Finding A Good Campsite
With summer on its way, it's time to start thinking about road trips, fishing and swimming in mountain lakes, and starry nights spent at campsites far from urban stress. Camping is one of the highlights of summer, and a great camping trip starts with selecting the right campsite. After all, you won't really enjoy your wilderness experience if your campsite is situated on uneven or soggy terrain, in an unsheltered area where high winds might pose problems, or in a location where the view contains a large amount of dead trees. Let's explore some of the ways that you can make your camping trip a peak experience instead of a dreadful dud by finding good campsites.
Look For Level Ground
Although it's unreastic to expect to find perfectly flat ground to pitch your tent, look for the reasonably level ground. Clear away any rocks before you set up your tent, and if the ground is on a slight incline, situate your tent so that your head will be higher than your feet while you sleep. If you're camping in a location where nightime temperatures are chilly, facing the opening of your tent to the east will provide you with the sun's first warm rays when morning comes.
While some people prefer their camping trips to be comprised of warm, sunny days and clear, starlit nights, others actually prefer camping in the rain -- and some just get unlucky. Whichever your preference on this, avoid choosing a low-lying campsite. It may become soggy if the rain persists, and you may even experience an inconvenient flash flood. Go for the highest ground possible.
Picking a spot that's relatively sheltered from the wind is also recommeneded, particularly if you have plans of starting a campfire. Campfire sparks that are carried off by wind are one of the leading causes of forest fires. Check around the area for dead trees or trees with broken or dead limbs -- these pose significant danger even when wind speeds arent high because they're composed of brittle wood that's easily blown down.
You'll also want to locate a campsite that's fairly close to a good water source so that you'll have plenty of water for bathing and cooking. If you are camping along a hiking trail, try to go at least 200 yards from the trail so that you'll have a good degree of privacy.
Don't forget your bear cannister -- that's where you'll store your picnic basket and other food items to keep them safe from Yogi and Booboo. Bear cannisters should always be placed more than 200 feet from your tent.