Originally Published on “The Spark magazine” of Business Day Newspaper-written by Adebayo Mayowa Blades
As adults, we spend a huge amount of our lives indoors-from waking up from your bed , off to work in a car and then into your office space: From my statistics, most Nigerians spend about 87% of their time indoors(religious places, weddings, work) and an additional 6% in an enclosed vehicle (on average).. So when was the last time you sit to watch the sun set or check the sky to see the star? Adulthood in Nigeria gradually becomes a trap if we take it that path. We let the outdoor funs end with our childhood. There are some who would fancy an outdoor weekend but still don’t know how to go about it. What about you pick up some few items, a knapsack and spend the next the weekend or next public holidays with nature.
Backpacking! Do people backpack in Nigeria? What is backpacking? Yes people now backpack and wants to backpack. Nothing compares to covering miles and miles through nature powered by your own legs during the day and camping somewhere safe at night.
If you aren’t familiar with backpacking, it’s the practice of packing so light and minimalist for travel that everything can be carried on your body in a single wheelless bag and off you’re gone for a few days into nature away from the noise and bustle of the city.
PICK A DESTINATION
Nigerian is blessed with Waterfalls, Beaches; Mountains hills and uncharted terrains. Some of these most beautiful places are enclosed in secured parks. The biggest questions about backpacking and camping in Nigeria are safety and security. Is Nigeria secured enough for such?
Before setting out to camp anywhere in Nigeria, get someone on ground at where you are going for camping and as a rule of thumb-always camp in groups. You basically have two options when it comes to sleeping at the park, or a beach after a long days hike. You can camp, or you can rent one of the locations apartments. My opinion buy a tent and camp securely right at the heart of the location. So: instead of staying in fancy hotels, ask for a secured spot and pitch up your tent with other friends. Enjoy the green vegetation; watch the beautiful stars from your tent:
Places secure for such:
- Obudu Ranch
- Epe resort,
- Yankari Park,
- Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary
- Jay Beach Tarkwa Bay
- Idanre Hills and Resort
DECIDE WHAT TIME OF YEAR TO GO
For parks it safer to go during the dry harmathan season, no rain to disturb your hike or camping.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Food is your fuel. You don’t want to pack heavy, so drawing up a table with your daily meals is important—Noodles, cookies, beverages something you can easily prepare outdoor that won’t spoil fast. And yes some chocolate bars!
4.WHAT TO CARRY?
- 1 Pair walking boots/trainers (strong, broken in with ankle support, compulsory)
- 2 Pairs walking socks
- 2 Tee shirt
- 1 Outdoor shirt
- 1 Pair walking trousers (warm; NOT jeans)
- 1 Pair of trainers/outdoor sandals (optional)
- 2 Pieces of handkerchiefs
- 1 Pair of Flip Flops (local name is “slippers”)
- 1 Hat/Cap (compulsory)
- 1 pair of shorts (if appropriate)
- 1 Large backpack (50l or 70l)
- 1 Blanket
- Torch and Spare batteries for headlamp/flashlight
- Pocket knife or multi-tool
- Sun protection (glasses, sunscreen)
- 1 Sleeping mat/blanket (compulsory)
- 1 Survival bag ( a draw string bag)
- 1 Personal First Aid Kit (and your regular medications, if any)
- 1 Watch
- 1 Whistle* (compulsory)-in case you get lost during hiking
- 1 Notebook & pen/pencil (compulsory)
- 2 Water bottles (e.g. strong plastic, to hold 0.5 to 2 litres; compulsory)
- 1 Knife, fork, spoon (to eat with)
- 1 Plate/bowl (compulsory)
- 1 Mug/cup
- A small stoves and pot
- Fire making kit (water-proof matches or lighter, fire starter or candle in a waterproof container)
- 1 Wash kit (sponge and soap)
- 1 Towel (small)
Mayowa is the Founder of Naidrenalin Adventures and avid adventurer with huge outdoor experience home and abroad, he has been promoting local tourism especially among Nigerian youths”. He is also a Russian trained Aeronautical Engineer, a trained photographer and travel contributor to many travel magazines such as: The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria, , BackpackersMag USA, CometoNigeria and many more