Camping can be a ton of fun, or it can be miserable. Weather and campsite location are the two most influential forces shaping your camping experience. Since we can’t control the weather, we can at least do our best to select the right camping spot for our trip. To find a good area, there are several factors to consider, and you’ll be able to choose the best site for each of your camping excursions.
Gone With The Wind
The first factor to consider when searching for a campsite is the wind. Often, people look for wide-open spaces with lots of room to pitch their tents, but this isn’t always the best practice. An area with dense trees surrounding it is better suited to shield your campsite from the wind.
Consider how difficult it can be to keep a fire going in the best conditions, let alone in wind gusts. Excessive winds can also create challenges for the campsite in general and put a damper on the fun. Additionally, winds that displace your belongings and cause damage to gear can bring your trip to an untimely end.
Another critical factor to consider when choosing the best place to set up camp is water. Water presents both a resource and a danger, which is why it should be high on your list of considerations.
Flat ground is preferred over hills, do your best not to pitch your tent on a slope or at the base of a mountain. Determine how water will flow if it rains overnight, and pick your campsite accordingly, so you don’t wake up in a wet sleeping bag or with your belongings wholly washed away. Flash flooding happens without much warning, so remember to stay high and dry.
Since water is also a resource, it’s a good idea to make your campsite near it or within walking distance from it. You’ll want to be close enough to fish and gather water for cooking yet be far enough away that you are not inundated with unwelcomed insects and animals that frequent water sources at night.
Like water, wood poses both a resource and a hazard. Avoid making your campsite under dead trees, trees that have dead branches, and partially fallen trees. The last thing you need is wind to blow trees or their limbs onto your tents during the night. Be very cautious when pitching your tent under or around trees; paying attention to your surroundings is vital for your safety.
While you don’t want to camp under dead or dying trees, you do want to pitch your tent near an ample supply of wood. No one wants to set up camp and then realize the nearest wood source is half a mile away. So, use your best judgment and make sure that dead trees and limbs are in ample supply nearby.