21/07/2012
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How to stay warm and dry while camping

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At first glance, this seems like a really easy goal and, with a car at hand, it is. The car means you can pack those extra items that offer flexibility and choice in maintaining comfort and having fun. Briefly, there are six main areas to consider:

Weather – unless you’re prepared, it doesn’t take long for the joy of camping to evaporate when pitching or striking a tent in wind-driven downpours. The practical answer is to dress in layers. A wind and waterproof jacket over a neat fleece or woolly pully and a comfy top next to your skin allows you a fair degree of flexibility as the weather changes or you warm up.

Activity - what will you be tackling during your stay? Hillwalking and mountain biking obviously require a different approach to exploring country houses. You’ll know what you need but bear in mind that drying wet clothes overnight in your tent is not only unlikely to happen but also creates a damp fug inside.

Hanging out – even in summer, evenings can turn chilly and in spring and autumn, the weather can seem wintry at times. As well as layering, consider using a cheap fleece blanket as a shawl – who cares what you look like? A simple windbreak adds a surprising degree of comfort when sitting around on site.

Sleeping – as well as getting through the night comfortably, there is getting ready for bed to consider. An electric heater comes into its own when you strip off for bed. Keep a light fleece blanket to pull over your sleeping bag if you feel chilled in the wee small hours. As your inner tent bedroom floor may leak and, in any event, condensation will form under your sleeping mat or airbed, it’s important to air and dry your bedding every morning.

Mornings – getting up and on your feet is the usual dread but there’s also getting yourself going from making breakfast to heading out for the day. That electric heater is a boon on chilly mornings, especially if you can turn it on before crawling out of your bag. Avoid brushing against the flysheet if you can – the cold is a shock and the condensation will quickly soak a cotton t-shirt.

Spares and repairs – broken zips, snapped poles, rips and tears can all let the elements into tents. Pull together a simple repair kit to tackle the obvious problems with a few spares for good measure. Keep it handy as it’s not much use on a shelf in the garage. 

TOP TIPS
  1. NEVER use a cooking stove to heat up the interior of your tent – ever. The real dangers of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning cannot be emphasised too much.
  2. Take extra care when entering or leaving your tent in the rain. Even though you'll be in a hurry, try not to jam the zip.
  3. On cold, wet mornings, sometimes a little lateral thinking pays dividends.
  4. Laundrettes are not just for washing clothes; those tumble dryers can soon sort out wet clothing and sleeping bags.
  5. Preparing for bed with a light fleece for bedclothes; the hood allows plenty of flexibility in adjusting warmth through the night.
  6. The results of leaks and condensation need to tackled every morning.
  7. You don’t have to spend lots on waterproofs. Craghoppers Kiwi (£90) is a classic waterproof walking jacket with an interactive zip layering system for easily adding or removing a fleece.

Camping zip

 
 
2.Leaving your tent3.Breakfast4.Lauderettes

5.Sleeping6.leaks7.Craghoppers kiwi

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