Tips For Better Camping
All of the longer walks on this site require you to carry a tent and most include “wild” camping. The following tips should help you to find the perfect camping spot.
- Valleys can be colder at night than higher ground.
- Water attracts midges, so it’s better to camp some way back from the water’s edge.
- Higher ground is more open to the elements but because it tends to be windier, it’s good for avoiding midges.
- If a storm is on its way, then avoid solitary trees and rocky overhangs.
- If it’s raining, avoid pitching beneath trees for shelter because when the rain stops you will be dripped on for hours afterwards.
- Have the rear of your tent facing into the wind.
- Secure the tent down well, even on a calm day, because the weather can soon change.
- Keep a dry set of clothes for your time in the tent, even if this means putting your wet clothes on the following morning. Sitting in wet clothing will soon make you cold.
- Avoid building fires, it can leave the place untidy and Scottish midges seem not to be deterred.
If you do want to build a fire, here are some tips
Some good tinder that you can collect on your walk:
- Crushed dead ferns.
- Pine needles.
- Sheep’s wool – you often see bits of stray wool on the ground, so there’s no need to accost the nearest sheep!
Where to build it:
- Don’t build close to dry grass.
- Check the wind direction to avoid a smoky tent.
- Rocks can be a useful shelter and help to reflect the heat.
How to build it:
- To avoid scorching the grass, remove the turf first and keep it aside. If you’re camping in the same spot for a few days and it’s dry, then don’t forget to water your turf!
- If the ground is wet then lay the fire on a base of sticks.
- Use a few thin dry sticks to make a pyramid and add the tinder. Light the fire and add a few more dry sticks but not too many as the fire needs to breath.
- When the fire is burning strong you can add more wood but remember not to overcrowd it. It will take about 30 minutes to be hot enough for cooking on.
Some general tips for a safe walk
- Always carry a survival bag.
- Take a survival whistle.
- Take a small first aid kit and some midge repellent might be useful!
- Always take some means of purifying your water. The water might look crystal clear but a dead sheep might be lying in it furthur up! purifying tablets or a personal water filter will get the job done.
- How about a mini survival kit? This thing has everything and it’s fun for sure.
- Back to being more serious: It may seem obvious, but it is essential that you always have a map and compass and know how to use them.
- And finally, never be afraid to stop if the weather deteriorates. Don’t allow yourself to be tied to a schedule no matter what.