© 2018 TANKWA CAMINO

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION...

Can everyone walk the Tankwa Camino/Enduros?

 

A certain degree of fitness is necessary to walk the Tankwa Camino/Enduros. It is strenuous and definitely not for beginners.

 

Am I fit enough to walk the Tankwa Camino/Enduros?     

 

Many of the hikers do not really know what foot fitness entails – an important consideration for anyone wanting to walk the Tankwa Camino or Enduros. A well-prepared hiker for this walk is someone who has made a mental shift away from general fitness to foot fitness. Practice walks for the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros, irrespective of hilly or level areas should be made on a hard, firm surface.

Before the Tankwa Camino/Enduros is attempted, it is advisable to walk some shorter routes first, such as five-day routes. Your first route should not exceed a comfortable 12 km per day. Allow for an hour's rest somewhere along the route. Lie on your back and raise your feet higher than your hips. Do not walk too slowly, but stop at scenic spots, take your backpack off and enjoy your surrounds. Training in this way helps to prevent stiffness, prevents you feeling burned out and keeps your feet healthy for the kilometers that still lie ahead.

Experienced hikers who have hiked in other parts of the world, including some who have walked the Camino de Santiago, consider the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros to be a challenging and spiritually enriching experience. The walker must not only be physically fit but must also focus on endurance and remain focused on their ultimate goal and motivation for the hike.

 

An example that may help keep you focused on your hike:

 

If I could start my life over,  what would I change, and what advice would I give to others? 

Would I plan my life differently, would I choose a different life-partner, or am I happy with what I have in life and what I have experienced?

Where do I hurt, where do I feel pain?

What advice would I give to myself today if I was 21 years old again? 

 

Your thought processes help to shorten the road, to clear the mind and to create a platform for discussion along the way with your fellow hikers.

 

To answer the question whether you are fit enough to walk the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros, it is assumed that if you are comfortable walking four kilometers in one hour, then you should be able to walk the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros, and enjoy doing so. We encourage each hiker to walk at their own pace and enjoy every moment in his or her own way. Please take the time to read books written about walking longer routes and also look at the pictures on our website. Here you can see how previous hikers experienced the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros.

What do I carry with me every day on the hike?       

              

Backpack, with splash cover, just big enough to carry:

 

  • Flask for warm water along the way. Or bring your own gas stove along.

  • Breakfast and lunch

  • First-aid kit

  • Medical items and items to treat blisters (mercurochrome, alcohol swabs, needle & thread, plasters)

  • Vaseline (for soles of your feet)

  • It is advisable to have good inserts for your walking shoes.

  • Extra pair of socks and stockings

  • Warm water bottle

  • Cutlery

  • Any clothing needed

  • Water bottle with a tube over the shoulder. This seems to work better than ordinary bottles do.

  • Stationery & journal (if you use one)

  • Fruit

  • Toilet Paper

  • Facecloth

  • Wet wipes

  • Bottles to spray water onto your body are important as this keeps the skin hydrated and cool.

 

Which clothes to walk in?   

 

It will depend on the weather on the day.

Make provision for cold nights and warm days.

A loose kaftan type material as protection against the sun, gives hikers protection against sunburn of their legs, especially when walking in shorts. This garment can also be worn on the shoulders for protection.  It is important to have a good, wide-brimmed hat that offers protection for the neck.  Thin lightweight shirts and long pants are a must for men and women to protect you against the sun.

 

Which boots or shoes should I walk in?

 

Each person has their own preferences for walking shoes but what we have observed among the hikers is the importance of packing a pair of sturdy sandals to walk in. This allows you to continue walking while giving any chafed areas on your feet caused by your boots or walking shoes, a chance to recover before they become blisters.

 

To protect your feet, it is important that you have light, soft and flexible boots or walking shoes. Ankle-high boots do offer support to the ankles for mountain trails, but for the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros, a good hiking or walking shoe may be the best option for you.

