How to Choose and Set Up a Campsite

How to Choose a Campsite

When choosing a campsite you need to think about your needs like, shade in very hot parts of the country, a sunny area when you are camping when it is cold, an area with trees for tying clotheslines, an area away from the forest in places with a lot of mosquitoes and a place that is not going to flood when there is a rainstorm. If the site you are looking at is in a very low area, it is possible that this campsite is going to flood when it rains.

If you have the choice, try not to camp right next to the bathroom because this location can be noisy at night and occasionally smelly.

A growing concern in the western U.S. are tree branches falling on tents. Do not camp under dead branches because they could fall on the tent.

Where to Locate the Tent

Most parks have a designated area in every campsite called the “Tent Pad” where the tent is to be located. This is good planning because it helps protect the ground around the campsite from overuse thus killing all of the grass and creating an area that is prone to erosion and getting muddy.

If there is no tent pad make sure that you locate your tent away from the fire ring or campfire spot because it is possible that sparks from your campfire will burn holes in your tent.

How to Prepare the Area Where You are Going to Place the Tent

After choosing the campsite, you need to remove anything sharp on the tent pad that could poke a hole in your tent. When you finish removing any sharp objects, place a tarp or footprint on the ground. The tarp or footprint is valuable becuase it helps keep the bottom of the tent safe from sharp objects you may have missed plus it will help keep the tent floor clean. Through these steps, you will be able to extend the life of your tent. In general, a tarp can be purchased for a price varying between $5 and $40. The $5 model will do the job and the $40 model will generally be the lightest and most compact.


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