Knowing how to choose the perfect campsite is a skill that is typically learned firsthand. However, there are a few guidelines that campers can use to help them discover the perfect campsite for their needs. The most important facet to remember is that the perfect campsite is going to be different depending on the needs of the campers as well as the type of camping that is taking place.
What is the perfect campsite anyway? From most standpoints, a perfect campsite is going to be some type of compromise since each camper has different expectations and needs. That being said, a perfect campsite will provide the ability to relax, to be safe, and to minimize the impact of the campers on the area.
Choosing a Campsite when Backpacking or Camping Overnight: Initial Strategy
In most cases, choosing the perfect campsite begins before you even leave home. The camper in charge of selecting the spot should do his homework and scope out the area intended for an overnight stay. It is easy to locate established campsites using the Internet to search, directories such as Woodall’s, and local services such as AAA. In fact, a good detailed map of the area will also provide a helpful source of available campsite listings. Simply check the tiny map symbols for the ones representing campsites.
One fact that each group of campers needs to keep in mind is that certain campsites cannot accommodate large groups. In fact, some campsites have group size restrictions that must be taken into consideration as well. If campers obtain this information before they begin their trek, then they can avoid going to the wrong campsite and having to start in another direction.
It is always an excellent idea to have a backup campsite in mind in case the first one you select undergoes some type of complication that closes the campsite unexpectedly. If you cannot make reservations ahead of time or prefer not to, then it is a good idea to have a backup campsite, hopefully one nearby, just in case.
Choosing a Campsite when Backpacking or Camping Overnight: The Campsite
There are a few facets that you should look for when selecting your campsite. In particular, you should try to find a durable, dry surface. This includes rocky ground, sandy ground, gravel, or well-worn areas. In particular, search for a flat area with good drainage.
Try to pick a campsite with a slight bit of elevation rather than in a gully or depression. If not, you will find out why at the first downpour.
Select a spot that is approximately 200 feet away from the water. This will keep you separated from animals going for a drink of water. Additionally, it will protect any sleepwalkers you have from falling into the water.
Try to select a pre-established campsite with a pre-made fire ring. Typically, if you are camping in a campsite area that allows fires, it will have an established fire ring as well.
To avoid bugs, avoid camping in low, marshy spots. Areas filled with heavy foliage and tall grasses are prone to harboring insects such as ants, chiggers, and ticks. Wet spots with still pools of water are even more inhabited with insects such as mosquitoes for the most part.
To avoid snakes, avoid rocky terrains and ledges. This will also keep you safe from falling rocks.
If you like your privacy, select a campsite away from trails. People love to go exploring and setting up camp next to a main or even secondary path could open up your campsite to unexpected visitors.
Take note of the weather and of the personal preferences of the other campers in your group. Selecting a campsite in the morning sun will help to dry the morning dew from your tent as well as help to warm you us from the long night’s coolness. Selecting a campsite in the afternoon sun will warm you up even more since the sun is typically more intense then. If you crave shielding from the strongest rays of the sun, select a campsite in the afternoon shade.
Tips to Keep Your Camping Trip Perfect
Have a backup or alternate campsite in mind just in case the first spot is unavailable.
Select a camping spot that is going to be functional as well as comfortable. This is the best strategy for keeping your campers happy.
Never attempt to create a campsite when a campsite is available. The time you take to create one could be spent better elsewhere. Plus, the impact you create on the environment by creating new campsites willy-nilly isn’t always a positive one.