Monday, 25 September 2006

Tips 1: Choice of site

campsite at Lochan Odhar

Choice of site

Find a site that is even and without any sharp objects. Remove those things that can damage your tent. Find a spot that is protected from the wind. Avoid pitching your tent close to any bodies of water to minimize condensation. Avoid also hollows where rain water can gather.
[source: Hilleberg Akto pitching instructions - 2.42mb file >> download pdf version]

One of the advantages with the Akto is that it doesn't need much clear space to pitch it in.

Once I've found an area, eg here at Lochan Odhar to the north of the Braeriach, I drop my rucksack and wander around with my walking poles to find a suitable site. I also want a good view from the door, which is normally over my left shoulder as I'm lying down, with my feet into the wind.

Walking over the ground, I can use the poles to prod the ground, also to measure out approximate areas (2 poles long, 1 pole wide) if there's any doubt. Finally, I can lock the poles together with loops and leave them in the ground to mark where I've decided to camp while I go back and get my rucksack.

All plans have failings, and finding a hidden projection beneath the tent can mean you have to move. I've done that, and it's better than chancing a torn groundsheet. At the moment, I'm not using a 'footprint'. That might change in the future, but I've never used one in my limited time under canvas.