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How to Choose a Campsite

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Before setting up your tent, remember these six keys to choosing a safe and comfortable campsite.

Safety

Find a site away from low-lying places that could fill with water during a flash flood. Stay away from valleys, canyons and banks of small, shallow rivers. Avoid camping near lone trees, mountaintops, high ridges and other likely lightning targets. Don’t camp near dead or dying trees; the wind could blow them down on you. Higher ground can be dangerous if you see signs of erosion.

Size

Make sure your site is large enough for members of your camping party to set up their tents and cook their meals.

Terrain

Make sure your site has good drainage, natural ground cover and enough sunlight for visibility.

Privacy

Respect the privacy of others. Trees, bushes and the shape of the terrain can screen your camp from trails and neighboring campsites.

Permission

Check ahead of time with public parks, forest and reserves. They can issue any permits you will need. Never camp on private property without permission.

Water

You’ll need plenty of water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Public water supplies are the safest and can be found in most frontcountry campsites. Water from streams, rivers or lakes should be properly treated before use.

9 Comments on How to Choose a Campsite

  1. Scoutmaster Frank // February 13, 2018 at 10:56 am // Reply

    Do not pitch tent under overhanging limbs. My cousin went on a family camping trip. His aunt pitched her tent under some overhanging limbs. One broke off overnight, crushing her. She did not survive. Rare occurrence, but it did happen.

  2. Look for a site that has grassy or dirt/sandy area large enough for your tent to be on, if its rocky you could potentially damage your tent. Also be aware of ground vegetation under your tent. Its no fun to find you’ve accidentally set up on a cactus especially with your bare feet or hands. Shade is often good to have especially in the southern climates.

  3. If another group has a camp already set up, give them plenty of distance.

  4. Camp on durable surfaces, designated sites. Leave no trace.

  5. At LEAST 200 feet from a water source, and 200 feet from the trail.

  6. Shade?

  7. how to set a tent up

  8. another thing is you don’t want to pitch your tent near a fire pit

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