Planning a camping trip but don’t know where to begin? Choosing the right campsite can be one of the most challenging decisions you have to make when trying to spend your weekends outdoors. So, how to choose a campsite at a campground without wasting your time.
With so many campgrounds out there, finding the perfect spot with all the amenities you need for a safe and enjoyable outing can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we have some tips here to help make sure your camping experience is nothing short of amazing.
Continue reading to learn more about choosing the perfect campsite for an unforgettable camping experience!
Tips on How To Choose A Campsite At A Campground
1. Research campgrounds beforehand
Before looking for a campsite, you must determine which campground you want to book.
If you’re camping with family, especially kids, choosing a campground with multiple amenities like nearby toilets, food, and clean water is a great idea. Additionally, you should choose a site near playgrounds or other recreational activities to keep children occupied.
If you plan on bringing pets, make sure it’s permissible by the campground you’re booking. Sites near a dog park or open area are a plus.
On the other hand, if you prefer campgrounds surrounded by nature and are traveling solo, then national parks like Yosemite may be a better fit. However, finding clean toilets, trash disposal stations, and clean water at such campgrounds takes more work. Thus, you’ll need to scope out the campground online or in person to prevent finding yourself in these tricky situations.
It’s best to look for accommodations several months in advance as availability may become scarce closer to peak season. Always look up reviews before you reserve a campsite on a campground reservation software.
2. Pick the right terrain
If you make reservations for a campground in a resort or a popular recreational spot, you’ll have access to numerous amenities. In that case, there’s not much you need to worry about.
However, if you don’t have a reservation, you can still go to campgrounds in places like state parks. There, you can get a campsite for yourself on a first come, first served basis. In this case, there are some things you must ensure before choosing your campsite.
To begin with, you should always pick a campsite that has level ground. The flat, level terrain will allow you to set up your tent or park your RV with minimal problems. You’ll want to pick a spot free of rocks and other obstacles, which will help you get a comfortable night’s sleep.
Also, find a campsite far from the campground’s trash disposal area. This will help you avoid unsanitary conditions and create a truly immersive camping experience. However, you’d still need to dispose of garbage in said trash areas. If there are none, dispose of them at least 200 ft away from the campsite, trails, and water.
Camping should be an enjoyable experience, but if you don’t take the proper precautions, it can quickly turn disastrous. Before setting up your tent in a wooded area, inspect nearby trees for signs of damage; unhealthy and old trees are prime candidates for falling during powerful storms.
It’s also essential to avoid campsites that are at risk of landslides. Such areas include sites under rock ledges and steep slopes. You should also avoid camping and hiking in canyons and ravines, mainly if storms have recently occurred. This increases the risk of water collecting in those sites and unstable rock ledges.
Finally, to make your camping experience optimal, pick the perfect spot to settle in by accounting for the environmental factors. You can set your tent or park your RV in a shady site in summer to keep cool. In winter, you should look for a campsite with plenty of sunshine to stay warm.
However, booking a campsite in person can be a hassle; you never really know if you’ll find the right place for you. Fortunately, you can use campground reservation software to search for and book a campsite easily. With hundreds of available sites in a single spot, you can quickly locate your ideal location and secure it within minutes.
3. Consider water drainage
When choosing your campsite, it’s essential to consider the availability of water drainage. Look for a spot on higher ground; campsites on a slope or hillside usually have better drainage than those in low-lying areas. This will help prevent standing water and keep you drier during a rainstorm.
Choosing a campsite with good drainage is also necessary because a water-filled campsite can attract unwanted bugs and put you at risk for potentially dangerous illnesses.
Next, pay attention to the soil. Look for a campsite with the well-draining ground, such as sandy or gravelly soil. These soils will help keep water from pooling and drain it away quickly.
Make sure your campsite is far from any water bodies like streams or rivers. This can be a hazard under extreme weather conditions like rain storms and cause flash flooding. It’s also essential to look for a spot that isn’t in a bowl-shaped depression. These areas can collect water and become muddy during a rainstorm.
To know if your campsite has good drainage, check if the layout allows water to flow away from the site. The campsite has good drainage if it doesn’t trap water in the area.
4. Consider privacy
If you’re someone who wants privacy, try to find a spot that’s away from the main campsite or parking area. Campsites located farther away from the central hub of activity will typically be more private than those located closer.
They’re also a plus if you want to be far away from noise caused by loud, unruly campers. Vehicles and loud music can also become a nuisance, especially if you desire solitude.
You can also look for a spot surrounded by natural barriers, such as trees, bushes, or rocks. These natural barriers provide privacy and block out noise from other campers.
To be fair, picking the right campsite at a campground can be hard work. There’s a lot to consider, like the location, amenities, privacy, and safety precautions. Top this off with deciding what type of camping you want—whether alone or with family—the options can become pretty limited.
However, as long as you follow our detailed guide on how to choose a campsite at a campground, you won’t run into any issues. You can now narrow your search to areas that are sure to be a perfect fit for your next outdoor adventure.