Camping HowTo

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The action is in tents

  • As most tents are made of long carbon chains derived from crude oil you must remember that any open flame in a tent is dangerous. Keep a small sharp knife close to hand in the tent, you will need it to open the tents emergency exit in case of fire.
  • DON'T USE scented candles or a heater in your tent as you sleep!! (Otherwise you might be warm for the rest of your life!) If you're troubled by the cold at night, sleep in a hat and put your feet in your laptop bag. As a field of nylon tents can so quickly turn into a pool of burning plastic, don't pitch your tent too close to others and keep a bucket of water outside for anyone to use.
  • Gas barbecues are safe, however anything involving open fire is not, the area is flammable. See also Static:FAQ#Open_Fire.
  • Safety pins can be used to attach small fragile items, such as glasses, to the inner tent wall so they don't get crushed.
  • A rug will make it easier to keeping mud & dirt out of the tent, allowing people to wipe their feet or remove shoes before entering.
  • If you don't mind insects crawling up your legs at night, leave the tent open all day. Otherwise keep the insect net closed when your out.

Shopping for a tent

  • If a tent says it's for #n people, this is the number of people who can sleep in the tent with no equipment and with little regard for comfort. If you're sleeping on mats, multiply the number of people by 1.5 to 2 for the minimum tent size. If you're bringing folding furniture, two beds and two chairs, you'll probably need a six person sized tent. A tent should be able to store all your equipment and still give those living in it room to sleep and get dressed. You can live happily in a tent with a low roof, you don't have to be able to stand-up in it.
  • Small tents need to have two layers separated by an air gap to be waterproof. If equipment presses the layers together when it rains, that area will become wet.
  • You should put your tent up at least once before your travel, you may arrive at the site late and have to pitch at night. During a thunderstorm.
  • If it rains, will your stuff get wet when you open the door or will you have the cover of a small porch area?
  • To store your electric equipment, consider this: Don't store it at ground level. Even a small bit of water in the tent will ruin it. Even putting it on top of an empty beer crate (water from below) in a plastic bag (water dripping from the ceiling) will help. So, include this into your space requirements. See Static:Things_to_bring#A_Note_of_Caution_about_electrical_Equipment_on_Camps for more details about electric equipment.
  • The edges of the ground sheet should be above the ground to stop water entering via the stitching.
  • Some larger tents come with air vents to make hot nights more comfortable.
  • Those silver/gold rescue sheets come in handy if that bright thing at the blue ceiling gets too bright. Cover your tent with them to keep it cool and dark.
  • At HAL2001 some people didn't peg their tents down completely, so they rolled across the site hitting people as soon as the wind started. On Chaos camp, an unsecured tent got airborne, the two laptops inside didn't survive the landing.

Things to bring/leave at home

Please have a good look at our Static:Things_to_bring list.