BBC Weather: Carol Kirkwood issues extreme heat warning
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Soaring temperatures and golden sunshine have engulfed the UK over the last week. According to the Met Office, they could be set to continue in the coming days with highs of between 27 and 31 degrees in some parts of the country.
While the summer heatwave is welcome news for many, those heading on a camping trip could be in for an “uncomfortable” experience if they don’t go prepared.
According to David Scotland, outdoors expert and owner of camping equipment shop Outdoor World Direct, during muggy temperatures it is crucial campers ensure they have the correct bedtime set up.
“A weather forecast of clear skies, blazing sunshine and scoring temperatures for your trip may feel like you’ve hit the jackpot but camping in these conditions can be incredibly tough if you’re not prepared,” he explained.
“There are tent features and accessories that can make sleeping in these conditions more comfortable, such as camping fans, or TC polycotton tents, which are cooler in hotter conditions.”
For first-time campers, there are some key features to keep an eye out for when shopping.
“When buying a tent, look out for ones that have darkened or ‘blackout’ bedrooms as they will keep bedrooms cooler on hot, sunny mornings,” recommended Mr Scotland.
“Look for UV protection when buying a tent too, as this preserves the condition of the tent.”
And when it comes to sleeping bags, there is a mistake that could obliterate all hope of getting a full night’s sleep.
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Mr Scotland explains that holidaymakers shouldn’t simply take any old sleeping bag they have laying around.
“You will want to check the season rating of your sleeping bag — you’ll need a one to two season sleeping bag for summer, anything higher than this will be uncomfortable on mild nights,” revealed the camping expert.
The season rating of a sleeping bag can usually be found on the packaging for new ones or is sometimes listed on the label stitched into the fabric lining.
Mr Scotland also recommends opting for an air bed.
“If you’ve got airbeds that require inflating with a pump, be sure to keep the pump handy as you will likely need to top up your air beds each night as hot air causes them to deflate somewhat,” he said.
“An alternative to this problem is self-inflating mattresses, a more modern alternative that doesn’t require the use of a pump, which allows you to pack lighter on backpacking/adventure trips.”
However, as is often the risk with humid conditions, thunderstorms can suddenly arise.
“If the forecast is showing heavy rain, look for a rent with a minimum of 3000mm hydrostatic head, 5000mm is even better, which should prevent leaks,” said Mr Scotland.
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“You might also want to consider purchasing a carpet and footprint for your tent — some tents come with these as part of a bundle.
“A footprint adds an additional layer of protection from the wet ground, preserving your tent and protecting it from the mud when packing it away.
“A carpet offers insulation and homeliness to the interior of the tent’s living space.”
As well as preparing for bedtime, there are some other must-haves Mr Scotland says campers should ensure they pack.
“Camping in hot, sticky conditions can quickly become uncomfortable and tiring,” explains Mr Scotland.
“Applying sunscreen and keeping hydrated are both essential, and you might want to consider a cool box to keep your food and drinks chilled.”
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