If you are planning a trip to the Drakensberg and looking to conquer any one of the magnificent hiking trails throughout this region – whether it is a day trip or an overnight cave hike, there are a few essential items and tips to remember…
Essentials to pack for a day hike
Whether it is summer or winter, the weather in the mountains is always a little unpredictable, therefore you need to properly prepare yourself:
- A rain coat with a warm / fleece lining.
- A sun hat and sunscreen.
- Trekking shoes with good ankle support and grip.
- Drinking water.
- Snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, energy bars – light to carry and packed with energy.
- A bikini during the summer time as there are plenty of freshwater streams and pools to cool off in.
- An up-to-date map of the area / GPS and cellphone in case of emergencies.
*Don‘t forget to sign the mountain register if you are going on a hike longer than 5 hours!
Essentials to pack for an overnight hike
In order to survive an overnight hike – and that is meant in every sense of the word because the cold and the elements are a very real threat in the Drakensberg – here a few essential items to pack:
- A good quality sleeping bag – below zero degrees.
- Thermal long-sleeve top and pants.
- An emergency blanket to place underneath your sleeping mat, preventing the cold from creeping up from the ground.
- Hiking shoes with good grip and ankle support.
- Enough drinking water. River water can be drunk the higher you ascend, but ensure the water is running and not stagnant wherever you choose to fill your water bottle.
- Well packaged, dry foods that are easy to cook and full of energy – packet pasta, instant oats, dried fruit, energy bars
- A small gas cooker – it is not always permitted to light a fire in the Drakensberg due to fire threats.
- An emergency First Aid Kit and a GPS / map of the area.
*The mountain and air rescue register must always be signed for an overnight hike of any description.