Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:50 am

Why black people don’t go camping

By: Tyson Jopson
21 October 2013

Maybe I’m not hanging around the right places, but I don’t see a lot of black people at campsites. It bugs me. How is it that the romance of staring vacuously into a campfire while the wife picks miggies out of her dooswyn hasn’t permeated all South African cultures like the great Coca-Cola yo-yo craze of ’96?

Did I hear someone say, ‘Because black people are building themselves up and away from rural life, they don’t appreciate nature and the outdoors’? Pardon me while I snort my tea. I’m afraid your brain is still flapping around in the same hot wind that flew the old vierkleur. Come now.

I’ll admit, for reasons that involve the Transvaal Education Department’s aversion to my suggestion that primary schools be renamed ‘primary melting pots’, my own friendship group isn’t quite representative of the entire rainbow. But I do know, after chatting to my media connection at SANParks, Rey Thakuli, that more than 80 percent of South Africa’s park rangers are black and I’ve never met a group of people with more passion for nature and the environment. I’ve also had the pleasure of sharing a campsite sunset with a friend … who happened to be a Xhosa.

There we were, around a campfire in the Limpopo province, enjoying a beer while bathed in the glow of an egg-yolk sunset (you know, the type that makes you feel like everything just makes sense), when he said:

‘I’m confused.’

‘Hey?’

‘I love it out here, but what’s the point of escaping the city to be in touch with nature when you feel the need to bring everything and the kitchen sink with you.’

Behind us, a member of our group was peeling a potato over a state-of-the-art collapsible camping sink, complete with drainpipe.

I immediately blamed Robert Baden-Powell and the cubs of 4th Benoni Scout Hall. Baden-Powell, the old woggle-jogger, made sure that two words were drummed into my impressionable skull ever since I can remember sewing on my roast-a-dassie-with-a-magnifying-glass badge: be prepared.

Now, any time I venture out into the wild I feel inexorably compelled to make checklists, plan everything with a freakishly clairvoyant sense of foresight, and equip myself with all the latest gadgets.

I may well be pulling this little ‘fact’ right out of my left nostril, but I believe the amount of planning, preparation and checker plate it would take to feel sufficiently prepared at a campsite next to Frik van den Boom and his flashlight-radio that triples as a gas stove, could lead the majority of South Africans (who might one day consider camping) to deem the whole exercise complicated and unnecessary.

This highlights one fundamental difference between white people and black people. Whiteys like to complicate. Black folk like to simplify. Indian people, incidentally, like to modify.

As I said, I’m always open to the idea that I could be talking absolute rubbish, but I’ve concluded that white people have gone and complicated the hell out of an activity that could easily have been one of the best ways to bring South Africans together.

Any self-respecting entrepreneur should have, by now, seen a simple, nation-building solution to this whole predicament: a website that groups potential campers of varying races into the camping dream team by assigning roles to each based on cultural predispositions. Our Khoisan camper could be responsible for getting a lay of the land (i.e. choosing the campsite). A Zulu could cover the necessities, like meat and beer, leaving me to fuss over the checklist and ensure the dishtowels match the scenery. And what would a South African weekend away be without a larney? You know, to modify the deep-cycle battery and bedazzle us with six metres of well-placed neon multicoloured LEDs. Now that’s how you go camping under the rainbow.

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Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:06 pm

I have to say that I become transfixed observing South Africans in the act of camping. It is like a military operation. First the convoy rolls in with some impressive looking hardware. Then they scope the immediate surroundings to find the best place for base. (This can take some time and some heated conversations apparently - allow up to 40 minutes) Then it is all action stations for setting up the never ending array of 'stuff'. It just keeps coming. SO and I camped only a couple of days at Halali, Etosha, in a four week trip, so we only hired a tent, two mats and two sleeping bags. So we're sitting at our concrete picnic table eating bread rolls stuffed with Simba chips and drinking a Windhoek lager and watching all this unfold in front of us. Fascinating. --00--

Now it appears to be catching on in Australia. Back in the day, you had a tent, a camp (Dutch) oven, a billy and box of matches. Now everyone's gone soft. Which is why I have a campervan. ;-)

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:47 pm

Someone must contact the author and get him to spell Thakhuli correctly or there will be hell to pay!

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Richprins wrote:Someone must contact the author and get him to spell Thakhuli correctly or there will be hell to pay!


Albi Modise will have to put out an Opinion Piece. =O:

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:19 pm

=O: =O:

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:30 pm

=O: =O: =O:

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:10 pm

right, a lot of Black people are rangers now... but I remember, some time ago, they were the "second" of the White people... and that is a big advance
and I think, maybe, they did enough camping... till now -O-

and what better to stay in a house/chalet/bungalow... so many little beast on the ground... in all case for me O-/

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:20 pm

Ja, nana! I think the essence of the article, which is a little dodgy, IMO, is that black tourists prefer not to camp, generally.

If camping is necessary for work purposes, no problem, as with rangers. \O

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:38 am

During our Pilanesberg trip we saw Black people camping, and they seemed to be having fun! ;-)

Re: Why Black People don’t go Camping

Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:24 am

Flutterby wrote:Why black people don’t go camping

so this is not a question........ this is a statement.... a statement that is being made by someone whose own friendship group isn't quite representative of the entire rainbow....which means that he actually has no idea why black people don't go camping. .......

By: Tyson Jopson
21 October 2013


Did I hear someone say, ‘Because black people are building themselves up and away from rural life, they don’t appreciate nature and the outdoors’?
i don't think he heard this from anyone except a voice in his head...no wonder that he would "snort his tea" or perhaps it is as a result of snorting his tea that he hears voices............
Pardon me while I snort my tea. I’m afraid your brain is still flapping around in the same hot wind that flew the old vierkleur. Come now.

I’ll admit, for reasons that involve the Transvaal Education Department’s aversion to my suggestion that primary schools be renamed ‘primary melting pots’, my own friendship group isn’t quite representative of the entire rainbow.
the last thing on the transvaal education department's agenda would have been a cultural melting pot....



- See more at: http://blog.getaway.co.za/travel-blog/w ... di4uX.dpuf