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It is always good to unpack your tent and check it before you set off on holiday. Make a checklist to ensure you have everything you need (pegs, poles, instructions etc.) and check the tent for any damage. If it's a new tent, do the same, and also make sure you understand the instructions and can pitch the tent.
Have a practice pitch in the back garden before you go to familiarise yourself with how it goes together.
If you are new to camping try out a site somewhere near to your home first, just in case you forget anything. The more you enjoy it the further you will go!
Check the surface that you are pitching on to see that there are no sharp objects or stones hidden in the grass that might puncture your ground sheet or make for an uncomfortable surface to sleep on.
Pitching under trees can give you good shade from the sun, but can be a pain when it rains, as after the rain has stopped the trees will continue to drip.
Be sure to take a peg mallet and a tent peg extractor. These inexpensive products save a lot of heartache and allow you to easily set up and break camp in any soil condition.
Avoid setting your tent up near stagnant water as this is home to lots of biting insects such as mosquitoes & midges.
Be sure to take the right pegs for the terrain you are camping on.
Remember to pitch your tent so that the door is away from the oncoming wind, so that you don't get a breeze in the tent.
Partially unzip the upper window in your tent to remove unwanted moisture and condensation from respiring sleepers. On muggy nights, also zip open a lower window to draw cooler air.
Zip open your sleeping bag for a few minutes every morning to remove moisture, then shake the bag to restore insulation loft. You'll sleep warmer and extend the life of your sleeping bag.
Never use a stove or fuel lantern in your tent, only use in well ventilated areas.
Pack a battery-operated lantern or wind up torch for use inside your tent.
Don't leave nylon tents out in the sun for long periods of time. UV exposure will shorten tent life.
Make sure your tent is completely dry before packing away.
Always take all your rubbish away with you.
Many biting insects are particularly active between dusk & dawn, so remember to especially cover up between these hours.