I’m compiling some of the lessons and interesting tidbits I’ve learned with the hopes of passing along useful information to fellow wanderers. Especially families of travelers similar to ours.
We never really took wind into account while planning our route, except for the wind chill factor. Expecting that wind would compound the problem of low temperatures, we decided that we would just bundle up as needed. What we didn’t foresee is how 15-20 mph winds would affect our commitment to tent camping.
During the day, the wind wasn’t too bad. We brought lots of little clamps and magnetic hooks (like these) with us to make sure paper towels and the like didn’t fly away. The dust and sand did get everywhere (everywhere!), gently exfoliating exposed skin and covering us and all our belongings with a fine layer of brown.
Nights were when we experienced the most difficulty. Half way through our first night outside of Carlsbad, NM, we agreed to change the layout of our base camp to make it possible to use ‘Hoe-Nu as a moveable wind break.
‘Hoe-Nu is our 2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71. Her name is an amalgamation of her model name: Tahoe and the Hawaiian word for turtle: honu.
Carlsbad’s desert landscape provided very little natural windbreaks that are easily accessible to anyone not backpacking. Defeated by the wind, we were forced to break the main tent down and spend our remaining nights in the SUV.
Conclusion: Anything more than a gentle, invigorating breeze can really ruin your camping trip. Adapt your camping style, if possible and overcome!