Outdoor adventurers love camping for many reasons. First is that this activity is a great way of enjoying what nature has to offer. Second, camping is a great bonding activity for friends and family. It also teaches people survival skills. However, planning for a camp may be daunting for first-timers. They often ask, “Where’s the best place to camp?” or “Can you pitch a tent anywhere?”
If you are new to camping or in need of ideas on where to stay with your tent, then here are tips on finding a place to camp and the best area to pitch a tent.
Camping, as with many other outdoor activities, requires planning. One does not simply hop into the vehicle and drive to any site with the camping gear and some food and water.
In finding a camping site, one has to consider the company or people who will go camping. What are the physical capabilities of the campers? Are they all physically fit to walk for hours on either flat or rugged terrains? Is it a family trip with small kids? Choosing a camping site will depend on who will join the trip. One would not choose the rugged mountains for the campsite when wee ones are joining anyway.
Choosing the best campsite for your needs mean figuring out whether it will be in a designated site or a dispersed one. But what’s the difference between the two?
Designated campgrounds are more developed than dispersed ones. This means they have several amenities like tables, treated water, bonfire area, and toilets. Many of these sites have designated parking areas, too.
Many designated campsites let campers reserve ahead of time while others are on a first-come-first-serve basis. They also charge some fees to enter the grounds. In many cases, there would be other campers in the area whom you’ll meet.
On the other hand, dispersed camping is for those who prefer seclusion and some privacy. Such sites require resourcefulness and self-sufficiency. This is because dispersed camping grounds do not have much amenities.
Dispersed camping grounds are plenty. They are often in land-management areas such as state and local parks, national parks and national forests. Some can even be on private property.
It is highly advisable to familiarize yourself with the rules of the camping grounds as they vary from one site to another.
“Can you pitch a tent anywhere?” This is a question often asked by first-time campers. This is particularly true when the grounds are vast or underdeveloped. There is also the question if a particular area is safe for pitching a tent.
Unfortunately, one should not put up the tent just anywhere on the site. The location of the shelter, after all, can impact the camper’s safety and comfort. It is highly advisable to take the time to find the ideal spot to avoid any disasters during the trip. Here are the various factors in finding the perfect tent location:
The best campsite is flat ground. This is because it would be uncomfortable to sleep on uneven flooring. It would even be unwise to pitch a tent on rocky surfaces.
Most designated campsites usually have a leveled area for pitching tents. These tent areas have been assessed as safe places for camping by the camp managers. Walk around the designated camping area to find which spot seems best for you. Many campers choose a particular space in the campsite because of the view or nearness to amenities.
Make sure the spot you choose is large enough for your tent. If there is a rake available, then use it to brush away any small stones, twigs or sticks that can poke you as you sleep. One also can try lying on the ground with the sleeping bag to determine if the surface is comfortable enough to get some rest.
It is highly inadvisable to set-up a tent anywhere on a hill regardless whether the spot is at the bottom, middle or top of it. Any part of the hill can pose a threat to the campers’ safety.
Inexperienced campers especially the rookies think that the bottom of the hill is a great spot as they will have good protection from the sun and wind. Unfortunately, such a spot can be the catch basin of water if it rains.
Campers should look for a spot that is near a shady area. A shelter placed in direct sunlight will have the atmosphere of a sauna. One will definitely have a difficult time resting and enjoying the trip if it’s too hot in the tent.
The wind is another thing to consider. Look for a spot with a natural windbreak. Make sure to position the door facing away from the winds as strong gusts can make the tent fly. Plus, it will be challenging to sleep well if the tent is flapping all night long due to the wind.
Camping so close to the watercourse can be quite risky. This is because the rains or flash floods can wash your tent away. Plus, water supplies tend to be contaminated if one is camping near the water. It is best to keep some distance from the watercourse.
Camping, even for beginners, does not have to be daunting. One simply has to choose a good campsite that everyone in the group can be comfortable in. If there are less physically capable members of the group or if one wants a more comfortable time during camping, then it is best to choose a designated campsite. The more adventurous ones can choose for the dispersed grounds.
Unfortunately, one cannot simply pitch a tent in any area. It is best to find flat ground and avoid camping on the hills. One also has to consider the sun, the wind and proximity of water when choosing the spot for the shelter.