Ahh, the great outdoors! Camping can be a wonderful experience when you want a weekend away with friends or a fun trip with family. However, camping requires a bit of planning to make sure you have a great time free of accidents and emergencies. It's important to make a plan before setting out on your camping trip.
How Close is Water?
Water is a key element of every day and while camping, especially for a multi-day trip. You can bring water from home or enjoy fresh spring water by your campsite. Local watering holes are important for cooking, filtering to drink, and basic hygiene. They’re also good for swimming fun!
You'll want to be close to a water source but not too close in case of rainfall that would cause a sudden flood, or visits from local wildlife that may be bothersome to your campsite. Your site should be a least 200 feet away from water and off the path of fellow hikers and wild animals.
Could Anything Else Be Living There?
You've found what seems like your perfect campsite with fresh water nearby. However, someone or something may be there already. A water source may be inhabited by skunks, bears, and even pesky bugs.
Look to signs such as fresh footprints, droppings, and nests. Wasps make paper nests and can travel 300 to 1000 yards in search of food. You don't want to be stung or put your loved ones in danger. Perhaps it's time to move to a safer place.
Survey the AreaIt's necessary to find a flat area of your campsite to pitch your tent and give you room to move around. You'll want a good terrain for your family to cook and play. Another tip is to consider the location of your campsite. When you're carrying a lot of gear, you'll want to be in good physical shape if there's a trek to your site.
A contour map is a traditional way to find smooth and rugged terrain. Another option is to consult online forums or ask friends for campsite suggestions. Make a list of places you want to see and narrow them down to what looks best for your needs and outdoor skills.
Whether you're camping in the wilderness or at a national park, it's a great idea to plan ahead. Water, food, and safety are the most important elements to think about to ensure a perfect camping trip.