5 Things to Consider When Picking Your Campsite

By Shelby Kisgen

Picking the ideal campsite for your needs is vital to an enjoyable camping experience. Once a tent is set up, it is never fun to move it. Here are the essential things to consider when picking a spot to pitch your tent and roast your marshmallows.

Safety First: Never, never pitch your tent in a flash-flood prone area. Basically, make sure you do not put your tent at the bottom of a ravine, or any place where natural water run-off flows. Use trees as wind shelter, but watch for trees that are decaying or dead and give them a wide berth; heavy winds topple rotten trees and you want to be out of reach.

Drink Up: Camp near a clean, easy access water source. Each park has various regulations on how close you can camp to the water, so keep those area specific rules in mind. Also, remember that the wildlife needs the water too. Do not camp so close to the water that animals coming in to drink will explore your camp on their way.

Comfort Matters: Maybe you brought a mattress pad, maybe you are sleeping on the dirt; either way, clear out the space where you are putting your tent. Find a level piece of ground to pitch your tent. Hills and angles make for awkward sleeping positions. Make sure there are no ant hills or animal holes where you place your tent. Finally, clear the ground under the tent of all sticks and rocks. Make the sleeping surface as smooth as possible for a nice night of rest. Side note: Prank your fellow campers by placing rocks under their sleeping bags…but only if you are prepared for whatever retaliation they cook up.

Proximity: There are two main ways to look at camping close to other campers: safety benefits, or aggravation. Camping in a designated location with other tents and camp vehicles discourages wandering predators, both human and animal. The adage safety in numbers almost always rings true. Some people however, are not comfortable sleeping so near to strangers, and that is okay too. Camping farther away from other people provides more peace, quiet, and privacy. Choose whatever proximity to other people as you feel comfortable with, but try to choose wisely so you do not have to pack up your site due to changing your mind.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My: Know what wildlife lives in the area you will be camping. Do not keep food in your tent as that can attract predators. Use bear poles or bear boxes if provided. Do not leave food lying out, uneaten and unattended. Make sure to pack up or burn all food containers as well. The smells linger on packages and still attract animals, so keep them in a designated area with the food and separate from the heart of camp.

Keep these five tips in mind when you pick your next campsite, and you should have an enjoyable experience making memories!

Talking about picking your campsite, here is a video from an expert woman camper on this very topic:

 

Blogger & Multiple Contributor at

Shelby Kisgen is an experienced camper and hiker from Wyoming, USA.  She is a true nature enthusiast who enjoys sharing her experiences through freelance writing in her first blog: naturepreserve.me

When she is not enjoying the great outdoors she is duelling her husband in tennis, eating, or reading a book.

Shelby was the first of many to write articles for the Camping for Women website.

She just loves to combine her love of the outdoors with her passion for writing.  Her current blog is https://shelbykisgen.com/

11 thoughts on “5 Things to Consider When Picking Your Campsite

  • March 25, 2019 at 9:19 pm
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    These are great tips! I’m so happy it’s soon camping season again in New England. I’ve never camped anywhere with BIG wildlife though, that’d make me nervous, haha!

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  • March 2, 2019 at 5:25 pm
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    A very useful list of dos and donts for camping. Some of your tips are quite logical and is often overlooked like the condition of the trees and camping away from waterbodies. We also dig something called the snake-pit around our tents here in India! Interesting post 🙂

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  • February 28, 2019 at 1:02 pm
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    These are some really sensible and practical tips for picking a camping site. While it is really an exciting experience, no one would want to go as far as finding a bear in their bed! The tip about being near a water source and yet not too near is really important.

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  • February 28, 2019 at 2:02 am
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    These are great tips. Especially in regards to where you are pitching your tent, I would have chosen near water and not thought about how far away one should be. Also the tip about the trees is important, once again something I would never have thought about checking the condition of the trees. Thanks for sharing your great tips.

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  • February 27, 2019 at 5:02 pm
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    You have listed quite useful points on the selection of campsites. Many people select camping near water body but I agree with you that this place is always visited by animals which is risky. Keeping food open or lying outside will also invite uninvited guests. Safety and comfort should be considered at top priority when selecting a campsite.

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  • February 27, 2019 at 4:41 pm
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    Choosing the best spot to sleep sounds like it needs to be at the top of the list! I need my sleep to enjoy the outdoors. I never considered decaying trees as a threat like I have the lions and bears.

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  • February 27, 2019 at 6:31 am
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    I am in the stage of planning my first camping with my daughter. Thank you for sharing such essential points. These will be really helpful. Now I know what all to consider.

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  • February 27, 2019 at 1:38 am
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    Very essential points you shared here. Even I did the same while picking campsite in the Masai Mara last year. I considered the proximity of Mara river from the campsite and also comfort and made sure the place has easy access to water and is of course safe. This post is informative for readers, certainly.

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  • February 9, 2019 at 3:38 pm
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    I have not been into camping to much and now with my kids growing up they really want to go out and camp. This site and the posts are really educational for a novess like me. These are top tips to start with when you are thinking of setting up a camp site. The top one must be finding a close by water source and keeping wild animals away from not letting them sense food in your tents . It is such a great way to enjoy nature in a tent and if you go by these pointers could be a perfect camping experience.

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  • July 30, 2018 at 7:06 am
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    Great topic as I’m planning to attempt my first camping. This is a great post which will help me pick right gear. Great read all the posts. Thanks.

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  • July 6, 2018 at 6:44 pm
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    The most important of camping in the jungle is the safety from the dangerous animal like the bear, wolf, everyone needs to keep some weapon for the protection.

    Reply

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