The 5 W’s On Picking A Campsite

You may remember a couple months ago there was a post on How To Pick The Perfect Campsite. While a lot was covered in that post, there is a simple way to break it all down so it is easy to remember the next time you are picking a campsite.

Picking the ideal campsite will not only allow you to have a more enjoyable camping trip, in some instances it could even save your life! It is true, in fact there are some aspects of picking a campsite that you might not have even thought of before.

The 5 W’s on Picking A Campsite:

1. Water

You always want to make sure that you pick a campsite that is close to water. You will want to do this so that when it’s your turn to haul water back to the campsite, you don’t wear yourself out. Plus, if you are camping near water for recreation, camping near the water’s edge will allow you to keep a better eye on the youngsters if they decide to go swimming.

picking a campsite

Make sure that if you are picking a campsite near water that you do set up camp far enough away from the waters edge that if a rain does come during the night that you are above the flood line and don’t get flooded out. Also make sure you are far enough away that any wastes you may have don’t wash back into your water source.

2. Waste

Talking about waste, you will want to make sure that you are picking a campsite that is adequately set up for waste removal. A lot of times, if you are car camping in improved campsites, the campgrounds will actually provide trash canisters for you. If not, make sure to choose a campsite that allows you to easy remove your trash from the campsite and you’re not leave anything behind.

3. Weather

When picking the ideal campsite, weather obviously plays a huge role in choosing which campsite will suite you best. You will want to make sure that you choose a campsite that is as well protected from the weather as possible.

If you are camping during the summer months and you know that it is going to be sunny and hot, try and find a campsite that is shaded but is not blocked off from a breeze. Conversly, if you are camping in the cooler months where a North wind is predominant, make sure to choose a campsite that will offer some break from this wind and give you some protection from the elements.

4. Widowmakers

Remember at the first of this article when it was mentioned that choosing the right campsite could actually save your life….well, this is where that comes in. Without going into the biology too much, when a tree dies, the fibers in the limbs break down and the limbs can break off fairly easily after time. A gust of wind, heavy rain or even too much snow accumulation can cause these limbs to break off and come crashing to the ground.

Suffice it to say, nobody wants themselves or their families in a tent underneath a dead, rotted and heavy branch when they fall. Always pay close attention to your surroundings when choosing your campsite and make sure you are not camping near areas where dead trees are prevalent, or an area where rock-slides could potentially occur.

5. Wildlife

Depending on where you are planning on going camping at, wildlife can be a serious concern. You will want to make sure when choosing your campsite that you will have a way to hang your bear canister or enough room to place your bear proof cooler if you are planning on camping in an area that has a bear population.

On a smaller scale though, even something as small as insuring you’re not camping too close to an ant bed….or even a wasp’s nest for that matter, can make your camping trip a lot easier on yourself!

Get out there and go camping!

On a side note, if you have any great pictures of a recent camping trip or outdoor adventure, tweet us @howtocampout


3 thoughts on “The 5 W’s On Picking A Campsite

  1. I had never thought of the “widowmakers” before. Interesting. Agreed on the ant bed though, that’s a good one to think about.

  2. Widowmakers are the most dangerous things indeed. You might think that it is a good idea to cmp under them, because the tree is going to give you shades, but the truth is that they are very dangerous as you pointed out.

    As far as waste removal I always take care of my business at least 50 meters away from the camp. It is best to dig a hole, just amke sure that you cover it so that nobody will fall into it.