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How to choose a campsite?

September 05, 2022 8 Comments

how to choose a campsite

Choosing the right campsite can feel overwhelming, but it’s easy with these 5 great tips!

An important part of the whole camping experience is the campsite. So, where you decide to pitch up your tent, can really make or break your trip outdoors. But choosing a campsite is not always as simple as it sounds. Campsites vary a lot in terms of what they offer. There is a fair bit to think about when looking for the perfect place to go camping. You always need to be aware and check on many things to confirm that a particular site or location is right for you.

In this article, we present a few helpful suggestions and tips on how to choose a campsite that’s safe, comfortable and convenient. You are sure to find the right one if you follow these simple tips.

Related: 10 Best Camping Essentials: The Ultimate Packing List

Here’s a quick rundown of 5 tips on how to choose a campsite.

1) Prioritize water

how to choose a campsite

Photo by Brooks Rice on Unsplash  

For those wondering how to choose a campsite, the first thing to keep in mind is "access to water". Camping outdoors means you'll need water for cooking, cleaning and drinking. So, you need to choose a campsite that has easy access to water. Look for a place that’s neither too far nor too close from the main water source. But there can be a risk of flooding so camp at least 200 feet away from lakes, rivers, and creeks. This means you should never camp on a river bank or in a river bed even if it’s all dried up. Also, don’t forget to check if there are any water warnings before you go. Nobody wants to have their camping experience ruined by drinking water that is contaminated with germs.

Related: Camping Water Hacks: How to conserve, purify & protect water?

2) Look for level ground

how to choose a campsite

Photo by I Do Nothing But Love on Unsplash

The next thing you should look out when choosing a campsite is flat ground. An ideal campsite must have level ground to pitch your tent. Because it’s way more comfortable to sleep on level ground than on a ground that is too slanted. If you don’t want your body to slide sideways while you’re sleeping then choose a campsite that has a grassy flat ground. Make sure to remove rocks, sticks and other things that won’t be very comfortable to sleep on before setting up your tent. If rain is a possibility, make sure you don’t set up your camp in a low spot.

3) Scan for hazards

how to choose a campsite

Photo by Sergey Chuprin on Unsplash

This is a really important one. Before you choose a campsite to pitch up your tent, check the immediate area and scan for potential hazards that may put your life in danger. No matter how lovely the campsite is, it’s pretty much useless if something about it is dangerous. Look up for dead branches (widowmaker) on trees and make sure nothing is going to come crashing down on you while you’re asleep. Likewise, don’t ever choose a campsite at the foot or a slope of a hill. You never know when rocks and boulders could come loose and start tumbling down to crush you. Avoid picking a campsite anywhere on a hill or at the bottom of the cliff even when you’re feeling adventurous. You should also avoid places with dense vegetation as they’re likely to be swarming with pesky bugs and insects.

Related: 10 Safety Tips For First-Time Campers

4) Shade

how to choose a campsite

Photo by everett mcintire on Unsplash

You should never choose a campsite in an area with no natural shade. A very good campsite should keep you from getting too much sun exposure. If possible, always choose a campsite that has a lot of shade during the day. Position your tent so that it will gain the most shade possible between 12pm to 3pm. Looking for shaded spots should be your priority if you’re planning to go camping during summer. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can also damage your tent’s inner fabrics. Colors fade and fabrics can become brittle. If you choose a campsite that has no natural shade, string up a tarp or bring a solar shade tent to keep that sun from beating down on you.

Related: 10 Best Summer Camping Tents For Warm Weather

5) Size & Privacy  

how to choose a campsite

Photo by Mr.Autthaporn Pradidpong on Unsplash

The last thing you want to do is choose a campsite in a crowded location with loud neighbors. That’s why you have to consider the overall size of the campsite where you decide to stay. Not only should an ideal campsite offer a good amount of space to set up your tent & other camping equipment, it should also offer a great deal of privacy. It is not always possible to set up camp isolated from other campers, but keeping some distance between you and your neighbor is important for an enjoyable camping experience. So, you’re better off choosing a campsite that you will have a bit more space to yourself. Also, remember to set up your tent at least 100 feet away from any trails or roads for added isolation.

Related: Best Privacy Shelters For Camping In 2021

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So, there you have it. These are our five tips to help you choose a campsite. Remember the above-mentioned tips are just a few of the many. But keeping these tips in mind will surely make it easier for you to choose a campsite. Last of all, whatever you do, always put your safety first and think how you can maximize the enjoyment of your camping trip without taking any unnecessary risks.

How do you normally decide where to camp? What are the things that you look for when choosing a campsite? We’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below and let us know.

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8 Responses

Elina Brooks
Elina Brooks

May 30, 2023

My friends and I are going camping this summer, so we need to find a campground to reserve for our trip soon to help us prepare for it. I appreciate your advice when you told us to choose a campsite with leveled ground since this will be ideal for when we need to pitch tents. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for campgrounds to choose from soon. https://gilligansislandresort.com/annual-campsites

Caroline Smith
Caroline Smith

May 25, 2023

Preparing for your travel beforehand can help you avoid any unexpected situations and keep you safe. And you will fully enjoy the camping. Thank you for the tips it’s a big help. Please read also my blog: https://www.wkadventures.com/outdoor/tips-for-successful-outdoor-camp-cookout/

Shammy Peterson
Shammy Peterson

April 09, 2023

It made sense to me when you suggested checking the overall size of the campsite that you are interested in to make sure that you can set up your belongings. My husband and I are actually interested in finding an RV resort where we can go camping next Friday. Since we want to be comfortable in the space that we will choose, we will be sure to follow your tips. https://preservationpoint.com/


November 19, 2022

Heya. Research campsites carefully. Make brief summary notes. If possible try to visit the campsite in order so that you can take photos. Look carefully at the details on the website. Keep lists. Good luck. See if you can talk to a member of campsite staff regarding facilities and things to do. Find out as much as possible in advance.

Ava M
Ava M

November 03, 2022

It was nice that you suggested choosing a campsite that won’t expose you to too much sun. My husband and I are planning to go on an RV camping trip next week. We want to make sure that we can enjoy the day and be able to relax while our 6-year-old son plays around, so we will find a motorhome park spot based on your tips. https://www.amcrvparks.com/live-here

Anna Collins
Anna Collins

October 15, 2022

I haven’t met up with my friends in a while now, so we’ve decided to go on camping soon the next time our days off match next month. I’m grateful that you advised us to choose a campsite that has flat ground since they’re ideal for setting up tents and comfortable camping areas. I’ll be sure to consider this while we browse for RV camping sites to consider. https://highpinesrvpark.com/

Shammy Peterson
Shammy Peterson

September 21, 2022

I found it helpful when you suggested choosing a campsite that can allow you to easily access water since you will need it for various reasons. My husband and I are planning to go on a camping trip two weeks from now, so we want to find an RV resort. We will bring our two children with us, so it will make sense for us to consider finding a campsite based on your tips. https://www.hiddencreekrv.com/

Anna Collins
Anna Collins

July 15, 2022

My friends and I are going on a camping trip next weekend, and we’re using my RV for it. It’s good that you mentioned how it’s best to choose a campsite that has access to water since camping outdoors requires you to have a consistent supply of water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. I’ll be sure to consider this first when choosing which RV park to go to next weekend. https://southerncomfortcampingresort.com/

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