The boots, shoes, and sandals must preferably be well “walked-in” before you commence the hike. New or barely used shoes or boots are not a good idea on this trail. The boots or shoes should be at least one size larger than normal because your feet tend to swell when walking long distances every day. This is especially so for the older walkers, and they may even require a shoe or boot that is two sizes bigger.

Get to know your own body's reaction to walking longer trails before attempting the Camino/ Enduros. Make sure your boot or shoe is securely tied so that the foot does not move unnecessarily within it. This also prevents your toenails from chafing against the front of your boot or shoe and prevents possible toenail loss. Always keep your toenails short and healthy.

 

Bring some old newspapers along, and at night stuff this paper into your boots or shoes. This draws the moisture out of them.

 

Which walking socks?

 

Just as important as the hiker's boots or shoes are his/her walking socks. It is important to buy the correct “blister” socks. Take the socks with you when you go to buy shoes or boots so that you get the correct size for your foot (some hikers prefer to buy a size bigger than their foot). These socks are available at most sportswear stores. Please buy enough pairs so that you can change socks more than once a day to avoid walking with wet socks, which can & do cause blisters.

Rinse the new socks before use and make sure that you are not allergic to them by using them before walking the Tankwa Camino/Enduros. Also bring along more than one pair of silk stockings, full length or calf length. Before setting off for your day’s walk, rub vaseline well into your feet. To reduce friction of your walking shoes or boots on your feet, wear your silk stockings underneath your walking socks.

 

What do I buy for the prevention and treatment of blisters?

 

The following items are important for every hiker. Remember that there are no towns on the trail. The local pharmacies in Calvinia and Ceres do not always have supplies of the correct plasters. So, buy enough before leaving home. Please note this is very important.

 

  • Needle and thread.

  • Scissors

  • Alcohol preps for sterilizing needle, thread, and areas to be treated.

  • Syringe and needle for drainage of accumulated moisture. Please ensure that the needle is thick enough. A green or black colored needle can be purchased from your pharmacist. Bring enough of these with you.

  •  Zinc oxide plasters. We cannot emphasize enough how important these plasters are on the Tankwa Camino/Enduros. You can never have too many of these. Please ensure that you purchase only good quality plasters.

  • Buy plasters of several sizes, to cater for up to ten pressure points or areas that are easily chafed by shoes or boots on each foot. These plasters can be left on your feet for up to three days, but unfortunately, the cheaper brands become useless after a few hours. Provide for an average of five plasters per day. If you start training early as we recommend you do, you too can be one of the many hikers to complete the walk without any blisters on your feet. Unfortunately, though, some people are more prone to blisters than others.

  • 3 rolls broad white Elastoplast. It is advisable to protect your toes and feet against the formation of blisters or abrasions from day one.

  • Gel pads are available at Dischem and are very important for the protection of blister areas that may become raw and also hotspots.  These patches are expensive, so it's important that you acquire it yourself and not have to borrow from other hikers.

 

How do I prevent and treat blisters?

 

The key is prevention!

Once hikers begin to feel that there is a graze or irritation of the skin, a Zinc oxide plaster must immediately be applied to the area. Do not wait until a blister has formed.

Never use the broad white Elastoplast on a blister. When you later pull this type of plaster off, it pulls the skin off your foot around the blister and a raw area is created.

Blisters should under no circumstances be cut open. Use syringe and needle, pull the moisture out of the blister and fill with mercurochrome, mentholated spirits or Friars Balsam. Sterilize cotton thread with an alcohol prep and thread this through the blister.

Leave a bit of cotton thread sticking out of each side of the blister to assist with its drainage. Best results are achieved when this is used together with a Genocide plaster. The blister dries up quickly, while you can continue to walk comfortably.

Foot care is not available in the camp. We can assure you though, that your fellow hikers will assist you with advice and care. It is advisable though that you learn about the care of your feet beforehand. If you need more information than what we provide here, consult seasoned hikers for more information.

Bring coarse salt with you to make a saline solution of water and salt in the evening to soak your feet. It disinfects them, removes deposits on your feet and strengthens the skin.

 

Is there an age limit for the hike?

