Mountains and Camping are two words of great importance in any one's mind who is planning to venture out into the mountains for a multi-day activity. Camping is fun and is a very important aspect in any activities in the Himalayas. However, you cannot just camp anywhere and the selection of your campsite is guided by lot of factors. In this article, we will talk about the various factors involved in a campsite selection.
Safety should be your primary concern when selecting a campsite. Stay away from rock fall and avalanche zone. Do not camp on river bed or other low land area having the fear of a flash flood. Do not camp under a single tall tree as it attracts lightening strike. Stay away from camping under broken trees hanging or landed on other trees
Water source is the most important factor in choosing a campsite. You need water - to drink and to cook food. Always choose a campsite near to clean fresh water source, but camp at a safe distance from the water source. Ensure you do not pollute it. Remember not to use the water directly.
The location of a campsite is mostly guided by your itinerary and your choice. What we mean by this factor is the vicinity of your campsite to a Village, river, temples, etc. Decency is to keep your campsite away from these. Camp a bit away from the village and its temples. Sometimes, a village does not have a physical temple but a place which is considered pious. You should be well aware of these places. If not, your guide is the best help. Keep your campsites away from the river or the water source in the area. In the Himalayas remember, everything is considered Holy. So do not disrespect the belief by your actions. Keep safety factors in mind while choosing the campsite.
Well Drained Area:
Your campsite should not accumulate water. Its easy to imagine what would happen if it suddenly rains and you find water accumulating beneath your tent and surrounding. Choose a elevated land if available which will drain water quickly. If not, use your axe to cut a drain around your tent to drain out the water.
A level surface is desired, but not always available. Minor leveling can be done using your ice axe. If you are camping on a snow surface, you need to do a minor beating of the snow to make it flat and hard. Usually, a campsite is marked and designated. So its expected to be level unless you are camping in a new unmarked campsite or less frequently used campsites.However, a well marked campsite can turn out to be in chaos after a natural calamity or a heavy rainfall.
Usually a campsite should be located in a wind safe area. However, its not always possible. In a windy area, always make sure your tents are streamlined to the flow of the wind and is not blocking its flow. The door of your tent should not be facing the wind. If you are unable to find the direction of wind, use a scarf. Remember, valley winds change their directions in evening and flows in opposite direction to that of afternoon. If there is a natural huge rock blocking the wind, use it.
Finally, the scenic beauty come into factor after all the above conditions are assessed properly and all are fulfilled.