When we arrived at Stockbridge View recently, not only was the weather cold, it was very windy. We thought it might be helpful to share our tips for pitching in the wind:
choose your location well. We are actually notoriously bad at this, we always want to pitch for the best view – usually the windiest spot on the top of the hill. We are slowly learning that sometimes it is wiser to forego the view and pitch in the shelter of a hedge or wall.
consider your angle. You probably want to try to pitch streamlined, especially if your tent is long and thin. Put the lower bits of the tent into the wind to guide the air over the tent rather than to buffet it. You don’t want to put your door into the wind – if you do the wind will come in when you open the door and lift your tent up like a kite. Pitching with your back to the wind also means that you can sit in your tent doorway and enjoy the shelter of your tent.
where will the fire go? Fires are an essential part of the camping experience, but in the wind you have to be a bit careful. Firstly you need to think about which way the wind will blow the flames. A gust can make the flames lick out quite far. You need to be a safe distance from your tent which is highly flammable! Of course the wind can also make lighting the fire difficult, so locating the firepit down wind of the tent, might make it easier to light as well as making sure the flames blow away from the tent. Bizarrely as well as being hard to light fires in the wind, it is also hard to get them properly out. A strong wind during the night can relight embers that looked like they were dying. In windy conditions knocking a fire out isn’t enough, always add water too.
make full use of guys. Sometimes it’s tempting not to use all the peg holes and guy ropes, but in the wind you really need to. Your tent was probably designed to withstand a bit of wind, but they were assuming you put it up as per the instructions! Guy ropes should be pegged out and then tightened. On normal tents, tighten as much as you can. On inflatable tents, it’s possible to overtighten and bend the poles out of shape – moderately tight should be fine.
pick good pegs. Our favourites for the wind are delta pegs . We put a few on the key guy ropes of each tent. If you are using normal metal pegs, angle them into the ground – if they form a continuation of the line of your guy rope, they are the wrong way round, they need to be pointing in towards your tent and roughly forming a 90 degree angle with your guy rope. Especially if the ground is soft try to get the pegs all the way in. If you can get the hook bit down onto the ground it will help stop it spinning round and the guy rope breaking free. There are also various v-shaped pegs available which stop the pegs from doing this. A mallet is an essential tool for getting a tent up firmly. A peg-puller might also be needed to get it down again!
weight your tent down. You can also help your tents stability by thinking where you put your heavier items inside the tent. If the wind is tending to get under a particular corner, maybe that’s the location for your suitcase or coolbox or whatever other weighty items you have.
know your limits. If your camp arrangement becomes unsafe, be sensible about when you need to put the fire out or retreat to your car.
Hope you have a safe camp trip & don’t get blown away.
What are we up to this weekend? This morning we’ve had two snow showers – what lovely weather for camping! This isn’t an April fools joke…but perhaps we are April fools!! Will certainly be a good test of the new sleeping bag!
We’re at a new site, so we’ll let you know how we get on.
Regular blog followers will already have met Henrietta who comes on every camping trip with us. She particularly enjoyed our latest trip as she got to have her own little outing and made some friends!!
Needless to say, Henrietta thought this was a wonderful camping trip! We’ll tell you what the goats made of it in the next blog post.
Yes, COVID spurred us on to invest… in our own camping toilet!
Previously we thought this was a bit excessive but the experience of an unpleasant toilet this last summer, combined with the importance good hygiene with respect to the virus, made us change our minds. The convenience of not having to trek a long way across a field to the toilet is also great.
After a bit of research we opted for Thetford excellence electric flush. Thetford has a good reputation, which gave us confidence to invest. This model has a larger waste tank so less emptying (although tank gets heavier in between empties!). What with a proper seat, an electric flush and an integrated toilet roll holder, it is almost as good as toilet at home!
An important consideration is that you need space in your car for transporting it. The waste tank and flush tank can be separated or there are smaller models available, but get your tape measure out before you place your order.
You need to get special chemicals and toilet rolls. I dose up on waste tank chemicals and water before the trip so that is ready. Also dose up on flush tank chemicals but Thetford advise not travelling with full flush tank so water gets added at camp site.
At the end of trip, after emptying waste tank, I add tank cleaner so that it is doing its thing as I’m driving. The movement is very good for this apparently!
New for next season will be sachets of chemicals – making dosing at the campsite easier and reducing the space needed for transporting chemicals.