Setting Up A Tent
One of my favorite things I like to do in my spare time is go backpacking and hiking, mostly on the AT (Appalachian Trail). I normally like to go out for trips lasting multiple days. I carry all the supplies I need and equipment necessary for surviving the weather and hiking the terrain. One of the important pieces of equipment to have for extended backpacking trips is my tent. Setting up my tent has made a difference between a comfortable night’s stay and a night I did not want to repeat.
Before I go backpacking I get all my gear out and decide what I need for the trip. I make my decisions based on what time of year it is and the weather forecast. I pack enough food for the number of days I will be out, cooking supplies, extra clothes and the temperature appropriate sleeping bag. The piece of equipment that I always take regardless of the weather is my backpacking tent. I make sure that all the pieces are in the bag before I go on a trip: the tent body, which is the main part with the screen with the tent floor, the fly, which is the solid piece that covers the tent body to protect from wind and rain, and of course the stakes and poles.
In May of 2009 I went on a five day trip on the AT heading south from Waynesboro, VA. The first day I dropped my car near Buena Vista, VA and someone drove me to the AT crossing near Waynesboro. The first section of the trip was only about 5 miles due to getting a late start from driving there, dropping the car off and shuttling to the start point. After about five miles it was getting close to dark so I decided to put up my tent. The first thing you need for setting up the tent is a level area to put it on. I found a spot in a valley near a creek, which wasn’t perfectly level but I thought it would be fine. I put up the tent, fixed something to eat, and got in my sleeping bag for the night. After a while I discovered that even the slightest slope of the ground can cause problems because I...
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