Bad Weather Tent Pitching - Winter Skills Guide 2010/11/06
Pitching a tent on a warm summer’s day without rain or wind is a
great pleasure, for instance you can take your time and have a right
laugh with your camping buddies. However as winter is just around the
corner these days will become harder to find! This month I appeared in
Trail Magazine. I detail how you can avoid a nightmare time out on the
hills but most importantly with any skill set it takes practice.
Guide Bad Weather Tent Pitching
Choose the right area on the map and on the ground.
I always aim for somewhere scenic, sheltered, far above any farm
workings and close to water. Once you arrive at your destination look
for a nice flat area that is sheltered by the landscape and is not
marshy, boggy or in a ditch as it will collect water. If it is really
coming down then have a look around for a good spot, rather than rushing
to the first one you see that may end up being a soggy nightmare waiting
Preparing the pitch
Before you unpack your tent, make sure there are no sharp thorns in the
area of your soon to be erected haven from the elements. The last thing
you want is to puncture the bottom of the tent. You should already be
standing on pretty flat ground, but if you happen to be on a slight
slant, make sure your head is at the top of the slope.
Inner first pitching tents
Keep the fly rolled up to stop it blowing away, have your pegs in your
pocket and peg out the inner as you go along, keeping your rucksack on
top of it to keep it from blowing away. Make sure you peg it out
completely before inserting the inner poles, as it will act like a sail
in the wind! Stick the fly over the inner and secure everything as you
Outer first or pitch as one tents
Place rucksack on one end of the tent and sit on the other half. This
prevents the tent from blowing away. Then peg from one side to the other
to completely secure the tent, insert poles to finish the job. Easy.
Insert pegs at 45°
with the point you stick into the ground facing towards the tent. Peg
all the guy lines out. Have the lines facing into the wind for
minimum drag and aim to put tension in them as well. Tighten all
the outer straps to again reduce flapping; these will be just above the
eyelets to where the outer joins the inner.
Include a micro towel in your rucksack.
This will let you mop up any rain that may have sneaked its way inside.
Try to keep your back to the wind at all times, as this prevents the
tent material from giving you a nasty smack! And if heavy rain does put
a dampener on your hike, just think, you always remember the bad ones.