When you’re ready to go camping, choosing where to camp is very important. Most newbies will go to established campgrounds because they are safe, and easy and offer many amenities like electrical hookups, running water, bathrooms, tables and picnic areas, fire pits, and designated space for tents.
But if you want to challenge yourself or try something a bit different, you may move away from established campgrounds and “rough it” a little more. If you decide on this route, you will need the following tips for choosing your camping spot.
First and foremost, however, you need to know not to ever camp on private property that you do not have permission to do so. Not only can you get in trouble for trespassing, but in many cases, you could end up attacked or shot because the owner doesn’t know what you’re doing on their property and what your intentions are.
Now, once you know you are in an area you have permission to be in, how can you choose the perfect camp spot? Here are some things which Camping Necessities think you should consider.
- Find flat ground – You need flat, even ground to place your tent. This is more comfortable and more stable, so your tent can be tied down and not be as easy to flow away in the wind. It also ensures your items won’t be tripping over or falling over inside.
- Plan for shade – No matter what time of year, the sun can get scorching when it beats down on top of you, especially if you’re sitting in one spot. Your tent could get very hot as well. Try to find a good place in the shade that provides you with some temporary shade. It’s unnecessary to have shade constantly all day, so long as the spot you choose gives you some partial shade throughout the day.
- Know what’s around you – You also need to be aware of what’s surrounding you when you pick your campsite. Are you too close to the water’s edge? Is there a cave that might house dangerous animals? Do you have protection from windbreak, or are you in the flat, open ground?
- Know what’s above you – When camping and pitching a tent outdoors, it is equally important to know what is looming above you. Are there dead tree branches just waiting to fall on your while you sleep? A rock ledge? Risk of an avalanche? Favorite place for birds to rest and poop? Be cautious of all hazards because Mother Nature isn’t always forgiving.
- Think about space – How much space do you need for your camp spot itself? How big are your tents and how much space do you need outside the tent for other things you might bring?
- Think about privacy – How much privacy do you need or want if you are camping with other people? Maybe you want to space your tent out a bit from your friends’ tents? These are just more things to consider before pitching your tent.
Above all, when choosing your camping spot, you want to reduce your impact as much as possible. If you select a place that looks like it had already been used as a campsite, you will do less damage to the environment, the wildlife, and plant life of the area, and that is always a win!
Again, as a reminder, you should always follow the law. Ensure you are allowed to be on the property and that your campsite is in compliance with local and state laws. Never chop down trees or damage plant life in the area. Never hunt without a license or outside of season or fish from protected waters.
It’s all common sense. Just because you are human does not give you the right to destroy the habitats and lives of creatures that live in nature. You’re there to appreciate nature, not to destroy it. Remember this as a golden rule, and everything will go smoothly for you.