 

We give the opportunity for older hikers to walk the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros. These hikers should be in good general health, preferably not older than 75 years old and practice good walking habits. Elderly walkers must produce a medical certificate upon registration authorised by a doctor or specialist. This certificate must be on the letterhead of the issuing doctor or specialist. This also applies to people with chronic illnesses.

Proof of any previous walking routes in the last two years with distances and proof of completion will assist us in approving such applications.

No liability for any incident or accident to any person with a chronic disease that may pose a risk for such hiker will be accepted by the Tankwa Camino/Enduros team.

Diabetics are advised not to participate in the Tankwa Camino/ Enduros. This is because it is difficult to keep the required insulin refrigerated. Blisters on their feet can lead to inflammation and ulcers may form, which are slow to heal or do not heal.

 

Can I walk without signing an indemnity?

 

You will be obliged to register and to sign an indemnity form on registration.     

 

What temperatures can I expect on the trail?

 

Day temperatures of 12° to 36° Celsius

Night temperatures of 01° to 19° Celsius      

 

In case of emergency, what must I do?

 

At registration, we will provide you with telephone numbers to give to your family for use in an emergency. 

During the hike, report any emergency to the Tankwa Camino Management team. Danie Pieterse will then make all necessary arrangements.                      

If it is necessary to use any emergency or other transport, you will be liable for the related costs. Rates will be calculated according to AA rates. Emergency services, e.g. ambulances, will be for the account of the hiker concerned and will be charged at the private service or provincial rates, as appropriate. Vehicles will not under any circumstances drive to towns for luxuries such as ice or alcoholic beverages.

 

Must I buy food and fruit for myself?

 

Apples, oranges, and bananas are provided every morning to all hikers at the kitchen.

You are responsible to provide for your breakfast and lunch along the way.

Sweet snacks with coffee or tea are served to you on arrival at the overnight Camp.

Potjiekos and side dishes are served for dinner at each overnight camp.

 

How much water do I need?

 

According to experts, every hiker needs two liters of drinking water per day.                 

We move along the route each day in support of the hikers. This vehicle transports additional water should it be needed. The drinking water we supply to you daily is safe for human consumption. It is, therefore, unnecessary to purchase additional water for the hike. It also impedes the loading and offloading of your luggage at our lorries, as the load gets much heavier if excessive water is carried.

 

How should my clothes and supplies be packed for transport?

 

The walkers must keep in mind that we want to break away from the daily routine of our hectic lives. We ask that each walker plans carefully according to the list provided. Use 2 plastic boxes that do not exceed 50 liters in size for supplies and must be properly marked.

The Tankwa Camino/Enduros team accepts no responsibility for any belongings that might get lost.

To protect your belongings it is recommended that you pack them into an extra plastic bag, before placing them into the bigger bin, as we may experience rain showers during our walk.

 

How do I get rid of my waste?

 

Protection and conservation of nature are important to the Tankwa Camino/Enduros team. We, therefore, ask our walkers to place any waste in a plastic bag in your backpack and to carry this too and deposit it in the special box at the overnight camp.

Please use the toilets provided along the way. If the veld is used for this purpose, a spade, small enough to fit in your backpack, should be carried and used to bury feces.          

 

Must I erect my own tent?

 

When the walkers arrive at the overnight camp, their tents have already been offloaded. The hiker is responsible for the erection of his or her own tent.  No money shall be offered to personnel of the Tankwa Camino/Enduros team to get them to carry or erect tents. If help is needed, speak with a member of the management team and assistance will be provided at no extra cost.

It is very important that hikers bring their own (strong) tent-pens and hammer with, to secure their tents.  The organiser does sell tent-pens in pairs of four and these can be purchased on the night of the welcoming dinner.  Please state clearly on the registration form if you want to order tent pens. There will be no extra pens for those who did not order.

How should I treat snakes, scorpions, and spiders?

 

Since the hike takes place during a warmer part of the year, snakes and a variety of other reptiles could be encountered on the road. Keep a careful eye on the road and remember that you are moving into their living space, especially if you move away from the road into the adjoining veld.  It is a known fact that any snake or reptile will flee from a source of vibration and/or sound. However be careful and always keep a safe distance.

