How to choose the best campsite

Millions of people enjoy camping every year. Data from the KOA 2021 North American Camping Report indicates there were more than 94.5 million camper households throughout North America in 2020.

As the world confronted the COVID-19 pandemic, North American campers took to camping in droves and intended to continue camping trips throughout 2021.

While there are many different lessons novice campers must learn, one of the more important should include identifying what makes a good campsite. The choice of campsite is an important part of the camping experience. In fact, where a tent gets pitched can easily make or break a trip.

A new study in the Journal of Environmental Management says the biggest factors price and the availability of electricity are significant priorities for campers looking for a campsite. However, many other factors should be considered when choosing a campsite.

· Stay near water. Being close to water means not having to carry it far for cleaning, cooking and other needs. Try to stay roughly 200 feet away from a water source, as it’s important to remember that water also will attract animals.

· Search for flat ground. It’s more comfortable and safer to pitch a tent on level ground. Make sure there are no rocks or other items under the tent that can compromise comfort. Avoid areas at the base of hills that can become giant puddles in the event of a rainstorm.

· Check around for hazards. Before pitching a tent, check the area for dead branches on trees and make sure that nothing will crash down while you are asleep. Boulders may come loose and roll down hills, so areas vulnerable to falling rock also should be avoided. Make sure the campsite is not located by insect or animal nests.

· Look for natural shade. A good campsite should keep campers from being exposed to too much sun between the hours of 12 p.m. and 3 pm. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can make it too hot and camping equipment may degrade from UV rays. String up a tarp or use a pop-up canopy if there’s no natural shade.

· Find a measure of privacy. Camping is about getting away from the hustle and bustle, which can be hard when you’re too close to other people. Look for a campsite that offers space to set up a tent and camping equipment without being right on top of other campers. However, if you like the camaraderie of being around other people, then by all means camp close to others.

Campsites vary, and choosing the right one can make a trip that much more enjoyable.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash