I’m not sure where it comes from but I’ve never really liked using tents for a few reasons. One of these is the messing around either from having to carry them or put them up and in its own way it puts limits on where your can camp (finding a flat piece of land that’s big enough etc) along with making it a pain to move half way through the night if you have to.
Another reason is the added sense of vulnerability when using a tent. This may sound weird (don’t worry not losing my mind yet) but hear me out on this one.
The rough end of camping is doing away with the tent altogether and just making do with bed roll, sleeping bag and some sort of covering to keep the rain off. This method is the ultimate in stealth wild camping and reduces your visibility to the absolute minimum, even more so if you find a hole or dip to crawl into.
A tent is the complete opposite. OK, it adds a nice layer of protection from the elements but also makes me feel a whole lot more visible and routed to one spot with no chance to move quickly.
Its not a case of being overly concerned about dealing with upset landowners as most of the time they’re happy once you’ve moved off. Its the simple fact that if someones knows where I’m at then sleep is a near impossibility.
Getting a good nights sleep in a ‘organized’ campsite can be difficult for this very reason and I’d rather be stuck in some muddy ditch in the middle of nowhere 🙂
The South Coast West Path Cure
I’d love to have it any other way although the sections of the coast path walk so far this winter have not been nice weather wise. This has meant spending long nights in the tent due to short days and rain (lots of heavy rain).
There were days at the beginning when I’d only cover a few miles before the most almighty downpour would start and to have any hope of keeping things dry meant making camp (apart from being crazy to continue on a path with zero visibility).
All this added up to more time spent under canvas than I’ve probably had in years and pretty sure its done me some good. I’m surprisingly happy with using tents now although still find the need to hide out of the way for a good nights sleep and will always really dislike paying for a pitch to camp on 🙂
Lets face it I’ll be ditching that heavy thing the moment summer kicks in properly but strangely looking forward to breaking the tent out again for upcoming camping trips.
The Ultimate Test
The coast path is a wild campers dream with hardly anyone around to say ‘get off me land’ provided you can find a piece of land that isn’t on a slant or bedrock (the default is both).
This was a breath of fresh air as most wild camping in the UK is 90% just plain old not getting caught on someones land. This makes me wonder how I’ll feel once back to the normal camping routine of national parks and the such?
One thing is for sure and that’s this period of being forced to use the tent in winter means a lot more all year round camping trips for me instead of limiting myself to the better months of the year.
Add your Voice
Does this tent visibility thing make sense to anyone else, if so could you add a comment below (so I know I’m not the only one and potential odd).