An imaginative individual could think of a million things that could go wrong on a camping trip, while most of us think of just a few minor annoyances common to the outdoor experience. While an injury is always the worst, bad weather can also put a damper on your camping spirit. Aside from torrential rains, wind can definitely ruin a camping trip, especially when it never stops blowing. There is nothing more annoying than having to get out of your tent every thirty minutes to make sure the stakes haven’t come up out of the ground and that you are not going to blow away in the middle of the night. Starting a fire is almost impossible, and you can hardly hear the people around you when the wind really picks up. Luckily there are a few tips and tricks for you to keep in mind in case your next camping trip is sabotaged by the wind.
The first thing you should do when you arrive at your camping location is to find an area surrounded by trees or bushes. Try to find a set of bushes or trees that form a sort of wall that will serve as a wind barrier. Make sure that the tree you are under does not have any branches that look to be weak, as they will probably fall in high winds. Be sure to check the area for any animals or objects that could pose a threat, and sweep the area of all debris. Not only will this remove the bugs hiding under leaves, but it will keep debris from flying into your eyes in the wind. Once your spot is cleared, and you are comfortable with the location, its time to set up your tent.
There are several types of stakes made for camping tents. If you expect wind on your next trip you should definitely consider purchasing stakes designed with wind in mind. A normal stake is thin and smooth, allowing for easy set up, but wind can rip them right out of the ground. Most of the wind-resistant stakes are grooved on the edges to allow for a tighter grip on the ground. This gives you a great advantage over normal tent stakes, so you won’t have to worry about pushing them back in all night long. After you get your tent staked down, you will probably want to start a fire and get a meal cooking.
When trying to start a fire in the wind, you must always remember to build your fire according to the weather. Having a bonfire in 30 mph winds is absolutely absurd, and extremely reckless, so scale the fire down if it is really windy. The best type of fire to build in the wind is a tipi-style fire. Form a cone out of branches no longer than 2 feet, and leave an opening on the side facing the wind, like a tent. Place your tender (small twigs and leaves) inside the tipi. Sit with your back to the wind, and light the tender. Keep your back to wind until the fire is big enough to stay lit. After your meal you might want rest in your tent and talk with others, but the wind has a way of preventing you from hearing what other people are saying.
There are a couple of measures you can take to lessen the noise from the wind while inside your tent. One thing you can do is remove the rain fly from your tent, if it is not raining. This keeps the wind from blowing between your tent and the fly. If you leave the fly on the tent you run the risk of damaging the tent, and potentially having the tent blown away by the wind. Crack the windows inside the tent to allow air to flow through the tent, rather than flowing around the tent.
Enjoying your next camping trip requires that you make the best of any situation. If you expect a lot of wind just remember that there are several things you can do to make your campsite comfortable. Pick a safe location with shelter from the wind and rain, keep the campsite clear of debris, practice safe fire building techniques, and make sure your tent is secure. If you do this the next time the wind picks up you will be prepared, and it will take a lot more than a little wind to ruin your trip.