Before Go Camping
Once you have decided to go camping, the first thing to do is to choose the site and to plan the duration of your stay, the equipment to take, and the amount of food that you will need, well in advance. The following guidelines may help.
Check the location and site of the site and plan your route to it.
The camp sites within the Country Parks are on a “first-come-first-served” basis, so during weekends and public holidays when many campers will be competing for limited facilities, you are advised to arrive at the camp sites early. Please remember that under the Country Park and Special Area Regulations, you are not allowed to camp other than in a designated camp site which can be identified by the sign boards erected by the Country and Marine Parks Authority.
Your rucksack should be spacious, of good shape and very strong. In packing a rucksack, you should remember the principle of last in last in first out, things like raincoat, windbreaker or poncho should be placed on the uppermost part. It is desirable to fill up all the empty spaces with plastic bags, newspaper or clothing.
The centre of gravity should preferably be located near the top of the rucksack. All these will make it more comfortable for you to carry.
A good tent is one that is strong enough to protect you against the elements. It should have a waterproof ground sheet, mosquito netting and a flysheet.
Take some spare clothing for wet or cold weather and some spare plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
Blanket/sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils are basic items. Don’t forget to take a mini-sized radio with you, plus a whistle; a map (the countryside series are very useful); a torch and spare batteries (never use a gas lantern inside the tent); a sharp pocket knife; spare guy ropes and a first aid kit.
Pitching the camp
Lay out the tent with the rear fully to the direction of the wild. Use the strongest tent pegs for the main guys. Pegs should be pushed into the ground at 45o away from the tent and the guys made as long as possible. If the ground sheet is not sewn-in, it should be positioned entirely inside the tent so that water cannot run off the tent onto the ground sheet.
Fire is a major hazard to both the tent and the countryside. When the red fire danger signal is in force use dry provisions and do not light any fire. Always cook outside the tent, in the fire places provided.
Boil stream water drinking and make sure that the source from which the water is taken is clean.
Camping in remote sites should be carried out in groups of not less than five persons. It is advisable to inform the nearest police station of your intention to camp and the location of camp site you plan to use.
Be prepared for emergencies. You should know your area well and know the nearest police station. Always take a first aid kit with you and make sure that someone in your group knows how to use it and administer first aid.
If any accident occurs, do not panic - stay together, keep calm, take stock of your situation and decide what to do. Cool heads and common sense will be your greatest assets.
In the case of a serious injury, keep the patient comfortable, give first aid and only move him if it is essential. Send someone to the nearest point (the nearest telephone/ police station/country park management centre) for help. If your party is larger than four, send two people with a written message. It is important that the message is written because your messengers may arrive tired or exhausted and a verbal message will be garbled and unintelligible. The message must be written before the messengers leave and must contain full information such as the location, time, nature of the accident, the number of persons injured and weather conditions.
Leave the Site
Remember to remove all pegs. Stones for securing the tent should also be removed.
Refill any holes and extinguish all fires.
Last but not least, remember to remove all rubbish. When you leave the campsite,
apart from the marks of crushed grass where tents have been pitched, there should be no other signs that you have been there.
Get to know the Country Code, which tells you all you need to know about what you should and should not do in the countryside:
Do not destroy by fire or vandalism
Do not spoil with litter and dirt
Do not pollute water catchment areas, streams or reservoirs
Do not destroy vegetation and wildlife
(For more details, please click here to read the Camping Guide provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)