Guys' weekend away guide - Part 1

2012-11-28 08:09

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The call of the open road, the pink slip of freedom and two to three sanctioned nights away from your routine are all you need to get cracking on planning the ultimate guy’s weekend away. That and some good guys, preferably thick-skinned, old mates with a penchant for adventure, outdoor missions and exploration. Regardless of where you live in South Africa, you have options.

If it’s all about kicking back and hiring a remote cabin then check from the Overberg to the Drakensberg, Calvinia to Clarens the choice is yours. Destination selected, care needs to be taken in the selection and qualities of your company.

Which team player are you?

The Bear Grylls Clone
Capable of fitting into the city and your usual social setting, when removed from it he transforms into the kind of guy you imagine was raised on a farm, probably by hyenas. Capable of fixing a car by merely looking at it hard and thumping the bonnet, this guy is practicality personified. He can be a bit alpha male – cleaning his nails with a panga while turning the coals with his toes – but without him you’d all be phoning the AA and whimpering under a towel until help arrives.


The Party Animal
This guy is often set on reliving the glory moments of days gone by a la Frank The Tank. He’s the one who is so set on getting moered that he will incapacitate himself for the entire weekend. By all means, enjoy yourself, but try to leave something in the tank for surfing, fishing, hiking and swimming. That said, when you summit a peak, he’s the hero who lugged a few quarts to the top for sundowners.

The los-kop
This guy has no idea what the weekend ahead entails. That’s not a bad thing when it’s a bachelor’s weekend away, but not ideal when everyone needs to pull their own weight. It’s an extreme example, but on one three-week guy trip around Southern Africa with six friends, one of my dimmer mates brought no sleeping bag, ground mat or spare clothes. He literally had about two vests, a pair of boardies and a towel. Needless to say he got eaten alive by mosquitoes, inhaled a fair few black fly on Lake Malawi while sleeping al fresco and got some serious sunburn in Mozambique when his last vest disintegrated. On the plus side, he travels light and isn’t usually much of a whiner.


The Over-packer
Usually has an unhealthy relationship with Excel algorithms, this guy’s go to settings are anal and obsessive/compulsive. Your packing list will be sent to you. If ETAs for each day are not met he gets twitchy as this messes with his plan. Prone to bringing everything “just in case”, he can weigh down the car with non-essential items. Breadmaker? Check. Glow in the dark goalposts for night football? Check. That said, when you want to have a breakfast skottel and the guy just happens to have one stashed in the boot, he swiftly attains legend status.

The Backseat Guy
This could be any of you at any time. From braaing and having too many braaimasters to driving where everyone in the car feels they should be in control, there’s nothing more irritating than being dictated to by a mate on the substitutes bench. Usually this entails braaiing. There’s always one guy in charge and about another three trying to dictate what he should do. Does Gordon Ramsay need a sous-chef telling him what to do? This also applies to driving where often guys have divergent ideas of where they’re going. GPS and maps only get you so far especially when trying to follow the hand-written scribblings of goof-ball Port St Johns residents.

Golden rule: let whoever is driving drive and whoever is braaing braai… and hold them responsible for the results.

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