Summer holidays are here and rather than do battle with airports or ferry crossings, many people will be camping in the UK. For 6,000 participants heading to Lincolnshire on Saturday 30th July, the 2022 Poacher camp is a huge jamboree for Guides and Scouts held every four years, and furious packing is underway.
‘What to pack’ is the main conundrum for anyone going camping. Adding in the British weather can double or triple what you end up taking. It depends of course on your transport. Looking at the pile of camping gear that is going in our coach I cannot understand how another Guide leader ever went to a previous jamboree by train. For those who head off to Glastonbury, there is the central decision of “do I take wellies?” They are cumbersome, much of the UK is crying out for rain but can we honestly risk it for a week?
Take them, if you have room, pack them. Even if it is just handy footwear for nipping to the loo in the early morning dew. If it does rain, and there is rain in the forecast*, that water is not going to sink into the rock-hard dry ground immediately.
The team organising the Lincolnshire Poacher jamboree have already sent out advice to bring Rock Pegs. Amazon will be having a run on multi-pack rock peg orders this week. Those who’ve been before will know that the ground is unforgiving but with this year’s near drought conditions and the previous heat, it is baked hard. Rock pegs are strengthened heavyweight metal pegs with a plastic top, that shouldn’t bend. Not sure if our rubber mallets will do, or if a metal hammer is needed?
Two weeks ago, Lincolnshire saw a provisional maximum temperature of 40.3C, the first time the UK had seen over 40C and the highest UK temperature on record. Taking care of large groups of young people and children is enough of a responsibility without record-breaking heat. Guide and Scout leaders everywhere will have been thankful that they weren’t away that week in that extreme heat. Then adjusting their risk assessments for extra drinks, revising heat exhaustion and heat stroke symptoms and treatments, and emphasising sun hat, water bottles and sunscreen on the kit lists. But also, a thick jumper as it could be cool in the evening, or early morning.
For those travelling from Scotland and other cooler climes, it is quite hard to not pack the usual full winter gear which usually accompanies us to camp. For anyone away in the next week, evenings can get quite cool and the sun is setting earlier now. A warm hat to sleep in takes up little room, popped in your sleeping bag.
Modern patrol tents are lightweight, waterproof and have built-in groundsheets. The older style green Icelandic canvas ridge tents with wooden poles are heavier, not used as much but in hot weather they are ideal. The sides can be looped up, so there is shade but still a breeze. Inside a lightweight tent, it becomes like an oven. Rest time should be outside in the shade of a tent, not inside, out of sight.
The fire risk is high, even extreme for parts of SE Britain. That if a fire did start, the conditions are such that it would spread in a dangerous way very quickly. The grass is brown and dry and although the forecast is a bit mixed there looks to be more warm, fine weather for the first week of August. Although bands of rain will wave in from the west off the Atlantic and affect different parts of the UK in turn.
If you are heading away there will be local restrictions in place from councils and Fire teams. Disposable BBQs need real care, a ban some are campaigning for. The jamboree rules say no open fires due to the current conditions. That each of the patrol tents must be 2m apart as a fire precaution with a fire blanket and fire extinguisher in the kitchen tent. Gaz bottles stay outside, they should also be stored outside the home before camp.
The forecast* for Poacher camp this coming week. No 40C in site, which is a relief. It looks fair and quite warm but not hot. If you have been keeping an eye on the forecast on a weather app over recent days, you will have seen some swapping and changing. Showers are tricky to show on the hourly forecast, that is about risk. On Friday 29th there is a band of frontal rain working its way across Britain and that is showing on the forecast for this afternoon. The weather apps can deal with frontal rain quite well. Temperatures and wind strength will also be good. But showers and thunderstorms are tricky.
So, imagine a bigger picture, frontal bands are moving over northern Britain on Saturday but weakening as they reach eastern England. So, rain is showing in the forecast with a lot of cloud, (Lincs. could still see sunny breaks and the temperatures would leap up, have sunscreen to hand whilst pitching your camp) and as these fading fronts brush past there is a 75% likelihood of rain.
Sunday – a waving front is moving across southern Britain, again bringing rain but will it wave far enough north to affect Lincolnshire and bring some proper rain, or stay flatter and to the south. The Netweather model shows 85% chance (very high) of rain for Sunday morning and lunchtime. Will be worth keeping an eye on the radar to see it pushing across from the west.
Monday, another fair start with a lot of cloud showing in the forecast, but rain from a warm front later. Under those cloudy skies, UV still gets through. Whilst it’s not glaring sunshine beating down all day long its still worth slapping on the sunscreen as breaks will appear and campers are outside all day long.
Lincolnshire is on the drier side of Britain, this week’s rain is coming in from the Atlantic, so often sunny breaks appear or rainbands weaken as they move eastwards.
Currently, Tuesday is looking more unsettled, and blustery but temperatures are creeping up. Very warm mid-week as the sunshine appears. There are signs of a slight cooling towards the end of the week, still in the 20s C but with a lot of dry weather again. Hopefully, that holds for striking camp, tired volunteers won’t want a load of wet tents to deal with.
Weather-wise for your packing Quest - pack everything, definitely a sunhat and yes to the waterproof trousers. Will it Rain?
Forecast for Lincolnshire Showground