Seasonal Guide to Picking the Right Campsite

A Seasonal Guide to Picking the Best Possible Campsite

Want to go camping, but not quite sure how to pick the right spot? You’re not alone. Camping is becoming more and more popular, but many people aren’t experienced enough to know how to find the best sites and how to ensure that those sites stay safe and clean for everyone.

Today, we’ll try and help you select the very best campsites for each time of year. We’ll also go over some basic tips that every camper should follow to keep the wilderness beautiful and enjoyable for those who follow.

how to find the best possible campsite

Finding a Campsite During Spring, Summer, and Fall

Let’s begin with some tips for the more classic camping seasons, i.e. spring, summer and fall. During these months, the weather conditions are generally much less harsh than in the winter. 3-season tents are designed for use in any of these seasons, so you don’t need to worry about buying an extra-resistant 4-season tent if you don’t want to. Our first tip is to do your research. It’s important to study up in advance before you head out to camp. Read about the local area and learn the locations of the various campsites along each trail. You can find lots of information online or in guide books.

Once you’ve done this, you might also decide to visit the area in person and perhaps speak to local rangers. These experts can help you learn more information and discover the very best spots to set up your camp. It’s also vital to be aware of local rules. Sometimes, certain campsites may be closed off or fully-booked by other campers. You should therefore make reservations well in advance and read up on the rules of the area to be sure that your stay is a safe and happy one. The most popular spots can get reserved quickly, so don’t wait too long before making your mind up.

We also recommend that you arrive at your chosen site as early as you can. It’s never a good idea to set out late, as you don’t want to be wandering around in the dark or trying to set your tent up without any sunlight. Another good idea when you first arrive is to find areas of heavily impacted soil. You can usually find this type of soil near bodies of water. This sort of soil will provide an even surface for your ground tarp and should be perfect for setting up your tent.

picking the right campsite

Camping etiquette also dictates that you try to leave some distance between your own tent and the tents of others. Nobody wants to feel crowded when they’re out in the wild, so everyone should be respectful of other people’s personal space. Similarly, try not to put your tent in an area that could obstruct or ruin the view of others. Try to be subtle with your spot selection, rather than charging in and putting yourself right in the middle of the action.
Another thing to think about when choosing your spot is to base yourself near water.

It’s great to find a little secluded spot with a beautiful view, but if you don’t have water nearby then you’ll soon find yourself getting dehydrated and frustrated. Water is used by campers for cleaning, cooking and more, so you need to be sure there’s some nearby. There’s no need to set up your tent right on the edge of a lake, as that could be dangerous and may interfere with other campers or animals trying to get a drink, but you should ideally position yourself a few hundred feet away.

One of the biggest issues that nearly every camper has to deal with at one point or another is the bugs. They’re all around us and there’s not much we can do about them, but finding a site with a steady breeze can help to keep pesky mosquitoes away from your tent. Naturally, things like bug repellent will also be helpful. You should also try to position yourself in the shade. This will reduce the chances of sunburn and will also keep your tent safe. Certain types of tent will fade in color if left in the sun for too long. Speaking of the sun, many seasoned campers like to position the head of their tents towards the rising sun in the east. This is a clever little trick to help you rouse from your sleep naturally each morning.


Finding the Right Campsite During Winter Months

So, with the most traditional seasons out of the way, let’s turn our attention to winter. The cold and snowy months can be a great time to get outdoors and get in touch with nature, but there are some special rules and tips to follow if you want to have the best time. First of all, try to set up your tent on large patches of snow. The snow acts as a barrier between yourself and the plants and wildlife beneath. This helps to minimize any potential damage you could do to the environment. You should also make sure to keep your site as clean as possible and don’t leave anything behind when you leave. Things can easily get lost under the snow, so do a thorough check before you go.

It can be a lot of fun to camp in the winter, but you still need to think about your health and body temperature. Getting too cold can be very dangerous. To keep yourself as warm as possible, try and find a spot where the sun will hit your tent in the early morning. That way, you should wake up nice and toasty, rather than freezing. You should also try and camp at higher altitude than normal, as the cold air tends to rest in low areas and valleys. It’s also wise to avoid areas with harsh winds. You can identify these areas by looking at the snow itself. If it appears to be rough and frosted over, rather than soft and powdery, that’s a surefire sign of strong winds.

One extra tip for those cold months is to check the area for any possible avalanche risks. Look at the trees to see if they’ve suffered any damage and scan the area for any buildups of debris. If an area looks dangerous, move somewhere else. Finally, we encourage you to keep your camp as clean as possible, and that goes for every day of the year. It’s important for us all to respect the parts of nature we explore. We do this not only for the local wildlife, but also for other campers who share the same passions and interests as ourselves. If everyone makes a little contribution and treats the world with care, it will last much longer and allow future generations to enjoy their own camping adventures.

About the author

Mike Paris

Mike is the editor of NWT Outfitters and as you may expect, an avid outdoorsman... When Mike isn't logged into the NWT backend, he's camping, climbing, hunting, fishing, or doing some combination of the four.

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