Weather can be highly unpredictable in specific seasons and locations, so if you plan to go camping, you’d better be prepared. In a matter of minutes, a nicely planned camping trip can change to the nightmare. The rain, storms, or high winds can come and challenge your trip. But don’t worry, as camping in high winds is possible and it can be a pleasant experience, but you have to prepare yourself.
If you’d like to know how to secure a tent in high winds and still have a pleasant camping trip, you’re in the right place. We’re going to share a few tips for camping in harsh conditions.
1) Check the Weather Forecast
Always check the weather forecast before going on a camping trip. If the storm is expected during the day, don’t worry – it’s time to find a nice camping spot and set everything before the storm. The biggest problem with storms is a strong wind that makes setting up a tent more challenging.
We recommend using the AccuWeather Satellite app for checking the weather forecast.
2) Find a Sheltered Area
If you’re expecting high winds, make sure to find a camping spot far from trees and other objects that can fall or break. The most ideal spot would be somewhere around low bushes as it can’t hurt you, and it will serve as an excellent windshield.
3) Find Spots with Natural Windbreaks
If you’re camping in the open, there is still hope for shelter! You can gather loose branches and rocks to set up a wall around your tent to serve as a great shelter. Make sure not to damage the nature around you, and return all the things to their original spots.
Look for spots that are aligned in a way to protect you from the wind. Some examples are:
- Side of a hill
- High hedges
- Thick bush
- Buildings and stone walls
- Parking your car beside the tent
4) Avoid Camping Alone
We really love camping as it’s a great activity to get closer to friends or family, but if you’re looking for challenges, we get your reasons for camping alone. Having extra hands while pitching a tent during high winds or looking for a sheltered location will be extra helpful.
5) Point the Back of Your Tent Towards The Wind
Before you pitch the tent, check the direction of the wind, as it will influence an important decision. When you know what direction the wind is blowing, pitch your tent so that the back of it is pointed towards the wind.
Note: Tent shapes are different, so be mindful of that. You basically want to create a sort of aerodynamic tunnel for the wind.
Make sure that you never point the entrance of your tent towards the wind. Once high winds start blowing, you don’t want them to blow your tent away like a hot-air balloon!
6) Pitch Your Tent Correctly
First of all, we want to note that many people skip reading through tent setup instructions and just do their own thing. That way, some setup steps get skipped, and then your tent isn’t optimally placed to be secured during high wind. Better invest some time in education, and then you will master the pitching process! It goes without stressing, pitch your tent extra tight!
During strong winds, you want to pitch your tent as fast as possible. We’ve reviewed budget tents for backpackers and we can’t say anything bad about those. You can literally set up your whole camping spot in less than 5 minutes, and it’s exactly what you’re looking for during harsh conditions.
Here are some tips on how to pitch your tent correctly in high winds:
- Use all the poles and stakes provided
- Leave the stakes at 45 degrees angle for additional support
- Utilize guy ropes to tighten up the tent – don’t leave them near the base of the tent
- Tie all the flys to your tent
7) Remove the Sidewalls Of Your Tent
When a high wind occurs, you may get an illusion that sidewalls in your tent will equal more stability. That’s certainly not the case here, as when high winds start blowing on your tent, sidewalls will absorb most of the pressure. If you leave the sidewalls for a while, this pressure could break your tent poles and destroy your shelter.
We advise that you remove the tent’s sidewalls to avoid that and balance out the wind flow through your tent.
8) Use More Guy Ropes and Rocks to Stabilize Your Tent
Your tent probably has a few guy ropes in the initial packaging, but more never hurts, especially in this case. Tie up more guy ropes to stabilize your tent to prepare it for the incoming high winds.
If you happen to camp at or near a rocky terrain during high winds, you might just be in luck. You can gather the larger rocks and place them near your tent. Then, tie a guy rope to the rock to ultimately increase the stability of your tent. We recommend getting a tent for windy weather as you’ll get extra space and additional guy ropes for securing the tent stability anywhere.
9) Be Prepared for Repairs
So, if you already know that you will camp in windy conditions before packing, make sure to bring a repair and sewing kit with yourself. High winds can tear tent fabric and break tent poles, so you want to be prepared for such a scenario. For instance, our tent zipper was broken during high winds which disables us to go out of the tent. We immediately fixed it, and here is how you can fix your tent zippers fast.
Note: If you don’t have repair gear with yourself and happen to have a broken tent pole, don’t panic! Find a wood piece that you can tie down to the broken part to act as temporary support for the pole. Nature rewards the cunning.
10) Don’t Be Afraid To Reschedule Your Camping Trip
If the winds are just too much of chew for your camping trip, it might be smarter to pack up and delay your camping trip for another day. Don’t be disappointed, as there is always an opportunity for a fantastic camping experience just around the corner. After all, your safety should be the top priority when it comes to camping. Better safe than sorry, right?
We hope you learned how to secure your tent in high winds with our ten golden rules. Camping in high winds can be a challenging yet enriching experience too. Just make sure that you have done all prior research and preparation for that kind of experience before jumping into it. Stay safe, and enjoy your next camping adventure!