Is camping your favorite type of vacation? There’s nothing quite like getting up close and personal with nature! But don’t think that you can pitch a tent anywhere in the woods and have a relaxed and worry-free camping experience.
Where you camp can make or break your holiday. Choosing the wrong campsite can put you in danger of floods, winds, falling trees and even bugs!
If you know what to look for, you can find the perfect camping spot for your needs quite easily. Here are our top five tips on how to choose the perfect campsite.
Consider the Weather
The weather you’re camping in can play a big role in choosing the right campsite. If you’re out in hot weather, you’ll want to find a spot that has good shade cover. Sunburn can ruin a good camping trip!
If rain is anticipated, you may want to avoid camping in a dip where water can accumulate. Try to find an area that slopes downwards slightly so that excess water can run off. It’s a good idea to double-check the forecast beforehand.
In all seasons, you can try to face your tent towards the east so you get the morning rays into your tent to help wake you up. It can also be a good idea to pitch your tent slightly higher in the mountains if you can, as the breeze will be better higher up, which means there will be fewer bugs.
Find A Close Water Source
If you’re camping out in the wilderness, it’s important to set up near a water source. You can haul water to the site if there isn’t a lake or stream nearby, but you never know when you may need fresh water.
You’ll most likely use water for cooking, cleaning up or brewing a perfect cup of cowboy coffee. To trek back and forth to get water will only reduce the enjoyment of your trip.
You can pitch your tent right next to the water if you wish to. But sometimes the terrain around a creek isn’t the best for camping, so you may need to set up camp slightly further away. 200 feet away is a good distance that makes it easy to fetch and carry when necessary.
If you’re planning on doing some fishing while you’re camping, then being close to water is a bonus.
Don’t Camp On Top of Others
When you’re on a camping holiday, part of the allure is being away from the rest of the world, out in the serenity of nature. Be respectful of others and don’t settle down too close to other campers.
Most people choose to go camping so they can be surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains or woods and away from people. They’d prefer not to have to deal with strangers encroaching on their space.
You don’t have to avoid people completely. Just make an effort to keep to yourself and don’t disturb the peace. Also, try your best not to set your tent up in a place that’s obscuring someone else’s view!
Make Sure It’s Safe
When you do find a campsite you like the look of, do a quick sweep of the area to make sure there are no hazards. These could include holes where snakes could hide, cliff faces that could have landslides or rock falls, poisonous plants, or widow makers (trees that are leaning and are being held up by other trees).
If you want to avoid wind, look for an area that has natural wind-breakers, like large, solid boulders or densely packed trees. Camping in a densely wooded area is good protection from lightning in the case of a storm.
Avoid areas that have one or two tall, standalone trees or little clusters of trees. These can be targets for lightning, as can bodies of water.
Make Sure Your Site Fits Your Gear
If you’re planning on camping in an RV, you most likely won’t be driving up the side of a mountain and trying to park in a thick cluster of trees away from electricity and hook-ups. And if you’re planning on roughing it and doing some really wild camping, choosing a spot on a campsite with amenities and security may not do it for you.
Try to match your campsite with the gear you have and the type of camping you want to do.
Don’t get caught out in a flash flood, a windstorm, or get eaten alive by bugs because you chose a campsite that’s less than ideal! Just a bit of research can help you learn how to choose the perfect campsite.
It can be tempting to set yourself up at the first spot you find. But it may not be quite the right place to keep you and your family happy and safe during your vacation.
Once you’re set up in a suitable spot, you won’t have to worry about anything except relaxing and enjoying yourself.