When you’re going camping – and I mean real camping, out in the middle of the woods – finding a good campsite can sometimes be a bit of a problem. Although you won’t be spending all of your time at your campsite, it does serve as your “home base” for your trip and it makes sense to select one carefully. But how do you decide on a campsite? Let’s take a look.
The most important thing to look for in a potential campsite is a reasonable stretch of level ground. How large it needs to be will depend on a few factors, but try to find a spot that is at least 15 square yards. If it is somewhat clear of trees and growth, even better.
If the area you’re looking at isn’t totally clear, that’s OK. You’ll probably never find a spot that doesn’t have anything in the way, but look around for a while until you find something good. While you’re looking, keep an eye out for level ground as well. Camping on a steep incline doesn’t work too well and isn’t a whole lot of fun.
A little secret my old Scout leader taught me when searching for a campsite is to look for fire rings that are already in place. That means that someone else has already camped in that spot and you should be able to as well without too much trouble. Plus, using someone else’s fire ring means you can reduce the work you’ll have to do setting up the new camp and you’ll keep the area looking as unspoiled as possible.
Something else to keep in mind when you’re looking for a campsite is what the weather is going to be like for the next few days. If it’s supposed to be cold and windy, then camping next to a copse of trees that can help break the wind might be a good idea. If it’s going to be hot and shade is in limited supply, then choosing a spot that is out of the sun would be smart.
The last thing to consider is whether you can find any evidence of insects or wild animals in the area. Setting your tent up on top of a snakes’ nest would not be a smart thing, and grilling your food with a bear cave nearby wouldn’t be either. Chances are good that nothing bad will happen, but keep your eyes open for these things anyway.
Consider all of these things carefully as you look around and soon you’ll be sitting by your campfire and enjoying the outdoors.