Camping can be the best or the worst time of day. You stop to rest after being pedaled, suffering and sweating; you start cooking, you set up your tent, but … surprise! Something can go wrong.
In this article, I am going to give you these 21 tips that will help you avoid that those camps are twisted so that you can live this experience in the best possible way.
At the time of camping we have two options: a wild place or a civilized place and, I do not want you to discard any of the two. In some situations, a wild place like a forest, a beach, or something very far away, far from any human, may be the perfect place, but not all times we have that option and we have to approach humans … but not you worry! some are dangerous, but not all.
You can ask someone for permission to accompany you in your garden or you can sleep in a civilized place like a train station, bus station or even an airport. I have done it more than once because I have not found a better place, either because there was a storm or, because I was in a very urban area like a big city.
You can also take advantage of buildings, churches, portals … Especially if during stormy days.
I have slept in the center of Rome several nights and, I have taken advantage of the arcades of buildings such as churches or temples. I’m not telling you to set up your tent there, but throwing your sack when it’s already dark and, there’s almost no one, it’s a very good option. Of course, be careful on weekends, as people take part in parties and you have to put up with some pesadete …
So, during the weekends, take a good look at where you are camping, be it an urban or rural area, because someone with the desire to ride a bottle may wake up and wake you up in the middle of the night … It has happened to me more than once.
2. Geographic orientation
Take into account the geographical orientation. Camping oriented: South, North, West, and West is super important, regardless of the time of year and what you want. For example, the northern slope is much colder than a southern slope. A west-facing area will have the light of dusk, but instead, it will not have the light of the morning. If you choose an area facing east, you will have the light of dawn, so if you want to get up early it will be very good, but if you want to sleep late, it’s not a very good idea.
3. The roads
When you go camping near a road, keep this in mind: If it is a road that is in an inclined area, it is better to camp in the elevated area. It is usually easier for people to look down than up because looking down is a natural gesture and to look up you have to force the neck. Therefore, it will be much harder to be discovered if you are up.
If the road has a curve, it is better to sleep inside it for three reasons:
·The lights of the cars will not bother you because they always light up outside.
·It will be more difficult for you to be discovered because you will be in an always dark area of the road.
·In the worst case, if a car leaves the curve and continues straight ahead … well, you can imagine it, right?
4. Inspect the terrain before camping
If you are accompanied, you can leave your bike with the other person while you are walking to take a look at the campsite. On the other hand, if you are alone, hide the bicycle near the road and get closer on foot. If you are walking you will be much more agile and faster to take a look at the camping area if you are pushing it.
Remember that what may look like a good place from the road, once you get closer can be a piece of trash. Do not carry the bicycle every time you see a road and you get on it, because then it will take an eternity.
5. Hours of light
Work with the sun, that means you try to adapt your camping with the sun . It depends where we are: in the summer it can be done at night at 22:00 or at 23:00, but in the winter, in many places, at 17:00 there is no light left.
Therefore, try to camp with light, but do not camp with 5 hours of light ahead before dark because it will be easier to be discovered.
Be proactive with water. Two or three hours before camping you must fill your tanks because you never know where you will find a new source or tap to fill them, and camping without water means, at best, not being able to wash, but you may also not cook or you can not drink all night. So be forewarned and before camping load all the water you think you need.
Do not bring the right food for the day. You may want to stay in that place camping for more than a day but, for not having food, you have to go. Or maybe that night you find yourself wrong, you get sick and you have to be two days without moving.
I always carry a package of emergency spaghetti in the saddlebag, it occupies very little and with that, you can live two days quietly without going too hungry.
8. Be discreet
Be discreet if you do not want to be discovered. Use a discreet store: green or a dark color; orange shops are for camping in the mountains, red shops are for partying to a festival, but to travel by bicycle the best is green, dark or camouflage stores.
Be careful with fire, lights or music, do not have it too high. These tips are general, there are times that you will be able to set up a nightclub and nobody will know about it, but there are others in which it is better not to make noise and be totally discreet. In your hands is knowing how to value when you can or cannot do these things.
9. The fire
Beware of fire! Camping and making a fire on a cold night is one of the best sensations you can have, but everything can go wrong if you do not know how to do it and you end up burning the bush. So take all possible precautions before firing. Do not do it in very dry areas and hot climates, do not do it on days that are very windy, and if possible, have a quantity of water or sand nearby to turn it off in case it gets out of hand. You will not be the first camper you end up pulling her brown.
