Stargazing is so amazing for the simple reason that it’s completely free and doesn’t require any special equipment to gain the benefits.
It’s fun for the whole family, romantic getaways and most definitely quality time with the kids.
In this article you will learn the ins and outs to stargazing while on a camping trip, because why not?
It’s one of, if not the best nighttime activity in my opinion, when done correctly of course.
So without further ado, lets get right into it!
Check the Weather Forecast
Check the weather forecast before your trip, throughout the day and more importantly before bedtime.
Weather predictions change all the time, and if you only check the weather once you may be setting yourself up for a disaster.
Always Have the Rain Fly With You No Matter What
The weather forecast might say it’s going to be good, however, weather is completely unpredictable no matter what part of the world you’re in.
Some more than others.
You’ll kick yourself if you backpacked miles away from your vehicle just to have a downpour happen at the dead of night.
Even worse, you’ll resort to survival skills if you’re too far from any type of warm/dry shelter.
Bottom line: Always have your rain fly with you no matter what. Safe is always better than sorry my friend.
Your Rain Fly Should Be At-The-Ready
What do I mean by this? That your rain fly should be inside your tent and in an easily accessible area.
Interior storage pockets work fine.
In the event it starts raining, your tent and everything inside it is going to get wet, so being able to grab the rain fly and attach it to your tent in a fast and easy manner is highly important.
The longer you’re opening your backpack zippers and sifting through all your equipment, the more soaked everything is going to get with every passing second.
Yes, every second counts in a situation like this.
Are you in a public campsite or the wilderness?
Are you comfortable sleeping in a public site with yourself completely exposed to passerby?
You are usually safe in the wilderness because the only thing out there are animals.
Public campsites are usually safe too, however, know that you can be seen from the outside.
If this doesn’t worry you then that is fine. If it does, maybe wilderness stargazing is more suited for you.
Otherwise you’ll want a tent with mesh ceiling only and normal walls so you still have your privacy.
How to Stargaze
You Need a Stargazing Tent
As long as the tent has a mesh ceiling, it fits the criteria and can be classed as a stargazing tent.
There are hundreds available, some have more mesh than others and some are also bigger.
It all depends on what size you want and how much of the “outside world” you want to see.
Some tents offer a mesh ceiling while others offer full mesh bodies.
Remove the Rain Fly
Of course you need to be able to view the outdoor world, so removing the rain fly is mandatory.
As I mentioned above…once the rain fly is removed, ensure it is in a place you won’t forget and can be accessed immediately, as in, when you notice the rain coming down!
Pitching The Tent in The Correct Place
Under a tree might give you the best protection from the rain, but it’s going to hinder your night sky view isn’t it?
The best places are high up, so on top of a hill is the ultimate goal here. But do keep in mind you will be susceptible to high winds in the event the weather picks up unexpectedly.
If this is not an option, an open field will do the trick just fine.
As long as you’re out of the presence of light and have an unobstructed view of the sky, you are in a good place.
The Darkest Campsites Work Best
Being in complete darkness is where you gain the best views of the galaxy above.
If you’re campsite is full of lights that brighten up your entire stargazing area, and you have no way of moving your tent, grab a chair and move to a quiet, darker place.
You can’t stargaze as you drift off to sleep, however, it means you can enjoy this activity just as much as the next person 🙂
Binoculars or Telescope
Although a telescope is the best, binoculars is the better alternative and my preferred choice since it’s a lot more compact and lightweight.
None of these are needed but can make it a little more fun if you’re trying to identify constellations and other planets more accurately!
You do not need expensive binoculars either, as a pair of 10 x 50 is all you need.
The Location of the Moon
There’s a good reason why we can’t see much of the stars in our own backyard, the fact that there is SO many light sources around us.
The street lights, our neighbours house lights and even our own are a massive hindrance on our abilities to see everything in our galaxy.
Furthermore, the moon is another huge culprit even though we never think about this.
It is best to stargaze when the moon is out of sight or in the crescent phase.
Remember, eliminating all light sources completely is key for a successful stargazing mission.
Only then is when the magic happens and you can actually see all the constellations, the milky way and the billions of stars in our galaxy.
Well I hope this article found you well and I absolutely know you can make the best of a stargazing night by using these tips.
When’s your next stargazing adventure? Let us know in the comments below!
Cheers and have a great day.