Camping is one of life’s great pleasures. Getting away from it all and living a simpler life for a few days is the best way to appreciate nature’s gifts. The right spot to do all this is a crucial part of the experience. If you’ve ever wondered how to choose the right campsite, keep reading for everything you need to know.
The most stressful thing you can attempt to do is to find a campsite last minute. If you do it when the sun is setting, or when you’re tired, it adds another layer of potential danger. Allow for at least an hour before dark. Advance reservations are the best way to go, especially if you are going to a popular site. Some sites may require a permit, and those will always need to be sorted out in advance. Don’t beat a new path, find previously impacted areas and if not, make sure whatever spot you choose is one where you can legally camp. There’s a reason why certain spots are designated camping areas. They are safe, and they don’t impact the environment too heavily.
Choosing the right spot
The proximity of your campsite to water is important. You should be near to a lake, river, or creek. Water is needed for cleaning, cooking, and in some cases drinking (after you filter it!). Yes, you can haul water a long way if you have to, but why put yourself through the trouble?
However, you should avoid being too close to water. Staying at least 100 feet (31 meters) from the water source is recommended in order to stay safe. Hazards include flooding, bugs, as well as the risk of thirsty animals coming for a drink.
The elevation is another factor to consider, and there’s one rule that always works: go high. That way you won’t need to deal with condensation and water collecting on your site. You’ll also get warmer air since cold one collects at low points and a better view. Be respectful and make sure your spot doesn’t crowd other campers. A private camping experience is an enjoyable one. Plus, having neighbors isn’t really the point of going out into the wilderness.
Safety and the seasons
Camping is fun, but there are also safety considerations to take into account. When you choose a spot, scan the area you want as your campsite. Look for and avoid dangerous debris, flood risks and fragile branches for example. Make sure the site is on level ground. This will stop water from collecting under your tent and making things uncomfortable. It’s also no fun to be rolling out of your sleeping bag all night. Once you’ve got that ideal spot, position your tent toward the sunrise so you catch the morning rays.
Hopefully, these tips will make it easy to choose the perfect campsite for you. Part two of this series will deal with camping with families and how to pick the perfect campsite for campers of any age.