Do not be afraid to ask. Sometimes we think that everyone is bad, but it’s not like that. People, as a rule, want to help you. Rare was the time I asked someone for a camping area and it did not help me, either telling me where there is a good area to spend the night or even inviting me to your garden or your home. Do not be ashamed!
11. Care for animals
Beware of animals, whether small animals such as mosquitoes and ants or large animals such as bears, wolves, tyrannosaur or lions. Have some information about the area where you are. You should also have a concern with domesticated animals, such as dogs or cows. Be careful when you go to sleep, especially if it is a meadow with cattle, because you may wake up before the time you wanted and have to leave running.
12. Beware of humidity
There are certain areas near the lakes, rivers, and beaches where at night there is a lot of humidity. Be careful and do not leave clothes outside the saddlebag in these places. A good way to know if there is moisture is to touch the saddle or a plastic surface that you have on the outside. If you see that when the sun has gone that surface is wet, keep everything as if it was going to rain because otherwise, you will end up soaking wet.
13. Look for a roof
In extreme conditions of rain, wind or snow, get a roof, a shelter, or what is known in English as “shelter”.
Sometimes it takes to stand 2 or 3 days because of the storms. If you are only inside the store, in the open field, you will not be able to get out too much. On the other hand, if you are under a bridge, in an abandoned house or sheltered in some kind of roof, you can do some outdoor life and stretch your legs a little. It’s not nice to spend 3 days in a store without being able to leave.
Look closely at the type of floor on which you put the store. A dry or clay soil in case of rain can become a mud. Or a floor that, as it is not draining like concrete, can form puddles and make you end up sailing with your store for a nice pool.
15. Get ahead of visitors
If it is inevitable that they discover you, overtake the visitors; Greet them, be nice, get your best smile. The most normal thing is that the other person is also scared, be surprised, without knowing who you are. Come closer, talk to them, see that you are a normal person and, with a bit of luck, you may end up eating something hot and sleeping in a bed.
16. Pick up
When you go to sleep, have all your equipment ready. Keep the pots clean and inside the saddlebag, everything you are not going to use during the night, keep it ready, prepared and stored just in case it happens that you have to go. There may be some animal, comes a strong storm or a flood … I know! You have to be prepared for any circumstance.
Always have a flashlight at hand. What I do is hang the front of my neck at night, because I usually sleep in different places and it’s easier to find it.
If you are used to always sleeping in a tent and have a pocket, always put it there. Imagine that you wake up abruptly and you do not know where you are, you hear a noise, you get nervous, you can not find the light and you have to look for the flashlight. Nothing funny, right! While, if you have the flashlight always located in the same place or hanging on the neck, you will find them at the moment.
18. Do not always sleep at The outdoors
Consider sleeping at The outdoors, I love it, whenever I have possibilities I do it. These more in contact with nature, you can sleep watching the stars or have the luck to see nocturnal animals. Inside the store you are isolated. Be careful in case there is humidity or dangerous animals, such as mosquitoes or spiders, but if you are in a place where there is no danger, there is no humidity, no rain, try to sleep without the tent … I love it and maybe you also and still do not know.
I have a dog that barks and warns me when someone approaches, plus I have a light sleep and every time I hear a noise I wake up. Therefore, I never use a padlock. But if you are not one of those, here are some tips that you can use so you can sleep a little more calmly.
The first thing is to find a safe place to camp with the advice I give you in this article.
If you are afraid of being robbed, you can tie a small cord from the bicycle to the store and, in the event that they try to leave with the bicycle, you will wake up and you will find out.
You can also put some small bells hanging on the bike, so you will also notice if someone is moving it.
Another thing that occurs to me is that you put a plastic or canvas on top to make noise in case someone tries to catch, yes, this only applies if you have a moderately light sleep. If you sleep like a log, put your bike inside the bag and you’ll sleep better
20. Manage the garbage
Properly manage garbage and food debris. If it is organic waste, throw it away from the store. Do not attract animals!
If they are leftovers of food that you can use at another time, seal it in hermetic packs inside the saddlebag, or put it in special containers for these things. As I told you before, find out about the area where you are. Food does not necessarily attract animals like bears, but it may attract others like cats and, if you have garbage near the store, in the morning you will find a party to pick up.
It is best to find out what kind of animals there may be in the area where you are.
21. Leave everything as you found it
To finish and it may be the most important: leave the camping site exactly as you found it. Do not throw a paper. Do not leave the remains of the fire, do not do anything you would not want someone else to do. Even if you can leave it cleaner than you found it, much better. We have to be the first to set an example.