In my younger days, specifically when I was still in campus. I loved to camp. And no, I do not mean camping in my mother’s backyard-which I sometimes did, whenever she was angry with me and did not want me in her house but she still wanted me close enough to her.
I mean real outdoor camping. Somewhere without internet, electricity, running water and toilets. Camping gave me 2 of the great joys of life back then. One a reason to be with nature. Two it gave me a legitimate reason to skive class. Specifically Econ 404 History of Economics. The class was taught by a lecturer who’s sole reason for teaching was to bore me to tears. Plus, whenever he began talking about philosophers, my mind interpreted his voice as a lullaby and I would drift off. Ever noticed the quality of sleep improves drastically when you should not be sleeping?
I have learnt a couple of thing in my years camping in the wilderness of Kenya. So allow this old camping soul to impart the wisdom learnt from that.
- It always rains when your tent is pathetic
Camping in Samburu once, the sky decided to say hello in a most spectacular fashion. It rained for 6 hours straight. I was warm and cozy save for the occasional Hyena laughing at something. In the morning, some couple of friends who were camping in some plastic tent had unfortunately spent the night swimming. Their tent instead of keeping the rain water out, had turned out to be a reservoir for the same. Let’s just say, they learnt their lesson.
2. Snakes and scorpions are almost always attracted to tents
Anything that creeps or crawls likes to find warm, cool places to relax. Snakes and scorpions are at the top of that list. So make sure your tent can zip up properly. This includes it having Velcro to seal the spaces left by the zippers. When you are sleeping you can be sure that everything that should be outside your tent, remain there.
3. The wind
Now the challenge with camping in areas without vegetation is the wind is vicious. At night, the cool breeze that kept you nice and cool turns into a monster that threatens to carry you off into the night. A proper tent should come with rock pegs strong enough to provide anchorage for your tent. Otherwise next time you are out camping and see something flying it will not be Aladdin, it will be your tent.
Tents are a home away from home for you and your fellow campers. As such, you are right to expect some level of security from your tent. If your tent can be torn apart by bare hands, please throw it away. Don’t even give it to a hapless camper. You will have done a disservice to the universe. And you know what they say about karma….it will ensure it never rains when you carry your raincoat.
5. Flash floods
Forget the rain, another beast to worry about is surface runoff. Especially in the form of flash floods. You wake up in the middle of the night to find a river beneath your tent. Of course in a Tarpo tent, this will be just another story in your arsenal of narratives. Which I agree you should embellish every time you retell it beside a roaring campfire. Even the constitution insists that the more unrealistic a story is, the better. However, for you dear friend who will be in a different sort of tent. May the odds be ever in your favor…I hear swimming in the dark is quite an adventure.