Camping Tips: 5 Places Not To Pitch A Tent
Camping tips: five places to avoid while deciding where to pitch a tent while camping.
Ah, wilderness. The chance to finally shed the worries of everyday life and take on a few more worries that have fur, teeth, claws and possibly venom. Not that any of that should bother the average Great White Camper, who looks for the nearest spot of flat unspoiled earth and promptly decides that it cries out for a tent. Before you find yourself face to face with one too many of your forest brethren, take a moment to consider the five worst places to pitch a tent while camping in the wild.
1. A rabbit's home is his castle (re: Bugs Bunny Vs Highway Department, 1957). Imagine a fifty foot rabbit covering your house with an impenetrable canvas bag. That's precisely what you'll be doing to a rabbit or opossum should you set up your tent on top of their beloved homes. Check your potential campsite carefully for any signs of a large hole or permanent structure. You don't want to wake up to the sounds of an irritated and hungry rabbit trying to get out of his front door.
2. Bee's nests- not just for trees anymore. Several species of bees have elected to set up shop in the ground for better protection from predators and that welcomed element of surprise. Not surprisingly, these also tend to be the more aggressive types- wasps, hornets and the like. Check for the presence of bees anywhere around your campsite, especially if your tent does not have a solid floor of its own.
3. Worker ants of the world, unite. Ant hills run long and deep in the wild, and you will also run long and deep if you find yourself in the midst of them. Look for large mounds of dirt with little or no vegetation. Observe the ground for any sign of an organized ant collective. If you find what appears to be a manageably small ant hill, guess again. You are looking at the model home of a much larger ant subdivision called 'Delicious Tourist Estates'. Avoid the entire area surrounding an ant hill.
4. Lightning is a cruel mistress. As we all remember from meteorology class, lightning tends to seek out the highest grounded point in the area. Standing tall in an open field will definitely qualify you as high and grounded. Never pitch your tent near an isolated tall tree, because in an electrical storm they are far too busy sending out invitations for a good lightning strike. Take advantage of natural shelter, such as a grove of trees or a cave.
5. They are called 'lowlands' for a reason. Pitching your tent near an unfamiliar river or at the base of a hill can spell disaster with a capital F, and that stands for flooding. Observe your potential campground as if it were in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Where would the water naturally flow? The answer had better not be where your tent is. Select the highest ground you can for proper tent pitching, and be prepared to move somewhere else in a hurry should the weather turn bad. Move to the same level or higher, never any lower. You may have seen footage of stranded people being rescued by helicopters, or some human pulley system. You don't want to be one of them, so respect the water and be prepared.