Setting up your tent is part science and part art. It's a balance between experience and study. It can be hard to specifically say what's right, but it's easier to say what is definitely wrong. Check out these 5 common mistakes most campers make while setting up a tent.
Not Looking Up
We look at the ground. We look at the trees. We look just about everywhere, right? Wrong. We almost never look up when we set up a tent. There are a few reasons we want to look up (like making sure there are no beehives, spider webs, and so forth) but the main reason is the Widowmaker. Also known as the fool killer. This is a tree branch; broken, rotten, or hanging, that is likely to fall. Seeing them are usually easy. But if you don't look up you won't see it. People die every year because an obviously broken branch goes unseen and then it falls. Look up.
Not Staking Your Tent
Many people think that Staking your tent is overdoing it. That only in the most extreme situations require you to Stake your tent. Not the case. Small and sudden gusts of wind can pop up the bottom of your tent. Another gush of wind and your tent is in the air, even with a decent amount of weight in it. Staking your tent insures that your tent, and the goods inside, stays in one place.
Not Giving Yourself Time
Setting up a camp, especially the right way, takes some time. Even an experienced camper can spend hours setting up a camp. Little things here and there can add more and more time on your set up. If you fail to set up your camp in time, you'll have to set up a fire before night comes so you can continue setting up the camp. If you don't do that you'll quickly realize that you're out in the wild and the wild can bite. Always give yourself more than enough time to set up a camp.
Not Being Aware of the Sun
The sun is an important aspect to setting up your tent. If you're camping in the summer, setting up your tent in direct sunlight can add tens of degrees to your tent. That can be dangerous. In the winter if you set up your tent out of the sun you will be living in a world that is 10 degrees cooler than it should be. Not only do you want to find the sun, but you want to find how the sun hits your tent during certain times. The morning is the most important, as this sets up the rest of the day.
Not Finding Good Ground
Sleeping on the ground is always going to be tough. Having a good tent
and a sleeping pad
helps, but it can only do so much. Finding the right ground is paramount. Most people know to find a spot that is free of rocks, branches, and roots. But that isn't always enough. When you are looking for a spot, you want to find high ground. One inch of rain on a low spot will quickly fill up, leaving your tent basically in a pond.
Setting up your tent the right way can be the difference between a great time and a bad time. But knowing what to do is not always easy. This is way it's important to equip yourself with a litany of Don'ts and when it comes time to set up your camp you'll find yourself avoiding many pitfalls.