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How to choose the perfect pitch for your tent

Written by Fiona

December 12 2019

Camping is a great way to enjoy being outdoors for longer and it allows you to become immersed in the natural environment. Camping is a low carbon footprint activity, too.

Once you have the right kit, including tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, stove, pot and rucksack, you can head of to enjoy a camping trip. The best kind of camping adventures are wild camping.

But many people worry about where to pitch a tent and how to find the perfect location.

Tips for choosing the right camping spot

Here are some tips on choosing the right place to set up a tent:

Scotland – and the rest of the UK

Scotland has the much envied Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This gives outdoors fans the legal right to roam and camp in wild and natural places. There are a few rules to abide by – and some by-law restrictions in certain areas in the summer – but the general guidelines are that if you behave responsibly and sensibly you can wild camp almost anywhere in the countryside.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have the benefit of he same laws but many people find they can wild camp if they act responsibly and choose a discreet location. If you are quiet, difficult to spot and leave no trace you will be able to happily wild camp.

Wind and sun exposure

The wind is not your friend when it coms to camping. You need shelter to prevent the tent form flying away (in strong winds) and also to reduce the annoyance factor of a tent that flaps non-stop.

Think about wind direction and look for spots that are sheltered, perhaps by the shoulder of a hill, a handy dry stone wall or simply because you are in a dip of land.

Also, if you’re camping in large groups, consider trying to connect the tents for better insulation and protection.

The sun might not be a major issue in the UK because it rarely becomes so hot as to cause discomfort while camping but if it is a hot spell try to choose a place that will be afforded more shade.

Also think about which way you pitch the tent because you might end up woken by sun directly beating down on your head.

Camp close to water – but not too close

The advantage of staying close to water is that you can refill your water supply easily and quickly. However, it’s not always the safest choice because heavy rains might result in flash floods that can wash your site away. Also, in Scotland and the north of England, water and warmth usually means midges.

The key is to stay close but not too close to water.

Flat and dry

The ideal camping spot will be a flat area of soft ground. Make sure it is not wet and look for rocks and stones that might damage the base of the tent. A rock sticking into your back at night will not be comfortable, either.

A good view

If you can pitch the tent with the doors opening on to an amazing view, then all the better.

Far from the crowds

Wild camping allows you to get away from everyone else. This is one of the joys of caping in this way.

However, you might choose to have a few more mod-cons and luxuries and pitch your tent at an official campsite to enjoy a holiday in the outdoors. If so, try to choose a spot that affords some privacy so that you are not completely overlooked or annoyed by the noise of other campers.

A word about fire

Cooking over a stove, or even over a fire, is a wonderful way to enjoy food and warmth while camping. Be careful to keep a distance between the tent and the flame.

Quick tips for setting up a tent

Finding the perfect area for camping in the UK isn’t enough, you also have to know how to set up your tent correctly. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Read all the instructions: It isa good avoid to avoid the “divorce tent pitching experience”. This usually happens when one, or both of you, have not bothered to read the pitching instructions and when it comes to setting up the tent you have a major disagreement. The best tip is to try pitching the tent, while reading the instructions, at home and before you are at your perfect camping spot.

Eat first – and take your time: If you try to set up a tent after a tiring day or walking and when you are hungry things will not go well. Aim to have a snack ready for pre-pitching! Then, take you time to pitch the tent. If you do not rush you are less likely to make errors.

It’s easier in daylight: It is obvious but it is worth stating: It is easier to pitch a tent in the daylight. A night, even with a head torch, things can become confused.

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