Hints and tips


Candle lamp. Buy a candle lamp that collapses for storage. It gives a good light and can be used with safety in a tent. These use short candles that are not obtainable in ordinary shops but longer candles can be cut down. Use the stubs when outside by making a windshield from an old plastic bottle.


Don't bother to buy a footprint for your tent .The ones specifically designed for tents are expensive and heavy. Buy a lightweight plastic tarpaulin of the right size very cheaply. Tie two-foot lengths of elastic to the corners for use as a shelter or to put over the tent for shade. Elastic works much better than string as it is easier to adjust to length.


Make a coffee filter holder from a plastic bottle. Cut off the top and use up side down on top of the cup.


Bicycle water bottles need frequent cleaning, especially in hot weather. We have found that some plastic water bottles fit the bottle cage and are disposable when dirty. They are also lighter than proper bicycle bottles.


One morning, make a mark on your compass to correspond to the position of the rising sun. Use this to accurately position the tent in the evenings so that it catches the early morning sun to dry off condensation.


Tie orange tape to each of your tent pegs to make them visible in the grass. Keep them in an orange bag so that you don't lose the bag.


Use drawstring bags of as many different colours as possible to make contents identification easy.


Money. Use Internet banking. Use two separate banks and two separate cards as it is not unknown for one to let you down. We have heard of cases where the credit card was automatically changed to a different type and a new one sent to the home address..

If stolen, it will take some time to replace a card. Use the other one.

Visa and Mastercard are ubiquitous. American Express is difficult to use in Latin America.

Forget travellers cheques outside of Canada and the USA. They are rarely accepted even in banks and high charges are often made.


Find a library when you want an Internet connection. It is usually slow, you only get half an hour, but it is FREE.


Drinking Water.

In all towns of reasonable size there are water-purifying plants that fill up the 25 litre containers and deliver them around the town. Do not bother to buy water in small bottles, but fill yours up at these water shops. They do not usually charge.


Water Filtration.

If you have a filter-pump for water purification, it will filter water with no effort if you arrange the reservoir above the filter unit, prime it and leave to drip. Our small unit filtered 2 litres in a few hours while we were out. The higher you can put the reservoir above the filter, the faster it will work.