How to Choose a Great Camp Spot No Matter Where You Go

A group of friends around a campfire in the perfect camp spot.

Choosing the perfect camp spot is one of the most critical parts of a successful camping trip. Whether traveling solo, with a large group, or with small kids, the perfect camp spot will look different based on your plans. Being closer to the restrooms, farther from the water, or deeper into the woods are all things to consider based on your specific situation, but they’re all important. 

Understanding how to choose the perfect campsite can be overwhelming, but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to check out the best camp spot for your trip. Apply this advice whether camping with friends, camping with kids, or camping with pets. Let’s dive in and discover how to choose a great camp spot for your next adventure.

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Check the Size

Ensuring that your campsite is large enough to accommodate your group and equipment size is the first thing you’ll need to check when searching for a great camp spot. If you bring an RV, ensure the driveway is long enough for your rig. Opting for a group site will give you more space and hookups for the larger party if you’re camping in a large group. 

red tent in an open field camp spot beside a mountain range

Be sure you have enough designated space for your equipment, especially when camping with pets and children. Also, check that you’re not creating new paths or damaging the ecosystem by having a campsite that is too small. 

Find a Level Campsite

One of the first and easiest things to vet when deciding on a camp spot is how flat the ground is. Level ground is vital for groups camping with kids. Camping on a flat site with minimal roots and rocks will help to reduce trips and falls for the little ones. Choosing a level camp spot is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Tossing and turning at a 45-degree angle all night isn’t going to be restful for you or your tent mates!

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Stay Away From Water

Although your first instinct might be to choose a campsite next to a lake or river with a view, water-side camp spots are anything but peaceful. Most of the time, if you select a campsite beside a body of water, you’ll have to fight the insects. Horseflies, mosquitos, and deer flies breed in standing water, so be sure you’re far enough back that they’ll be a limited nuisance. 

Whether alone or with others, the best option is to choose a camp spot 200 yards away, or more, from standing water. You’ll be close enough to enjoy the water from that distance, but the bugs will leave you alone too. 

Avoid Game and Hiking Trails

When finding your perfect camp spot, avoid game and hiking trails. Avoiding big game trails is especially critical in bear country. Set up your camp far away from any potential game trails and prevent surprises in the middle of the night.

The same goes for hiking trails. While you might enjoy having a hiking trail close by, the constant foot traffic will eventually become a disturbance. Setting up camp beside hiking trails isn’t conducive for those looking to sleep in a little longer in the mornings. 

Look For Widow Makers

If you’re new to camping or just unfamiliar, the term ‘widow maker’ is a forestry term that describes a tree branch or limb in danger of falling and causing serious harm. In the forest, the most common reason for the fall of a widow maker is strong winds.  It’s crucial before setting up any equipment that you check above you to scan for widow makers. 

camp spot setup with blue cooler

To check for widow makers, you will want to look up and check for any broken or unnatural-looking branches that have snapped off and are suspended in the trees. Instead of sleeping under a tree canopy, you can opt for a small clearing surrounded by forest to give you protection from the elements. 

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Check The Weather Forecast

Weather is a significant factor in finding a great camp spot. While you might prefer to sleep in an open field with only a few trees to cut down on the bugs and critters, an unannounced storm could severely damage your equipment or worse. Look for an area to pitch your tent that has some protection from heavy wind and rain, like large boulders or shrubs. 

Boulders and shrubs also protect from the elements if you plan to camp during a winter camping trip. Huge boulders can keep the heat close to the fire and your campsite, ultimately making it warmer. 

Sun protection is another consideration when looking for the perfect camp spot. If you’re an early riser, the sun may not be an issue, but a shady spot can accommodate everyone’s needs in large groups with many preferences. 

Consider the Facilities

When picking out a great camp spot, consider how close or far the bathroom and shower facilities are. Families camping with kids may choose a site closer to the restroom for quick trips to the potty, but remember that the closer you are to the facilities, the more facility smell you will have. Those with sensitive noses may opt for a camp spot further away from the restrooms. 

Like the restrooms, consider how close or far you want to be from other amenities like Wi-Fi or a pool if your campground has it. Some campgrounds have WiFi in designated areas that are usually more crowded. If you’re looking for more seclusion, pick a camp spot further from popular amenities. 

Find your perfect camp spot with BookOutdoors

BookOutdoors is your resource for finding the perfect camp spot. With a vast selection of professionally managed campsites, you can find your dream getaway with just the click of a button. With no booking or membership fees, you can find camping, glamping, and RV sites in many places! So what are you waiting for? Head to BookOutdoors.com and find your perfect camp spot now!

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