10 Tips To Choosing The Perfect Camping Site
There is nothing quite like getting out there and experiencing nature firsthand. But let’s be real, finding the perfect campsite can make or break your outdoor adventure. There are critical factors to consider before pitching your tent or parking your caravan.
For example, a low-quality campsite can ruin everything, even if you have the best sleeping gear. Meanwhile, those pesky high winds can have your shelter flapping around all night.
That is why it’s paramount to be selective about where you sleep. A good campsite is the key to a relaxing night’s sleep and a prosperous outdoor experience.
So, in this article, we’ll be sharing tips to help you find the perfect spot for your next adventure. Get ready to explore the great outdoors and rest easy under the stars!
1. Do Your Research Ahead of Time
Ready for a thrilling outdoor adventure? Before you grab your bags, you must research. Specifically, you need to research the perfect camping site for your needs.
Don’t just settle for any site – look for one that offers activities, amenities, and scenery that will make your heart sing. Check out reviews and ask other experienced campers for recommendations. And remember to jot down nearby attractions and hiking trails, depending on your preferred outdoor activity.
Before you hit the road, consider familiarizing yourself with the campsite’s regulations. You do not want to get caught off guard by check-in times or restrictions on fires and alcohol. And in case you’re hoping to bring your furry friends along, check for any additional fees.
2. Check The Size
Size matters! When searching for a top-notch camping spot, ensure it is spacious enough to accommodate your group and equipment.
If you’re rolling up in an RV, ensure the driveway is long enough for your ride. And if you’re traveling with a large group, opt for a group site that can snag more room and additional hookups for your party.
You will also have to think about designated space for your equipment, especially if you’re doing this with furry friends or little ones. And while we’re on the point, try not to damage the ecosystem by cramming your campsite into a too-small space.
Otherwise, do your due diligence and choose a campsite perfect for your group and gear.
3. Find a Level Ground
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when camping, but having a level campsite can make a difference.
Aside from making it easier to set up your shelter, a flat surface also ensures a good night’s sleep. Imagine trying to sleep while constantly sliding down a slope or feeling like you’re about to fall off your sleeping pad. Not exactly the recipe for a restful night, right?
For families with kids, having a level campsite is even more crucial. With little ones running around, the last thing you want is for them to trip and fall over roots and rocks because of uneven ground.
And let’s not forget about the importance of keeping your head elevated to prevent nighttime stuffiness from allergies or giving your feet a break from hiking all day.
So, look for a flat surface when scouting out your next campsite. It might seem like a small detail, but it can significantly impact your overall camping experience.
4. Pay Attention To Drainage
Before you pitch your tent or hang your hammock, think about the drainage. It is another crucial detail that is easy to overlook but can make a huge difference in your outdoor experience.
If you’re sleeping in a tent, or cowboy camping, ensure that the ground slopes away from your campsite. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to a flooded tent. Luckily, for those on a tent pad, there are some tricks to help you.
For instance, you could dig a moat or canal around your tent to help keep the water away.
Regarding privacy, it’s essential to consider the orientation of your shelter’s doors, especially if you’re camping near others.
Facing your doors towards another camper’s space can create awkward situations, so ensure they’re facing away from each other or take advantage of natural features like trees for extra privacy.
Do not forget about making the most of the elements. In the cooler months, it’s all about the sun. Pay attention to where it rises and try to orient your tent to catch those warm rays as soon as possible.
Shade may be your best friend in the hot summer months, though. Look for areas with trees or rocks that can provide some relief from the scorching sun.
5. Consider Campsite Facilities and Amenities
Before you set out on your adventure, take a moment to consider the facilities or rather amenities available at your chosen location.
Think about the essentials: toilets, showers, electricity hookups, drinking water, rubbish bins, and waste disposal facilities. But don’t stop there!
What about wood-burning stoves or fire pits for those cozy campfire evenings? And if you’re traveling with elderly visitors or little ones, look for child-friendly features like play areas or sports fields.
Location is key, too. Are you near all the attractions you want to visit, like beaches, towns, or national parks? Is there enough room to set up your tents and park your RVs or vehicles?
If you’re bringing your pets along, confirm they’re welcome onsite. Remember to read the camping site rules carefully. Pay close attention to quiet times and fire regulations.
