Make an emergency windbreak

Pic of an emergency windbreak should show here

This summer we went camping.  I have some lovely windbreaks.  Outwell they are and they cost me money but I'm not keen on them.  They have to be put up with guy ropes and I'm not very good at that.  My guyed windbreaks always seem to fall down. I thought, 'That's ok.  I've got loads of old windbreaks in the shed I'll use those.'

Aaaargh.  Big mistake. It was just a few days before the trip  and when I went to the shed the old windbreaks were gone.  OH NO!  In a sudden fit of being domestic goddess I had tidied the shed, yes tidied it and I'd thrown the old windbreaks away.  Here's what I did. 

I rushed down to the market and bought a blue plastic tarpaulin costing £3.  It measured 2m x 3m.  I got the thing home and cut it in half so that I had two pieces measuring 1m x 3m.  I got the sewing machine out and dusted it off. Unfortunately there was no spare tarpaulin for me to practice getting the tension right so I had to guess but to start with I turned the raw edge over and stitched all the way along the length of the windbreak.  Then I made pockets to take the poles.  You can make as many as you like but it's best to make them as close to the eyelet holes in the tarpaulin as possible.  There is a reason for this.  I used five poles for the whole windbreak so I needed five pockets.  I joined the two pieces together in the middle so that I ended up with a windbreak measuring about 1m x 5m.  At the bottom of the windbreak I made an added refinement.  I found some bits of tape and sewed loops along the bottom of the windbreak.  These are handy for pinning it down with tent pegs.

Putting the windbreak up

For this you want some fencing pins like the one shown below.  I already had some that I'd bought from a local agricultural merchant.  If you don't have any then ask the organising club if they have some spare they can lend you in exchange for you helping to set up the day before the show.  If you want to buy some then go to an agricultural merchant if there is one near you, otherwise try Toolstation.  They have them in packs of ten and they're cheaper than places like Wickes.  You could make two windbreaks. 

I've found the fence pins hold up much better than wooden poles and they don't break. I also used some bits of cord about the same thickness as guy ropes.  These are threaded through the eyelet holes and tied in a small loop.  When you've got the windbreak in place you can simply put the loops of cord over the top of the pins to hold it in place and pin the bottom with tent pegs.

 In the photo below you'll notice I have another windbreak to the right of the gate.  I made this a while ago from ripstop nylon.  It's better than the tarpaulin but you need time to find somewhere that sells it cheaply enough.  I bought mine from ebay.

Of course you could go to ASDA and buy some windbreaks and it would save a lot of trouble.  They'd fall down in a wind though and you can't pin the bottom down or secure the top.  Here's the ripstop nylon from ebay.  You can also get fencing pins from ebay if you don't need them in a hurry.

Photo of a roll of ripstop nylon on ebay

You'll also notice in the photos that I've made a camping gate.  It was easyish to do but quite expensive and really heavy.  The car didn't like it much. I think I'll make a new and lighter one and will of course put it on here.   Happy camping