 

Please note that no reptiles or any plant species may be caught, picked or collected along the way.

If you are allergic to bee stings, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have the correct anti-serum available, purchased with the help of your doctor.

 

May I have visitors or use a support vehicle along the way?

 

Hikers who participate in the Tankwa Camino need to realise that this hike is a withdrawal from your daily routine and society in general. The idea is to get into the mood of a “Great Trek” through the Tankwa Karoo as soon as possible.

Previous Tankwa Camino hikers made a sincere request that all contact with the outside world is limited as much as possible. Therefore, no visitors or support vehicles, except those of the Tankwa Camino team are permitted on the trail. In an emergency, we have radio contact with the emergency control station in Calvinia.

The Tankwa Camino team provides organized support for you to ensure your safety and to try and resolve any possible problems.

 

Are there any camp rules to be observed?

 

Yes – camp rules will be provided to you on registration the evening before the hike.

 

How do I apply?

 

By means of electronic registration on the website. 

 

What do the Tankwa Camino/Enduros cost?

 

The annual cost of the Camino/ Enduros and transport with shuttles on the last day of the hike is subject to change. Transport fee will be adjusted according to the number of hikers interested in the shuttle. Shuttle fees must be paid on the night of meet and greet.

 

Tankwa Camino shuttle:  Ceres back to Calvinia

Botterkloof shuttle: Clanwilliam back to Calvinia

Sterrewag shuttle: Sutherland back to Calvinia

Biedouw Shuttle: Biedouw Youth Camp back to Calvinia

Boesmanland shuttle: Garies back to Calvinia

 

If you have registered during the previous year, your registration fee will be adjusted according to the calculated tariff for your specific trail.  Please contact us for our most recent rates.

If you have registered during the previous year, your registration fee, t-shirt and tentpegs fees will be adjusted according to the calculated tariff for your specific trail.  Please contact us for our most recent rates

 

What can you expect for your entry fee?   

 

  • Coffee/tea/milk/sugar in the early morning and after dinner.

  • Sweet snack on arrival at the next stopover.

  • Potjiekos made with different meats daily & pot bread/kaiings/dripping/syrup/homemade jams/fruit of the season are available every morning for hikers to take along on their day's walk.

  • Transport of your belongings along the route.

  • Hot water will be available on arrival at each overnight camp for washing purposes. You collect your own water out of the heating pots but are limited to 5 liters per day. No showers allowed.

  • Daily drinking water allowance.

 

PACKING LIST FOR THE TANKWA CAMINO / ENDUROS

 

First-aid kit:

 

  • Medical items and blister treatment (mercurochrome, alcohol swabs, needle & thread, plasters)

  • Vaseline (for the soles of your feet)

  • Lip balm – get a good quality lip moisturizer with a sunscreen.

  • The Karoo sun is very potent, so please bring sunblock in two strengths along. Start your walk using a factor 50 and switch to a factor 30 sometime during the walk.

  • Vitamin supplements

  • Painkillers                        

 

Visit your pharmacist or doctor and make sure you also bring along the following:

 

  • Imodium

  • Rehidrate

  • Antihistamine ointments and pills.

  • A good broad-spectrum antibiotic for the treatment of possible inflammation of blisters or inflammation of tissue  

  • Anti-inflammatory medication for joints

  • Anti-inflammatory medication for muscles, but please remember this medication can cause fatigue and make you feel weak the next day.

 

Better to take precautions than to have problems with no remedies available.  Many of the proposed items are not available over the counter and require a doctor’s prescription to obtain them.

 

General camping equipment and baggage:

 

Clearly, mark all items that will be transported on the truck with a permanent marker on duct tape.

 

  • Tent with all its pieces in a bag (erect at home to make sure it is complete!) NOT MORE THAN 3KG

  • Extra tarpaulin to provide shade in case of a very hot afternoon at the camp. No gazebos are allowed!

  • Extra tent pegs in case of strong wind

  • Warm sleeping bag and extra inner liner and/or fleece blanket. Adjust your sleeping bag for low temperatures at night. Nights can get unexpectedly bitterly cold, especially when it's raining. A warm water bottle comes in handy.

