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Picking The Site

Joecole

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#1
OK so we've found the place where we want to camp and over there is the perfect spot between a couple of trees to pitch the tarp and hammock (or a tent if you are a ground dweller. You get your meal on ,maybe a few tots of the amber nectar then being in a happy place you decide to get your head down. 2 HOURS LATER YOU ARE DEAD so what did you do wrong? Simple you didn't check above your head and a lot of people through out the world are seriously injured by what we call widow makers. A widow maker is any part of a tree that is dead and above your head, a 2 inch diameter branch falling from 40 or 50 feet can quite easily go right through your tarp/tent and straight through you. Always check what's over your head guys
 
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#2
Yep, I always check for them, as you say Joe, lots don't and pay the price, of course there are other dangers to watch for, water ( flash floods ) if camping near rivers, pests as in ants nests, bees etc cows, yep, cows account for 100's of human fatalities each year in the U.K. alone, it's all not as straight forward as some might think this camping lark ;)
 

Erbswurst

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#3
Once we were camping at a lake in Brandenburg, next to a 500 years old oak tree.

Of course in a well choosen distance to the tree.

With the first little wind in the evening it came down. The whole tree.
 

Joecole

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#4
Yep, I always check for them, as you say Joe, lots don't and pay the price, of course there are other dangers to watch for, water ( flash floods ) if camping near rivers, pests as in ants nests, bees etc cows, yep, cows account for 100's of human fatalities each year in the U.K. alone, it's all not as straight forward as some might think this camping lark ;)
Thanks for bringing up those other important point Al:thumbsup:
 

saxonaxe

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#7
" With the first little wind in the evening it came down. The whole tree. "

Sometimes it takes very little to fell even the biggest trees. A couple of winters ago I was camped in a wood that I often visit, and like many places locally, there is only a thin layer of chalky soil over greensand, and the big Beech Trees tend to spread their roots sideways in the soil rather than try to grow down through the sandstone.
After a lot of rain to soften the soil and half a gale of wind the big Beeches become unstable, as I found out one night. I swear the ground under the tent shook even though I was well clear of the big tree. Of course in the dark everything thing sounds a lot closer but I was glad when dawn broke even though it was not one of the worst winter gales of that year.

DSCF5064.JPG
 

saxonaxe

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#8
In addition to Widow Makers there is another point worth remembering when selecting a camp site. I suspect that most members are well aware of this, but anyone new to sleeping out at night whether in hammock or tent might consider this when selecting somewhere to camp.
As the daytime temperature falls towards evening and the air cools, it's not unusual for the cold air to collect and remain in low lying places. So that nice grassy, well drained glade, well clear of dead trees and other dangers may well become a cold air 'sink' once the sun has set. This is something that can occur at almost any time of the year but is particularly important to remember in Spring and Autumn, because of the temperature range obviously and the lighter kit people may consider adequate for that time of year.

This is a summer regular camping place for me...

DSCF4615.JPG


And practically the same place when I was camped at the time of the Festival of Samhain, late October early November.
DSCF4206.JPG


A small stream runs in that fold in the land and the cold air fills the little 'valley' of the stream bed and spreads up the slope. In that season and Spring my tent is on higher ground in the wood.....:D :thumbsup:
 

Joecole

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#10
In addition to Widow Makers there is another point worth remembering when selecting a camp site. I suspect that most members are well aware of this, but anyone new to sleeping out at night whether in hammock or tent might consider this when selecting somewhere to camp.
As the daytime temperature falls towards evening and the air cools, it's not unusual for the cold air to collect and remain in low lying places. So that nice grassy, well drained glade, well clear of dead trees and other dangers may well become a cold air 'sink' once the sun has set. This is something that can occur at almost any time of the year but is particularly important to remember in Spring and Autumn, because of the temperature range obviously and the lighter kit people may consider adequate for that time of year.

This is a summer regular camping place for me...

View attachment 13559

And practically the same place when I was camped at the time of the Festival of Samhain, late October early November.
View attachment 13560

A small stream runs in that fold in the land and the cold air fills the little 'valley' of the stream bed and spreads up the slope. In that season and Spring my tent is on higher ground in the wood.....:D :thumbsup:
Thanks mate a great addition to the post
 

38thfoot

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#11
Scouts used to be taught. Not to pitch their tents beneath beech trees as they are notorious for shedding branches in strong winds.

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Ystranc

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#14
We have thin soil with blue clay beneath, very unstable at the best of times but it causes mayhem around the edges of the pine plantations. They fall like dominoes during a decent storm
 

38thfoot

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#15
I’ve harboured up in a pine plantation where the entire windward edge collapsed in on itself lifting a 30 foot deep km long ramp at the edge of the forrrestry block.

Wasn’t the best nights sleep I’ve ever had as the ground was rippling with the interwoven roots moving.

38
 
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#16
Most of the time we set up in daylight.
Always a good idea to make mental notes of trip hazards...holes in your area.........and to clear any eye pokers away in case you need to move around at night.
Most of us that use headlights or torches are looking at the ground anyway to see our path........so the eye pokers can catch you out sometimes.