Spending the weekend under canvas? Here’s how to enjoy yourself camping, come rain or shine
The weather can be unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you should ditch your attempts to sleep under the stars. “Perfect weather isn’t possible the whole time, but if you’re prepared for whatever the season throws at you, it can make the difference between a great time and a miserable experience that has you heading home less relaxed than when you started,” says founder of Glamp My Camp, Colin Henebery.
Here’s how to weatherproof your camping trip.
1. Bed Down
“A dry, comfortable bed is essential,” says Henebery. “A decent night’s sleep makes it easier to enjoy yourself no matter what the weather’s doing.”
Firstly, ensure your tent is in good condition and water tight. Avoid setting up in depressed ground where water can pool under your tent. A ground mat under the tent is helpful for keeping the elements at bay. Using a bed stretcher or self-inflating mattress will mean your sleeping bag stays dry and warm, and if you use a stretcher you’ll have some storage space underneath too.
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2. Have a Second Shelter
A gazebo is an important part of your kit. “It doesn’t take long to get in the way of each other if you’re cooped up in your tent sheltering from the rain or the heat,” says Henebery. “A decent outdoor shelter will block the weather, and is quick to put up and take down.” Always tie your equipment down with guy ropes. “Tent and gazebo manufacturers generally always build them into the design - they aren’t for show,” says Henebery. “Weather can change in an instant and it only takes one large gust of wind to uproot your shelter, bending poles and tearing holes very easily.”
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3. Double Up
“Take more than one set of warm clothing,” advises Henebery. “It’s difficult to dry wet clothing while it’s wet outside. Take more than one towel each too. Turkish towels are 100% cotton, super absorbent, very compact and dry very quickly.”
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4. Keep Your Food Fresh
If your food isn’t kept safe in hot weather, you’ll be dealing with food poisoning as well as the elements. “The minimum you need is a basic icebox,” says Henebery. “A good quality box will keep your food fresh and drinks cool for a good length of time while requiring a lot less ice to do the job. Portable gas run or 12V fridges run by deep cycle batteries make it simple to keep everything fresh and cold. Pre-cool your food, and your icebox or fridge to make it even more efficient.”
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5. Ward Off Bugs
Humid, wet or hot weather can mean mosquitos are out in force. “Traditional lotions and sprays, including natural ones, are generally very effective,” says Henebery. “You can also wear a band round your wrist that emits a faint scent to keep bugs away. Citronella candles work well too.
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6. Bring Entertainment
Sheltering from the rain? Make sure you’ve got something to keep you amused. “You can’t go past a good card game. Waterproof sets of cards last forever,” says Henebery. “Other favourites are Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit Remember to pack a book, magazines, and if the weather has really set in, the odd pre-downloaded movie can be excused too!”
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