6. Pay Attention To Weather Conditions
Think about how easily accessible the campsite is from your starting point, and consider whether you’re driving, taking a bus, or hopping on a train.
Then, check the weather forecast. See if there’s any likelihood of rain or wind during your stay. A south-facing site will offer more protection from the elements, while a sheltered spot can provide shade on hot days.
Remember to consider the amenities, too! If you’re driving, ensure the campsite has everything you need, like toilets, showers, barbecues, electricity, Wi-Fi, and even onsite shops. And if you’re bringing a caravan, double-check the specific details and book accordingly.
If you’re traveling with kids or want to exercise during your stay, look for sites with playgrounds/sports fields. And if you’re camping in winter, boulders and shrubs can help keep you warmer while safeguarding you against the element.
Last but not least, consider sun protection. If you’re an early riser, you may not mind the sun, but a shady spot can accommodate everyone’s preferences in larger groups.
7. Do Not Stay Too Close To the Water
While a water view may seem like the perfect backdrop for your outdoor adventure, beware of the pesky insects that come with it.
Mosquitos, horseflies, and deer flies thrive in standing water, so it’s best to set up camp at least 200 yards away. This distance will allow you to enjoy the water without being devoured by bugs.
Safety should also be a priority when selecting a campsite. Research the area thoroughly and read reviews from other campers to ensure the location has a good safety record against wild animals, other campers, unexpected weather conditions, and poor maintenance.
It’s also wise to consider the proximity of emergency services.
When setting up camp, be sure to avoid game and hiking trails. Not only can game trails be dangerous in bear country, but hiking trails can also disrupt your peace.
8. Consider Your Budget
Planning the ideal camping vacation necessitates taking your money into the account. After all, who says gratifying camping has to cost an arm and a leg?
If you’re on a low budget but still want to go camping, you can typically locate affordable campgrounds. Consider roughing it with a remote wooded site or a cozy public park spot.
Meanwhile, if you’re hoping to go all out, some luxurious campsites will leave you feeling pampered and relaxed with amazing views and top-notch amenities. Therefore be sure to decide on your camping budget and select a site that fits it.
This is how you enjoy the calm and contentment of removing yourself from the daily commotion.
9. Research Camping Regulations
Want a cozy spot with a firepit? Or are you traveling with your furry friend and need a pet-friendly site? Understanding the regulations will help you identify which sites are best for you. Don’t let pesky regulations put a damper on your adventure.
Check the local camping regulations before making a reservation. There are different rules in different places, so subject to where you camp; you might need to get permission or vacate the area by a specific time.
From securing permits to knowing when to pack up and leave, every region has its own set of rules. If firewood is accessible close to your chosen campground or if you need to bring it with you is another crucial consideration.
Set aside time to familiarize yourself with the local camping rules and restrictions. In addition to being well-prepared and less likely to run into trouble, you’ll also be able to find the perfect campsite for your needs. So don’t leave your camping trip to chance.
10. Go For A Walk Around The Area
There are several approaches to choosing the ideal camping location. Finding a site that seems appropriate to you may be done by strolling about the campground.
To avoid disturbing the campers who are already setting up camp, stroll if you can during off-peak hours. An ideal camping spot feels appropriate for you.
It isn’t easy to define, but something about the locale will give you the impression that you need to be there.
You could enjoy how the dirt feels or how the trees seem. Perhaps the sound of the nearby stream or the sensation of the wind rustling through the trees appeals to you.
If you’re still having trouble, why not ask around? Reach out to friends, family, and community members to see where they like camping.
You can even hop on social media and crowdsource some suggestions. There are countless online forums and message boards where seasoned campers love to share their favorite spots.
Choosing the ideal spot can make or break your camping experience, regardless of whether you’re traveling alone, with friends, or with family.
Consider your unique needs and preferences. Are you someone who values easy access to restrooms or showers? Or are you seeking a more secluded spot deep in the woods? Whatever your priorities, take the time to reflect on what matters most to you. Then plan accordingly.
Don’t forget to take in the beauty of your surroundings! Consider the view and how it will change throughout the day. And if you’re camping in a popular area, arrive early to snag the best spot.