30 April 2009
Basics of Tents
This post is a brief guideline for those who are new to camping and hiking. Hope this will help anyone who is eager to buy a tent and do some camping very soon.
Buying a tent
First of all I will give some basic tips on buying a tent.
You can easily find tents in Sri Lanka for very affordable price but make sure you buy a good hardy tent with all the accessories. Basic tent should have following items;
•Ground sheet (Usually this comes attached to Inner tent)
•Outer Tent (Fly Sheet)
•Poles or frame
•Last but not least a good bag to carry it.
Pitch the tent before buying it and ensure that it has all the items and none of the parts are missing. (The same check should be done before leaving for any hike or campout too.)
Check all the eyelets are in good condition and they are in adequate size to hold poles, pegs and guy lines.
Generally I recommend a smaller tent so two people can easily pitch it. Always suggest a one with inbuilt ground sheet. Also select a lighter one with smaller and flexible poles/frames.
Pitching a tent
These are the basic points to remember while pitching a tent but there can be many more.
•Find a flat, clean area with less rubble, branches, twigs and debris.
•Clean the area before pitching the tent.
•Never select a place too close to river or any water body. This is applicable even for sea shores. Main reason is that water levels can go up suddenly at night. The other reason is that you will find more wild animals/snakes closer to water than other areas
•The entrance of the tent should not be facing the wind direction.
•Try to pitch a tent where you find less wind. Try not to pitch a tent in a mountain gap where you experience strong wind.
•After you pitch the tent, put all your bags and heavy items inside, preferably in four corners so the tent would stay on the ground even under heavy wind.
•Always make sure there is a gap between fly sheet and inner tent
•Never let the tent (inner or outer) to sag. It should be well stretched.
•If there is any signs of rain dig a small ditch around the tent so it will stop any additional ground water coming into the tent
•If you have any kerosene you may put a few drops around the tent (A circle about 1-2 metres away from the tent). This is a good precaution to repel snakes.
•Put all the additional tent-items back in the tent bag and put it inside the tent.
Maintaining a tent
This is the difficult part. Some key points are mentioned here.
•Pitching and removing should be done with care and you should not exert too much strain on tent material.
•Avoid pitching tents near thorny trees and sharp stones. Clear the debris and sharp items before pitching a tent
•After removal, always wipe water and mud off the tent. If you have some time, let the tent to dry before packing.
•After returning home it is always good to pull out the tent from the bag and let it to dry for few hours.
•If there are any torn parts repair them immediately.