Where Should You Pitch Your Tent?

Pitch 1

By Lucy Gomez

While established campgrounds offer you restrooms, water and points for your electrical equipment, you have to deal with people going in and out. If you are tired of the noise, the time is now to set off on your own adventure. Gather your gear and head into the wild. Just make sure that you read these tips on how to find a good tent campground.

For the camper, choosing where she sleeps is the most significant decision when picking a spot to pitch a tent. It is vital that you pick a flat ground. Otherwise, you will find yourself lying against the tent wall and off your sleeping mat in the middle of the night – not the best way to wake up.

Also, make sure that the ground is even. This means making sure that there are no sharp protrusions that intermittently interrupt your sleep. An even ground surface will help you wake the next day all charged up and ready to go. If available, prime choices for flat areas are those covered in sand or grass.

Choose to Pitch in Shaded Areas

Once you have found a flat area to pitch the tent, the second most critical consideration for a campsite is shade. What you should aim for is a spot that offers a bit of shade in the morning. It is not fun waking up in the morning to a blazing hot sun heating up your tent.

In addition, a tent in direct sun can become something like a sauna experience. Some tents are even likely to be damaged or show signs of premature aging if left in the sun for too long; therefore, check your tent’s care instructions before you set out camping.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

For your own safety’s sake, be aware of what is looming above and around you. Avoid setting up the tent under a dead tree branch or avalanche and rockslide paths. This calls for you to be extra cautious about such hazards, Mother Nature can be unforgiving. As you choose your campground, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • If you will be camping in rocky terrain, watch out for snake-infested ledges
  • Set camp above the high-water mark, in case of flash floods
  • Use natural wind blockers like rock outcroppings and large boulders to protect yourself from high winds
  • Avoid areas with lots of poison ivy
  • Dense trees of about the same height in a low area away from water offers you protection from lightening

Pitch 2

Via Kenneth Cole Schneider

Protect the Environment

Consider the impact when going to pitch your camp, on what this could cause for the immediate surroundings. Look for a spot that looks like it has been camped in to reduce your overall impact instead of creating your brand new spot. While the wilderness might seem endless, there is a limited amount of it, and protecting what you find goes a long way in ensuring future generations get to enjoy it.

Pitch 3

Via Jeff Wong

Your Privacy

If you are the sort of camper who enjoys her own privacy, you will definitely not want another party raising the tent roof with their noise just a few feet away. A bit of privacy will make your camping experience that much better and enjoyable – and it does highlight what it means to get out into the wilderness.

As you choose your campground, it is important that you know exactly what you want. Trail access, water sources nearby, pets or no pets, the number of people and activities all play a critical role in finding your perfect campground spot. So get out there and find bits of yourself in nature, but make sure you are safe, have fun and leave the site as clean as you found it.


Multiple Contributor at

Lucy Gomez is a camp editor at Getcampingwild.com. She has been camping her entire life and Getcampingwild.com is a place where campers can share everything we’ve learned along the (sometimes prickly) way in the wilderness.

16 thoughts on “Where Should You Pitch Your Tent?

  • April 8, 2017 at 8:51 am

    This is the only way we camp. Finding the flat test ground possible truly is important (and basically impossible in the Rockies …) but Hubby and I found our best! Our concerns dont lean so much towards rattlesnakes or poison ivy but more like bears and mosquitos but otherwise pretty spot on!

  • April 7, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Some interesting suggestions here. I always wanted to do camping but have never done that. maybe sometime in the future. Bookmarked your post to refer later.

    And, I completely agree with you that apart from having fun, we should always be responsible about the environment.

  • April 7, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Choosing a campground definitely is a challenging task. Though choosing a flat and even surface sounds petty but makes a great deal if not chosen properly for we may wake up with body pains. Checking for a dead tree branch or probable avalanche seems challenging too. And being a responsible tourist is no doubt very important part of camping.

  • April 7, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Awesome tips and recommendations! It’s starting to warm up now here in Korea so we’re looking forward to be able to start camping again. There’s something great about waking up in a tent and hearing the wildlife around you!

  • April 7, 2017 at 3:15 am

    There are a lot of interesting points here that I wouldn’t have even considered before pitching my tent. Flash floods would be devastating if you’d set up in the wrong place, you’d probably wake up in a different county! Snakes or poison ivy are definitely something to avoid too. This is an important post with some important points.

    • April 8, 2017 at 1:43 am

      I agree with you in this point. Choose a campground is an important thing when we start camping.

  • April 7, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Choosing the right spot to pitch a tent is definitely more complicated than it seems on the surface. Thanks for these insightful tips. They will really help to balance the convenience factors like water and electricity with the comfort factors like noisy neighbors. Lots of great things to think about when picking a spot.

  • April 7, 2017 at 2:51 am

    This is such a great guide, and perfect timing that I came across this too! I’m not much of a camper, but my boyfriend loves it and we are hoping to plan a camping adventure soon. I’ll have to look back at this when we go to pitch our tent!

    • April 8, 2017 at 1:46 am

      As suggestion, I hope you can choose best place to pitch the tent. It is very important
      I hope you will have a great trip in the future 🙂 🙂

  • April 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    These are great tips! I adored camping with my dad and brother when I was a kid but haven’t been in years… Reading this, your inspiring me to do it again!

  • April 6, 2017 at 3:39 am

    I’m normally a day-hiker but I would like to do longer treks and this post has some good tips. I think I totally agree with camping in a shady area. Waking up to sun beams bathing you wouldn’t be that fun haha!

  • April 6, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Haha, yes avoid the spots with poison ivy! Certainly the flat campsite is a good reminder, I usually forget that until half-way through set-up. Shade is a tricky one, I agree with you on morning shade is best for the longest sleep possible.

  • April 6, 2017 at 12:35 am

    These are such great tips on where to pitch a tent! I typically day hike, but want to start doing the longer trails and backpacking and I have always wondered where you are supposed to camp for the night when there is no campground. Definitely going to remember these tips when I head out for my first time!


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