Camping Tips for Setting Up A Great Campsite

6th April 2023

Unplugging from modern life and conveniences can be an adventure. Going camping is the best way to experience how it will be like to live with mother nature. The relaxing greenery and sights to see and things to do can melt away stresses and you don’t even have to spend as much.

It is essential to plan your camping so you will have a pleasurable experience. If you are considering hiking and camping, you should carry a lighter type of tent and bring the necessary tools and gears such as compass and first aid kit. If you are planning on simply pitching your tent on a campground, you can bring a heavier duty tent and more accessories.

Before putting your tent, there are some tips and rules you have to follow to make sure your camping vacation will be a success as well as have little impact on the environment:

1. Selecting the best campsite

  • Comfort- select a campsite that offers the best possible comfort and convenience. However, you have to follow the rules, and each national park has different regulations for campers. Typically, most rules will say that you cannot camp 200 feet from a water source such as a river or a stream. The reason for this regulation is to protect the water source from being contaminated. However, you want to pitch your tent reasonably close enough to a water source so you can fetch some for drinking purposes. 
  • Drainage- Select a spot that is flat and not bumpy. It should have good drainage. Do not select a steep slope because you will slide down as you sleep. It would help if you also avoided a flat campsite because when it rains, the area will get flooded. During rainfall, it is best to camp on higher ground. 
  • Thick vegetation- Choose an area with dense vegetation instead of a meadow. A meadow will look tranquil and inviting, but in case a thunderstorm comes, you don’t want your tent to be the tallest thing in an area. Thicker vegetation will have lots of trees and make for a wilder setting, which is exciting. When you put up your tent, make sure the ground is clear of rock, branches, twigs, anthills, and rodent holes. The ground should be comfortable.

2. Properly setting up a tent

Choose a good camping tent to protect you from the elements. Before setting up your tent, you should put down a waterproof tarp cloth on the ground before fitting the poles together and stretching the tent canvas. A tarp or ground cloth is a shield of protection between the bottom of your tent and stuff that may puncture it. A tarp also keeps condensation and moisture away, so the inside of your tent will remain completely dry.

If it is rainy, you can additionally put a rainfly over your tent to keep moisture and dew from seeping in. And make sure to stake it out properly (Top Tip: standard tent stakes tend to be fairly low quality – try to buy the best tent stakes for the ground you intend to camp on for extra peace of mind).

3. Set up a fire or cooking area

Sitting by the campfire and sharing stories and having a conversation has to be the best part of going camping. However, forest fire risks are a definite reality, and you should set up fire carefully and in accordance with forest park regulations. If you are cooking on camp, most parks permit gas stoves because they have less risk of spreading fire. See if your campsite has designated cooking stations which you can use. It is better to use an existing fire ring than starting a new one. If you have to build your own fire ring, make sure it is several feet away from vegetation and your tent. Make sure the fire is extinguished after you have used it.

4. Store food according to regulations

Most camping parks have animals, and the food you bring can attract these animals. Animals shouldn’t be dependent on humans for food, and the food you bring should be properly stored and sealed to keep animals such as bears and raccoons from stealing it. Bears especially have a very powerful sense of smell and can know the presence of food miles away. Some parks even impose regulations for campers to have bear-proof storage boxes. If you plan on going fishing during your camping, you have to dispose of fish waste properly and far from your camping site.

5. Mark the area for children to play in

If you are bringing your kids to camp, you have to limit the area where they can play and move around. Children can get lost in the woods and stray too far away if you don’t instruct them to stay put near the camp and designate a place for them. Locate a nice area for them to play that is near the tent. The area should be within your view. Mark the area with guide ropes, flags, chairs, or blankets.

6. Leave wet and dirty clothes to dry

During your time camping your clothes can get wet from sweat and rain. You can get muddy from walking through puddles of water on the soil and wet foliage. Have a designated place on camp to hang your wet and dirty clothes to air them out and dry.

Also, consider buying some waterproof army surplus clothes to make the drying process much quicker. 

7. Set up a toilet area

Set up a toilet area away from the camp and any water source. Have shovels ready for individual use, and have a bucket of water for handwashing. Hang some towels on a rope or tree branch. Dig a hole that is at least six inches deep and make sure to have extra soil on the side. Use the shovel to replace the soil that has been used. Have a bag ready for tissue.

8. Keep sleeping and eating areas separate

Much like in your own home, you have to designate an eating area and a sleeping area. The inside of your tent is for sleeping, and it is not recommended that you eat there. Bring camping furniture that is lightweight and easy to fold. Have a table and chair so you can eat comfortably. You may accidentally spill food in the area where you sleep, and the smell of food will attract animals and wildlife. Spilled food will also bring insects such as ants.

Final thoughts

You want to get the best possible experience when camping, and setting up a great campsite is a way to enjoy the wilderness and genuinely have some fun. Keeping everything clean and organized means you will have less impact on the environment and preserve the beauty of the camping grounds. Leave the campsite as you found it and follow the rules and regulations of the park.