Camping is one of those activities that is fun for the whole family. Getting outside in nature is both exciting and healthy for everyone, and it can also be a great value for those who are looking to do a lot while spending less money. The key to a weekend of comfort often lies in ensuring you have an appropriate tent for your needs and choosing where to pitch a tent.
Campsites vary hugely in terms of what they offer. Some will have expensive looking shower blocks and reception areas, games areas and little tents where you can chill out. Other campsites will be far more basic in what they have to offer and make the most of their location, often being sold by ‘the view’. Pitching a tent in these types of sites can be a challenge.
One of the great things about camping is that you can be fairly flexible (most of the time!) with where you eventually pitch your tent. For many people, location is everything and they will put a lot of thought into where to pitch a tent. This short article aims to give you some tips so that you can pick the best possible spot for your tent next time you go camping. Of course, on any campsite, you will find it more difficult to set up a huge tent, rather than a little 2 man.
1) Wind can ruin a weekend.
Firstly it’s important to consider which way the wind is blowing and whether you are going to need some shelter from it. If this is the case have a look round and check if there are any hedges, bushes or trees that might act as a good shelter. Be careful not to pitch your tent right next to a tree that looks like it might blow over though! That would be the worst way to start a family holiday! However, if all looks safe, then a sheltered spot is generally a good place to pitch.
2) Think about the rain.
Again, this is linked to wind direction. You don’t want the rain to be driving into your tent and if it is possible to shelter at all from it then you are going to want to be near that. If possible, pitch fairly near the restroom, if that is important to you, then you won’t be having to run far between the restroom and the tent. It could also make washing up easier being nearer a sink but then again you might not want to be near other people who are all washing up, in which case it would be better to pitch further away. If you pitch near a tree you should also remember that the tree will drip water on the tent which can be annoying, especially when it continues to drip water when it’s not even raining.
3) Pitch near the play area?
If there is a play area and you have kids then it might be fun to pitch near it. However be warned, there will be lots of other kids who might be making lots of noise and if you want to get some sleep early or late then it might not be the best location for you. Besides, you should have plenty to make for happy camping with kids.
4) Choose a pitch with some flat ground.
This is a really important one. If you don’t have flat ground then it will make your sleeping experience all the more difficult regardless of how nice your sleep sac is.
5) Look out for sticks, stones, bricks etc.
Make sure that you clear your pitch of any ground debris such as sticks or stones before you pitch the tent.
6) Check for any surrounding water.
Rain has to drain somewhere and so if you are near a pond, river or lake it is likely that that is where it will be draining to. Even if your tent is waterproofed, make sure that the water will not be draining through the place where your tent is going to be pitched. If you pitch in the wrong place you might end up having quite a wet experience! That said, pitching near a water source can be a nice thing, especially in a raised tent on a cot. It can also be fun to bathe in if appropriate or to fish in (again only if this is allowed). Watch out for midges and mosquitoes though – these little bugs love water and are attracted by it.
7) Find soft ground.
You want the ground to be soft enough so that you can get your tent pegs in but not so soft that it is marshy and muddy. Of course, a tent for beach camping will have to be staked in as best you can.
8) Don’t pitch too near to any other campers.
Although it can sometimes be a good opportunity to make some good friends often it is a better idea to find somewhere that you will have a bit more space to yourself. Be considerate to them as well – they got there first and they might not have gone there if they had known they were going to be right next door to another tent.
9) Pitch far enough away from fires and barbecue pits.
Some campsites will have dedicated areas for campfires and bbqs. While it can be nice to be near these areas you must take in to account the safety issues and make sure that your tent is not too near the fire (your tent will suggest the recommended distance).
So, there you have it, nine things to consider when pitching your tent. Remember that you can always explore the rest of the campsite and you don’t need to be near everything, just what you think will make the best experience. Have a great vacation!