Hello people, this is Dinesh Bodke from Pawnacamp. I manage customer support team, field execution and business development since the year 2017.
I am not very excited to tell you the reasons and common mistakes behind the bad experiences while camping because there are many loopholes in our community.
There are more than 70 campsites at Pawna lake. Out of which, only 12 campsites are working under the brand of Pawnacamp. The rest are working individually or under different brands. I remember the time when I started this local business with my friend Sagar Thakar at the beginning of the year 2017. During that time, there were only 5-6 campsites at Pawna lake. Initially, we were in a tie-up with few booking channels such as booking.com and MMT. Later, we launched our official website and then it was sold out every weekend. We were focusing on quality over quantity. There was a time when we could simply deny bookings because of houseful.
Nowadays, there are many camping businesses around Pawna lake and different types of people with different intention. As per my calculation, there is a 30% chance that you will be getting a campsite which is been haphazardly managed by local vendors and staff.
I have scrutinized more than 1300 feedback forms to know the problem behind bad or terrible experiences. My primary intent was to understand the measurable factors and loopholes for unpleasant experience and how to resolve them. Respecting privacy, I won’t be disclosing all the facts and incidents. However, I will discuss the reasons and common mistakes. I am very sure this will help you to make better decisions while booking at Pawna lake camping.
The first reason is,
You must have got on the wrong boat!
If you book a campsite without knowing a type of crowd visiting on your date then you may not like the overall environment. Some camps are dedicated to families or couples only. Camping is all about freedom but surveillance is also necessary. However, there are many other camps at Pawna lake where there is no restriction when it come to the type of crowd and their behavior. Some guests never try to understand a single word when they are boozed up. Sometimes it becomes a worst situation where you may have to argue with other fellow campers.
A few weeks ago, Randeep and Komal from Stray Artist (Youtube Vlog) visited one campsite near Pawna lake. This campsite is not operated by us. Watch below video to understand how other fellow campers can affect your experience.
Mismanagement of transportation
Travelling can be a very hectic part of your trip if not managed properly. You must be spending a minimum of 3 hours and 5 hours in transportation if you are coming from Pune and Mumbai respectively. Reaching Lonavala is easy but from Lonavala to Pawna lake, there is no public transport. You have to catch a private vehicle until the campsite. These private vehicles are costlier than average. They will charge you 1000 to 1200 rs one way per vehicle. The cost is irrespective of numbers of people and sharing may not be possible most of the time.
Waiting is frustrating! You should book your cab from Lonavala to Pawna lake in advance at least one day prior. Inform the driver about the time of your arrival at Lonavala railway station so the driver will reach there before time. Once you book online, we provide some honest cab driver’s contact numbers in the email.
If you are coming with your own vehicle then come via Kamshet route, so you will be avoiding bad roads and sometimes traffic. You should not search for anything on Google map because there are many spammy locations. You need to follow the pinpoint provided by email and SMS. Its better if you download a Google map to our location so that you can access it offline wherever there is no coverage. Make sure your GPS is turned ON and enough charge on your registered phone.
Vritti Khawani has explained her travel experience in the following video.
Expecting that everything will be private
In Pawna lake, camping is a group activity. On most of the weekends, there would be around 25 to 40 people on each campsite. Tent will be separate for couples and families. However, most of the tents will be close to each other. You may not be finding a private space unless you are visiting on weekdays.
See the below picture to get an idea of tent spacing on long weekends.
On most of the campsites, barbeque is a common activity. Staff will be doing live barbeque in front of the guests and serving instantly. If you want a separate barbeque grill for your group then choose our camp E and try your hands. Sports activities are common and you may have to wait for your turn.
Some people don’t like sharing spaces, activities and eventually end up with disappointment.
Going for cheap campsites
There is always a value to money ratio in the travel industry. The high cost comes with high responsibility and some irresponsible camp organizers won’t cost you high. We always recommend better campsites on call inquiry as per your needs. We advise you to book any campsite only after checking reviews on Google map or TripAdvisor.
Not checking the food menu
Most of the campsites have a fixed menu. You should check the food inclusions before booking. There are no restaurants nearby, so make sure that you are comfortable with the food menu. Jain people should ask for Jain food options beforehand.
Not carrying necessary things
There is “things to carry” section in the service description. If you are unable to find it then simply ask us or WhatsApp (838 100 4848). Carrying sweater in winter, Umbrella in the rainy season, etc. You should carry those things for your convenience.
Camping in wrong season
Most of the campsites in Pawna lake are not operational during monsoon. Very few campsites provide all the amenities even during rain with proper arrangements. However, you will miss the bonfire and ground activities if it is continuously raining.
You may get very bad experience if you choose a campsite where there is no proper arrangements for monsoon.
If you are coming in monsoon then make sure to ask about the approach road conditions, shed arrangements and whether the tents are fully waterproof or not.
Pawna lake has become a commercial camping destination. You won’t be getting a real adventure or real camping experience. Rather, its a more convenient type of camping, where you will be getting a spoon-feeding of every activity. This thing is really good for newbies who are just getting started with the outdoor camping but Pro-campers may get disappointed with the extra arrangements. For instance, A pro-camper may not prefer a tent which has been pitched by our workers already.
Now, you must have got a good idea about reasons for bad camping experience. Kindly drop a comment if you have any suggestion.