  • Folding camp chairs in their carry bags must be marked. Light camping chairs are essential. No heavy pool chairs are allowed.

  • Inflatable mattress and pump. Please bring along suitable patches in case your mattress gets punctured.   

  • If the mattress gets punctured, there will be no substitution for a mattress.

  • Two  bins, not exceeding 50 liters for food and general supplies

  • NO PEP Stores bags will be allowed anymore

  • A stretcher may be used but it must be the light stretcher, which can be broken down like a tent and placed in a sack. They are also usually flat and low on the ground

  • No heavy stretchers are allowed

  • Warm sleeping bag and extra inner liner and/or fleece blanket

  • Folding camp chairs in their carry bags and mark all chairs and the carry bags.

  • Inflatable mattress and pump. Please bring along suitable patches in case your mattress gets punctured      

  • A plastic box not exceeding 50 liters for food and general supplies​

  • Headlamp or torch

  • It is a good idea to carry a very thin sponge mat with you along the route so that you can lie down on your back to rest.  For example, a yoga mat.

 

Clothes recommended by previous Tankwa Camino/Enduro hikers:

 

  • 3 shirts/T-shirts

  • 2 or 3 walking pants (e.g. First Ascent ski pants/Afzip long pants or shorts)

  • Windbreaker/rain jacket or poncho (for those who use ponchos)

  • Comfortable clothing (tracksuit) to sleep in

  • Cap/beanie and gloves

  • 'Buff' (to protect the face from dust when vehicles pass and neck from the sun).

  • Long johns/thermal underwear – to keep warm on very cold nights

  • Warm top/thick fleece top

  • Enough socks & underwear

  • Sun hat

  • Umbrella

  • Sandals for use in camp

  • Walking shoes (cross trainers) and walking poles

  • Gaiters (to help keep stones out of shoes). Also to prevent your shoes and feet from getting wet when it rains

 

General:

 

  • Backpack with splash cover

  • 5-litre  container – for water to wash yourself

  • Bladder/water bottles (at least 2 liters per day)

  • Small stove & fuel if required)

  • Headlamp or torch & extra batteries

  • Additional light (e.g. to hang up) for the inside of tent – especially if the tent is shared

  • Eating utensils (including a 'spork' & cup/mug)

  • Sunglasses

  • Writing tools & journal

  • Reading material

  • Camera & extra batteries/memory cards

  • Medical items and blister treatment (mercurochrome, alcohol swabs, needle & thread, plasters)

  • Vaseline (for the soles of your feet)

  • Lip balm – get a good quality lip moisturizer with a sunscreen.

  • Sunscreen in two strengths. Not less than a factor 50 and a factor 30.

  • Vitamin supplements

  • Toiletries (body lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, small mirror, etc.)

  • Toilet paper & tissues

  • Wet wipes/disinfectant wipes

  • Extra zip-lock bags & general use plastic bags (some for garbage disposal use)

  • Newspaper (to stuff in wet shoes to absorb water)

  • Bring paper plates together with a lightweight underplate for support

  • Light quick-dry towel

 

Breakfast:

 

  • Coffee/tea, biscuits, and packets of cereals (e.g. Oat-So-Easy)                    

 

Daily Snacks & lunch:

 

DO NOT PACK TO MUCH FOOD!

Separate each packet in a Ziploc bag for each breakfast and snack bar for when you are on the road. The hikers feel that they eat their breakfast along the way rather than in the camp before they start walking.

 

  • Unnecessary amounts of alcoholic drink should be avoided.

  • Old Brown Sherry 1 liter/1 liter red wine box of your choice.

  • Cup-a-soup

  • Several boxes of juice/sodas for lunch at camp

  • Small long-life milk cartons

  • Tuna sachets (lunch)

  • Biltong

  • Chocolate

  • Snackers/energy bars/Jelly Babies

  • Nuts & raisins, dried fruit bars

  • Cheese and Provita/Salticracks/Ryvita