Setting Down Camp – Beginner’s Guide Part 4
You’ve had a great holiday camping with the family / friends, but work is beckoning you home and it’s time to set down camp and head for the luxurious comforts of home. Setting down camp is often a bit of a headache; one thing you can count on is the weather. It will be raining, possibly hail stoning.
However, the set down of camp is really important, you do not want to damage your tent or equipment for future usage, so follow our quickstep guide to ensure that it all goes smoothly and your back home in front of the telly in no time.
Step 1 – Man Needs Food = Patient more tolerable Man
If you are anything like me, the brain can’t function without a good cup of Yorkshire tea and bacon butty in the morning. Therefore grab something to eat before you set down – you’ll thank me for this one later. Try and head somewhere warm for a quick bite to eat to settle you down and pluck up your courage for the task ahead.
Step 2 – Set Down Camping Equipment / Clear Camp Pitch
So firstly, before we set down camp, we need to make sure we clear out the tent (including all the pockets in the tent). This stops you folding down the tent with your mobile phone safely tucked in the bedside compartment where you left it. Also, if you can, leave a dry towel out (not one of your best towels though), this will come in handy a bit later on.
Once the tent is entirely clear, you can clean up your camp pitch and remove all rubbish / garbage and extinguish all campfires safely. As you pack down all your equipment, it is inevitable that you will start loading the car / bike. So just make sure that when you pack your vehicle, you leave plenty of space for the tent. If you run out of space, you can always leave the kids behind.
Step 3 – Setting Down The Tent
It’s raining. This is a common problem; you don’t want to put the tent away wet because this can cause mould and mildew. This process can take two weeks or more though, so just set down the tent and pack it away as normal, you can always take the tent out and hang it on a washing line when you get home and the weather improves thus allowing it to dry out.
Setting down your tent is purely based on what type of tent you have; I am going to assume it is a family tent.
- Depending on what type of tent you have, you may need to remove the inner tents. The question is, were the inner tents already in the tent when you pitched the tent? (Most tents are nowadays, it’s called a ‘Pitch as One Tent’) If so, leave them be, if not, then make sure you take these inners out separately and fold them up.
- Secondly, we need to take all the guy lines down and remove the pegs. Don’t just throw the pegs anywhere, you won’t find them again! Try to have a designated peg pile or make someone responsible for collecting the pegs to ensure they don’t go missing. Bent pegs are not much use, so throw them out and remember to replace them before you next go away.
- Remove all the poles and be careful not to damage any when you take the tent down. Fold the poles, starting from a central point as to lessen the strain on the cord in between the poles. Before removing the poles, make sure a tent door is unzipped, it will make it easier to get the air out of the tent when you roll it up
- Once the tent is flat on the ground, if it is damp, then get that pre planned towel and dry it off a bit before packing away. This reduces the chance of mould and mildew. If the tent is soaking wet, then a towel won’t be much help, but you can use it to protect your knees from the sodden ground while you roll the tent up.
- Next step is to get the tent bag. The tent bag will help you measure up the width the tent needs to be folded down to. Then you can fold the tent down using the width of the bag. This way, the tent is not too long to fit into the bag once it is rolled up.
- Next is the impossible bit, rolling the tent, it is important to fold the tent neatly, this is half the battle, once you have folded the tent into the correct width, you can then half the size by folding it lengthways.
- Then begin to roll the tent up, I often roll it up, then unroll it and repeat the process of rolling the tent. This really gets most of the air out.
- Getting it into the bag – GOOD LUCK
Step 4 – Final Sweep over
The car is loaded; the site is clean, clear and empty. Just do a final sweep to make sure you have not dropped anything. Then you are on your way! Drive safely and enjoy those home comforts.
Beginners Guide to Camping