This is why your tent mate is annoyed with you
This blog is a part of our Trekking 101 series, powered by ULTIMATE TREKKER – the Outdoor Leadership Programme for pro trekkers.
Imagine yourself trekking with your friends, grinning from the delight of the landscape but famished and nerve wrecked from the day long hike. You finally decide to call it a day and pitch the tents. After all what’s better than sleeping in a tent with the galactic core of the milky-way staring into your soul as you all slowly doze off. But sharing your tent is like sharing your room and therefore entails etiquettes that must be adhered to, for the comfort and safety of your tent-mate and yourself.
4Play aims to create awareness about the best practices, specific to the Indian outdoors. And enable you to step out with confidence. By making accessible an ocean of empirical knowledge gathered by the Indian Bear Grylls – Pranav Rawat himself.
Pranav Rawat is a seasoned mountaineer and an ice-climber, with a decade long experience as a summiteer. Pranav is also an UIAA certified Himalayan Mountain Guide and Wilderness First Responder, which makes him an unparalleled expert on climbing and trekking in the Indian Himalayas.
Here we give you some insight on the top 5 tent etiquettes:
1- “Keep everything that is damp or wet outside the tent”
Even if it is raining, the little sheltered space available inside the rain cover but outside the main tent, called the balcony area, can be effectively utilized for keeping your ponchos or other damp gear. This is especially important because, the moisture accompanying damp objects will make everything (including your sleeping bag and clothes) inside the tent moist. If temperature dips below freezing point, (which happens quite often on high altitude and winter treks) this would freeze into snow.
“Dampness breeds bacteria and that in-turn breeds diseases and that’s the last thing you want on a trek,”warns Pranav.
2- “Good ventilation is the key to happy camping”
One paramount concern with most trekkers is that they block the ventilation of their tent due to lack of knowledge of the consequences. Thinking it would guard them against chilly winds, blocking ventilation causes headaches which is a very commonly reported discomfort amongst tent dwellers.This arises cause of the accumulation of CO2 and low oxygen levels in the tent.
“The purpose of the tent is to provide shelter, not give you warmth. That’s the job of your sleeping system, which includes the sleeping bag and clothes,” Pranav points out.
Lack of ventilation can also lead to the damping of your tent. On a typical mountain tent, sufficient gap should be maintained between the top rain layer and the main inner mesh so as to facilitate the movement of fresh air.
3- “Smelly socks, shoes and sharp objects go out of the main tent’s premises”
This is especially true when using a multi-person tent. No one is tolerant to bad sock odour and it could disgust your tent-mates. Sharp objects for the obvious risk of cutting the tent fabric or more dangerously your own self, are never to be allowed inside the tent.
Consider the tent as your own living space. Would you permit dangerous objects lying around or smelly socks?
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4- “Cooking must be avoided in the tents as far as possible”
One may use the risk free jet boil cookers to cook inside the tent but they are expensive and rarely used in India.
The more commonly used are the standard Bunsen burners but they should be set up outside the tent. Only under exceptional circumstances such as heavy rain or snow can they be used inside the tent. Caution must be exercised and they should be set up preferably in the balcony area.
“Besides the obvious risks associated with fire, food and drink spillage is an invitation for rodents and insects to enter your tent,” Pranav adds.
5- “It is important to pack your tent right”
Packing your tent correctly is something every trekker should know and is more than just an etiquette. The freshness of the tent for the next camp pitch depends on how it has been packed after its last usage. To prevent retained moisture from decaying the tent’s fabric, the insides of the tent must be reversed and dried in the sun before packing. “The pegs and poncho must be stowed away carefully to prevent any damage,” Pranav instructs.
If you know of another useful tent etiquette that we should add to this list, let us know in the comments section below.
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Author: Pranav Manocha
Pranav is a Nepal earthquake survivor with a flair for marketing. Beginning with a Quote T-Shirt business with a school friend after grade 12, he did his graduation in Literature from the University of Delhi. In his free time he loves reading Camus, trail riding and skinny dipping in rivulets around Manali.