Pitching a tent

Practice erecting the tent at home first and colour code the poles and sleeves so you can easily identify them. If you get confused just follow the seams. Buy stronger tent pegs as the ones manufacturers supply are often inadequate. Close the doors when erecting to ensure correct tensioning and push the poles, rather than pull them, through the sleeves to prevent separation.

  • If it is windy put something heavy inside the tent when erecting or dismantling to stop it blowing away.
  • If your tent sags after rain do not re-tension the guy lines because it may shrink and rip apart as it dries out.
  • When taking your tent down disassemble the poles from the centre to stretch the elastic cord evenly and prolong it’s life.
  • For camping in winter, go to lightweight expeditions in climbing.

Choosing a camp site

When choosing a campsite, make sure the ground is well drained and sheltered and not easily damaged. Use previously used hardened areas if possible. If you have to move stones and clear vegetation find somewhere else or replace them when you have finished. Camp 50m from water sources. Use a protective groundsheet on stony ground. Avoid low spots as they can be cold, and pitch the entrance away from the prevailing wind. It may seem idyllic to be close to water, but water attracts mosquitoes and midges, and rivers can flood. Do not dig drainage channels around your tent Hang your food 100m from your tent; leave nothing aromatic (including food, toothpaste, lotions) inside; and don't leave sweaty items hanging overnight - salt-loving rodents may shred them.

Guidelines for wild camping

  • Where possible seek the landowner’s permission before wild camping
  • To avoid Mountain Rescue being called out unnecessarily inform a nearby resident or the Gardaí / PSNI if you are leaving a car overnight
  • Choose unobtrusive sites at least 500m away from roads and buildings
  • Keep the group as small and discreet as possible
  • Use a stove for cooking; campfires leave their mark and fires in the countryside can be very destructive
  • Bury human waste; latrines should be dug at least 30m away from watercourses
  • Wash at least 30m away from watercourses; minimise the use of soaps and detergents
  • To prevent damage to vegetation, tents should not be left on the same spot for more than two nights
  • Leave no litter behind – ‘pack it in, pack it out!’
  • Ensure that you leave the site as you found it.

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