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Take a sleeping bag in Southern Africa? Yes or No

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Take a sleeping bag in Southern Africa? Yes or No

1. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 8y

Hi all,

I'm looking for advice as to whether to take a sleeping bag for a 6-8? month trip around Southern Africa. There are more details on this thread in the Travel Gear section, but thought i'd also ask it here as it is very area specific.


2. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 8y

if you're the kind of traveler who prefers their own things, then bring your own, in which case i think with the liner and wearing some extra layers, the 2 season one (smaller one you mentioned) would be sufficient. if not, don't waste the space & rent one or buy one along the way when winter gets going next may. this will be easy to do in many parts of southern africa: namibia, ZA, bots, vic falls, any major backpacking destination. if you are on a safari/killi climb you will be able to rent one, however, you might need to order it in advance. you can always pick up an inexpensive blanket along the way, roll it up and lash it to your pack for when you need it and just give it away if it becomes too cumbersome. all self-catering options in ZA parks provide bedding, as do many "inns" throughout southern africa. keep in mind, however, that not all hostels/backpackers provide sheets. often there is just the mattress and sometimes a blanket. it all depends on the spot. hoped that helps!

3. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 8y

Hi Soupatrvlr, thanks for your comments. I seem to be coming to the conclusion that taking it probably will be worth the extra hassle, assuming i can find a new rucksack before i go!

Interestingly, several people have suggested the blanket trick - Does this mean that there are numerous backpackers wandering around Southern Africa with blankets attached to their bags, or is that just a kind of logical suggestion/option that you have come up with?!

Thanks again!

4. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 8y

I have every faith that a new rucksack is on the horizon for you with more than enough space to cram in your sleeping bag! Of course, you still might find that blanket rolled up on top...especially if you go to Lesotho and buy a traditional Basotho tribal blanket! Truly, I have seen lots of backpackers with blankets lashed to the sides of their packs...oh and LOADS of airline blankets. You'll be in the middle of some tribal land, and there will be a lady with her baby strapped to her back with a Lufthansa/British Air/Delta blanket! I confess, I almost always "take" one and pass it on when I go to Africa. Good luck with your planning and backpack search. Feel free to get in touch with any "african" questions! Cheers, Holly

5. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 8y

Hi Holly, thanks. The backpack thing is a harder than it sounds, as i am somewhat demanding in my requirements (and very attached to my existing one) but with luck i'll find one soon! I have a couple of promising sounding ones to try and look it at/try out the the weekend. As for blankets, very interesting, though obviously I won't be able to donate a flight one myself!

My Africa arrival is still a long way ahead, so i'm not thinking/looking at much in the way of specifics yet, unless it's things i have to fix before i leave Europe, but doubtless i'll be in touch with more queries when i start looking at it more and more in the future. Cheers!