Dos and Don’ts: Camping

Pitching a tent in the Czech Republic
With the summer holidays approaching – at least for some – it’s the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors on a family camping trip or at one of the many outdoor music/cultural festivals. Whatever you choose to do, here are a few tips to help you enjoy your time.

Picking Your Site
Finding a campsite in the Czech Republic is pretty easy. These two websites, Czech Camping and eKempy, seem to have all the necessary info. You can choose a camp by the region and when you scroll down you can find the facilities and a price list.

A few things you should know about the prices. You will be charged per person as well as per tent. Prices for tents are divided into ‘big’ and ‘small’ – though you will want to check with the campsite beforehand how they define these sizes. Other charges to remember are for electricity and, at some sites, a ‘day tax’.

How close is too close
Based on personal experience, this depends on the situation. When I’ve camped at festivals, my journey back to the tent was a steeple chase over guylines and the people who didn’t make it back.

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At a campsite in peak season, you can usually take the area that your guylines extend to, and then some. Unless it’s really busy, most people are going to want to try and cling to what little privacy they can get.

The campsite you choose will let you know if a fire is possible. The site will usually provide firewood free of charge, unless otherwise stated. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Campfires can be pretty lively social events in the Czech Republic. It is not uncommon for someone to have a guitar, so an evening around a fire can turn into a sing-along. The only requirement is that whoever is the last to leave the fire should make sure it’s properly extinguished.

Sorry, I Forgot My…
What you can borrow from a fellow camper will depend on what you  need and who you ask. It is better to come prepared, of course, but accidents happen. Tools break or items get lost.

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If you need a hammer to get a peg into some tough ground or a match to light your stove, no problem. But I’d be wary about asking to borrow anything that you’ll need longterm, like a flashlight.

A lot of campsites will allow you to bring your dog, for a fee. It is also required, unless otherwise stated, that the dog is on a leash at all times so as not to bother other campers.

Wild camping
The official answer on this (camping outside the confines of an official campsite) is “it’s complicated.” According to a spokesperson, Karolína Šůlová, it is possible in certain protected areas but without a tent and without making a fire. Furthermore, it is only possible to sleep in one place for one night. You can’t set up camp. Fires are also forbidden. And you must clear away any rubbish. If you are interested in wild camping, check the regulations of the area where you intend to visit first.

Sunny with a Chance of Hail

Anyone who has spent a lot of time in the Czech Republic will tell you summer is unpredictable. You can have days of sunshine followed by a storm. Also, the forecasts are not always accurate. However, you can check Meteocentrum site or download the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute mobile application to display the Weather Radar Network pictures. If you plan a long trip, pack some light wet weather gear like a poncho or rain slicker.

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What are your tips and experiences?

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