime in the future because they do not allow hard luggage bags in them. Well, the plane’s I’ve flown in anyway…
Another bag I used on the trip for my gear, was the K-Way Kilimanjaro Day Pack in the awesome new Red & Black colours. I packed this bag as my gear bag as it’s got plenty of storage space and clips on the side to secure my tripod onto. This way, all my gear was in one place all the time.
Gear Tip 07 – Make sure you have comfy sleeping gear!
With any overnight adventure I’ve been on, I’ve always needed a good sleeping bag, but what made this trip more enjoyable was that for the first time ever, I had an air matress / sleeping bag / air pillow combo that had me sleep like a King every night and the best part, all of these were compact enough to stuff inside my bag when flying.
- The sleeping bag I packed was the K-Way Comfort Bag, which I bought last year for my Namibian adventure and it’s kept me SUPER warm each time I’ve used it.
- My air mattress, the compact K-Way self inflating mattress, was designed to fit INSIDE my sleeping bag, so each night I was super snug.
- The air pillow I used was the Intex Air Pillow from Cape Union Mart worked a charm when stuffed inside my sleeping bag’s bag.
Gear Tips 08 – You need to see at night, pack a headlamp.
Camping in Lesotho is amazing, especially under a really bright moon like we were lucky enough to have throughout our journey. However, you still need to see at night so make sure you’ve packed a torch or a headlamp.
I took both because while in my tent, I hang a torch from the roof and then while out and about outside my tent, I have a headlamp. Both are LED Lenser’s and both are available from any Cape Union Mart store around the country.
Gear Tips 09 – Food & Drinks are pretty important too!
Like most humans, if not all, you really need to eat every single day, both while on the road as well as at camp in the mornings and evenings. I packed a whole lot of snacks for the trip, which I gave away to the local Basotho men and women when taking their photos.
This for me is a better way of giving someone cash because where some of these villages are located are so remote, the chance that they’ll see a packet of chips or a mars bar again soon are slim to none.
The snacks were mostly for during the day while we were driving around, but something you shouldn’t forget to pack is a bottle of whiskey ONLY to be had at night when NOT driving.
Oh, and make sure you’ve packed food for breakfast, lunch and dinner too which you’ve stored in a cooler box with either LOADS of ice or in an electric cooler that’s connected to your vehicle.
Gear Tips 10 – It gets REALLY cold in Lesotho, pack warm!
As mentioned, Lesotho is high up in the mountains and even in the summer, it gets pretty damn cold, so make sure that you’ve packed enough warm clothes to get you through those cold icy nights.
I packed in my Red K-Way Felixx Softshell Jacket, which was enough to keep me warm most nights. But for the time I was really cold, I used one of the extra K-Way Drake Down Jackets Bruce and Kingsley Holgate had lying around.