At DMC HQ we’ve been hearing rumours that some people will be camping in Hyde Park this Thursday night, perhaps the only spot left in the capital as the influx of people means a scramble for any remaining hotel spots. For those heading to London to watch the Royal Wedding in person or on the big screen, pitching their tent in Hyde Park may be the best option for a night’s sleep. Weather reports are predicting that the excellent weather of last week’s bumper bank holiday weekend might not be continuing this weekend, so how do you survive camping in this unpredictable climate?
Tip 1: Equipment
If it seems rather geeky to make an equipment list and tick things off, you’re probably right, but at the very least you should check that you have all the bits of your tent. There is nothing worse than a tent that’s falling apart even before a drop of rain hits it. Count the pegs and poles at the very least! For those who love to be prepared, a test run in the garden (or even inside) is an essential part of the holiday preparation.
Tip 2: Site
Although it may not seem like the most comfy spot to sleep, choosing a slight slope to sleep on is great when it comes to spending a rainy night out under canvas. This means that you won’t grow puddles around your tent, and will be more likely to stay dry. Just make sure you sleep with your head at the top of the slope not the bottom else you could wake up feeling very odd. Trees should also be avoided, because if the big drips don’t get you the birds just might!
Tip 3: Layers
No matter how good orbad your sleeping bag is, chances are at one point in the night you’ll be too cold, and then too hot. This makes for a bad night’s sleep so get round this with layers. A couple of easy to remove top layers, light trousers and socks are great plus a blanket, even a thin one, that you can wrap around you inside your sleeping bag, makes all the difference. And as a bonus, you won’t need your big jumper which will make a great makeshift pillow.
Tip 4: Rain Etiquette
Bin bags aren’t the most glamorous of items, but great for when it rains. You can put all your stuff in them and not worry about waking up to soaked clothes, and you can stash your wet shoes and umbrella in another. The tent too needs some care, and the best thing to do is to avoid you or your kit touching the sides at all costs, huddle together in the middle and you will be not only dryer but warmer too. If you spring a leak then run your finger down from the drip to the bottom of the tent and the water should follow.
Tip 5: Luxuries
Once you’ve got your tent and sleeping bag in tow with your spare clothes, wash bag and perhaps some food you probably won’t feel like carrying much else, but there are several optional items that will make your stay all the more comfortable, particularly important if you’re staying on the ground for more than one night. A roll-mat will give you some much-needed protection from the ground, whilst solar lights are perfect torches as you leave them out all day and in the night they light the way. A small stove (outdoor use only though, safety first) will allow you to make that all-important cup of tea in the morning or if you want to go really swish then an inflatable mattress will be your best friend.
top image by N1NJ4