When we plan our camping trips the one thing we can’t do is plan what the weather is going to be like. Especially if you book your camping trips months in advance. But, what we can do is have the knowledge about what to do should the weather turn or a storm rolls in while we are camping.
So in this post, we are going to share with you some tips that you can use if you find yourself camping in this type of weather. We will also share some other advice that can help you be more confident in dealing with such weather and/or if you should be unlucky enough to have any of your items damaged. Hopefully, if you use the tips this won’t happen but you may not always be at the campsite when the weather turns and it is not only your tent you have to worry about but other tents pitched nearby if the owners have not paid as much attention to pitching or protecting their tent as you may have.
The truth is most tents are not really designed to withstand some of the windspeeds we experience during storms and most damage caused to tents in this weather can be from flying debris, which can often consist of other campers gear and blown away tents.
So you are also responsible for ensuring you and your set up is not going to cause damage to anyone else’s gear, tent or cars as this could be costly, especially if you are not insured for damages. We will speak more about this at the end of the post.
Before You Go
If in the days leading up to your camping trip you check and find that there is a storm on the way you could always try to contact the campsite to ask if you could reschedule your booking if you are able to do so or don’t wish to camp in unsavoury weather conditions. I understand that not all people have the freedom or time from work to be able to move their holiday to a later date but it is worth speaking to campsite owners and seeing if there could be a solution.
You may need to cut your holiday a little shorter by going a day or two later or leaving earlier. Any refunds would be at the discretion of the campsite as like us campers they have no control over the weather either and are, after all running a business. Remember it may be best to lose a few quid as to having to replace tents and other damaged items.
Always carry extra emergency items or an emergency kit, even if the weather is set to be fine. You never know when they will come in handy for yourself or to help someone else out. In your kit should be items such as spare guy lines, spare pegs, strong reliable tape, repair patches if you have them (these can be for tents fabric, windows, air beams or poles).
One of the first rules of camping in any weather is to ensure you pitch your tent correctly in the first instance. This means having it fully pegged out too. Use all guy lines and ensure they are pegged out correctly.
If you get a choice of pitches when you arrive at the campsite or are even wild camping it is always best to try and take a pitch on the outskirts or near a wall or hedgerow. This helps to provide a bit of shelter from wind and rain as well as lessening the chance of people walking through your pitch or around the back of your tent.
If you know the weather is to get windy try to find out what direction the wind will be most likely coming from and pitch your tent with the back of it towards the wind.
2 Additional Pegging
When the weather turns or you know it is going to turn, think about adding additional pegging. You are always best to do this sooner rather than later. It is never fun to have to run about adding addition pegs or guy ropes in the wind and rain. Always do this it the earliest opportunity.
Before we get into additional pegging I would like to recommend the Delta Ground Anchor Pegs. These pegs or anchors are seriously the best we have ever come across. They are a great investment for any camper. Even if you only buy enough to peg out your main guying points you will be better pegged out than most. You can read our review on them by clicking on the following link Delta Ground Anchors/Delta Pegs Review
Spare guy lines add them to your tents guying points and peg down firmly.
Add some Clingons, these are small clips that you can attach to your tent fabric and will provide a point for further guy lines. These are especially good if your tent has a porch area over doorways that you can’t detach.
If you are in the tent think about protecting yourself and gear as well as the tent. Make sure Items such as kettles are away from the walls of the tent especially if you are having hot drinks while waiting out the weather. If the walls of the tent blow in things like kettles can easily be knocked over and if filled with hot water you not only risk someone being scalded but the heat of this could damage tent floors, soak carpets or damage other electrical goods.
Remove any sharp or square cornered items away from the walls of the tent too. Anything you think could cause the tent to rip if pushed hard against any items. If you are really limited for space it may be worth putting a few of the bigger items away in the car, this is also true if you think you may have to decamp later. It is easier to put a few items back up than do spot repairs on ripped tent fabric in bad weather. You could also use clothing, towels or bedding to cushion any such items. Things such as chairs and tables that otherwise wouldn’t cause damage could when tent fabrics are pushed hard against them.
Another way to protect your tent is to try and shield it from the wind. You can do this by positioning your car between the wind and tent if you are able to do so.
If you are going to be sleeping in the tent during high winds be sure to sleep with your heads to the centre of the tent and not the rear. This way any debris hitting the tent is less likely to harm or injure you.
Secure what you can but items such as additional porches, awnings and utility tents are best taken down and stored securely back in the car or trailer. These items are easier blown about as many do not have attached groundsheets or as many items inside to help weigh them down. If these get caught with a gust of wind while attached to your tent it could cause irreparable damage.
If you have other items you use while camping laying around your tent these will all need to be secured too. Things such as kids toys, kayaks, firepits etc. Store them away in the car or trailer even if it means deflating them for the time being.
You can help brace the tent by adjusting the tension on your guy lines, inflating air beams fully to giver your tent more rigidity. Use tension bands if your tent has them. I know ducking under them can be a pain but they will help and can prevent poles snapping or splintering.
Another good way to brace your tent is to place items that will not damage your tent around the outside walls of the tent. This can be items such as holdalls, suitcases, cool boxes etc. This will minimize the amount of movement at the bottom of the tent and help provide some additional support to beams and poles.
6 Regular Inspections
I know once you have done all above that you will probably just want to get in your tent and stay in there until everything calms down. But, if the storm or winds last for more than a few hours it is a good idea to regularly inspect the following.
- Tension on guy lines
- For any debris in and around your pitch
If you know the storm is going to last more than a day or you fear that it will be too much for you or your tent. It may be best to pack up before things get bad. We know nobody wants their camping trip or holiday cut short but it is important that peoples safety comes first. If you can’t get everything down it or is get really bad it may be worth jumping in the car for a bit to keep everyone safe.
I have experienced this myself when a site owner only out for money did not inform us of a weather warning that had been reported midday (after us setting up). A storm had pushed further south than expected and we were left stripping everything back down after returning from a nearby town to drive home 4 hours with tears literally running down my face most of the way. If they had called us earlier we would have been able to book in somewhere but by the time we had taken everything down and packed it away we were soaked to the skin and it was too late to start phoning about to try and book a room. But, I know we made the right decision in the end.
Another worthwhile investment is to get some tent and camping insurance. http://campmehappy.com/camping-insurance
As we mentioned earlier it is important that you act responsibly and do everything possible to ensure you or your equipment do not damage someones else tent, car camping gear. This can happen if your tent and equipment are not secured properly and this could lead to someone seeking legal advice for damage caused. Purchasing good tent and camping insurance can cover you in such instances as well as cover damage to your own camping kit.
We hope these tips will help you stay safe in the future if you find yourself away and facing a storm in the area you are camping in. The most important thing is to think about is safety. If in doubt – get out!
You may also like to read http://campmehappy.com/camping-during-lightning-and-thunderstorms-what-you-should-know To make sure you are covered for all weather.
If you have any more tips you would like to share for camping in these conditions please feel free to leave a comment below and help others to have better camping experiences.