Camping season is just around the corner unless you are a serious camper and have been backpacking all winter, in which case you are ready to start researching your next camping experience.
Camping can be a lot of fun and very memorable if you are prepared, have thought about your camping needs, and have researched the camping area online. If you are like me, you want a site that is clean, functional, and meets your camping expectations.
Whether you are young or old, you probably have been camping and have had a good experience or a bad experience, depending on your site choice. Camping sites are all around us; we just have to know what is the best site for what you will be doing, who is coming, and if you have any health issues.
Educating yourself on the ideal camping experience is the best way to have a great trip. In today’s world of internet communication, with a little know how you can find out nearly everything about your site before you put your foot on the ground.
When looking for your perfect site, definitely use a navigational internet program like Google Earth to help you find out more about the area. After narrowing down your area of interest, go onto the camping area’s website.
I also suggest calling the local park ranger or manager of the campground and asking them questions concerning your needs.
For the experienced camper that is going just for one night, then the amount of research does not have to be as detailed. A family camping for the first time needs lots of information if you want the trip to be successful.
Especially if you are camping for a week in a place, you have never been. Make yourself a checklist of questions for your camping site research.
First timer campers
For first-timers, know that when you camp, you have several types of campsite choices: RV sites that are big and have electric and water hook-ups; tent-only sites, some with electric and water and some with just a tent pad, fire pit, and table; and some sites are known as primitive that are just cleared areas sometimes with or without fire pits or tables.
How many people are camping per site? Is it a group or a small family? Find out if there is a limit of people per site and then find out if you can book an adjoining site to fit the rest of the group.
Also, does the camp facility have first come, first serve sites or reservable sites? Camping rates?
Questions to ask yourself
Now that you have narrowed down the campground and the type of site, ask yourself these questions – For tent campers:
- Do I have a tent that is able to withstand storms, rain, and wind?
- Is the tent big enough for all my gear and the number of people going?
- If the tent site is not well shaded, do I have an area I can go for shade?
- If it rains, can I cook where it is dry? Always plan for rain! Unless camping in a dry area of the world!
- What about bugs? Can I escape them?
- If my tent site is not well drained, then will the bottom of my tent stay dry?
- Is there a table at my site?
- What are the campground rules?
- Tent campers must be prepared that if their tent is destroyed for whatever reason, they have a backup place to sleep!
- Are there dead trees endangering my site?
- What of bears and other animals? Do I have a way to protect myself from bear attacks, snakes, and other wild animals?
- Can I carry the tent on my back for hiking? If needed
After reading through all these questions, some people may decide not to bother with tent camping, but tent camping can be very rewarding if you are prepared!