How to Find the Ideal Campsite for Your Next Camping Event
There are a few types of camping each with their own set of needs. For instance, if you want peace and quiet, you do not want to camp next to an area of leisure (such as a golf course), a drag strip, or a highway.
I have had the latter two experiences, which I’ll explain later in this post. On the other hand, if you are there to golf and want to be in close proximity to the golf course, you may be willing to put up with the loud industrial mowers they use to mow the green every morning. Likewise, if you come to an NHRA event and want to be within walking distance to the drag strip, you may be willing to be awakened by those darned top fuel cars.
It is all a matter of preference. In this article, I will be giving you ideas to help you in finding your ideal campsite.
The first thing you must do is identify your camping needs. Then, you go about looking for a campsite that will suit these needs. You should learn about the surrounding areas of the campgrounds you are considering using for a certain duration of time. The best way to do this is to call the local tourist office or chamber of commerce in the area you are considering. You could call the campgrounds directly.
However, their information is a little more biased because they want you to come to their campground. Once you have chosen your campground, it is highly recommended that you make a reservation. This will assure that you have a campsite when you get there. This one thing could greatly increase your chances of having an enjoyable camping experience.
Once you have chosen your campground and arrive there, it is time to choose your campsite. Most campgrounds will allow you to drive around and pick your site. Some campsites have flat areas already cleared for your tent. Pay close attention when exploring the campground for these sites. The earlier you arrive, the better choice you have in campsites. They also will let you change your mind, if you find you do not get along with your camping neighbor. They will allow you to move your equipment to another site, but only if there is one available.
I like to camp for many different reasons. Sometimes, I just like the sounds of nature to keep me company. On other occasions, I like to get rowdy with friends. This is the type of camping I do at least once a year. We have a friend that reserves a few campsites close together using her credit card.
A bunch of us pay the $10.00 a day fee at the front office, which gets paid back to her minus the $20 a day for her and her boy friend. We then just get rowdy all weekend long. These campsites are at the very back of the campground, so we do not disturb other campers. The only other people who use these sites are rowdy people like us. It is just one big party.
Back in the last decade, my friends and I used to go to the Virginia Motor Sports Park to watch the NHRA event once a year. There was a campground right next door. You could hear the races from there. However, that is why we were there. We tried to get there as early as possible, so we could select the best campsite available. We did not want to be right next to the drag strip. We also did not want to go to the other end of the campground where we would be too far away. We usually picked a spot in the middle of the campground. At night, it was just like any other camping experience.
I have also camped right off major highways. When I moved to Pennsylvania in 1998, I used to go home to Virginia once a year. My relatives live in Salem and Roanoke. I could have stayed at their houses, but I chose to camp, because I am very independent. There is a campground at Dixie Caverns in Salem, VA.
The entrance is on HWY 11 and it backs to I-81. However, it is very close to my relatives. Remember, choosing a campsite depends on what your needs are. Besides, these roads do not get much traffic late at night (an occasional tractor trailer or two).
When choosing your campsite, it is important that you do not choose one with camping items on it. Just because the site may appear empty, it could be that they have an rv and decided to take it out for the day. In other words, do not step on other peoples toes. That also goes for the wildlife as well. Always respect the wildlife. Remember, they are the hosts and you are their guests.
Camp about 200′ to 300′ from water to avoid being flooded out in case of a torrential downpour. Being close to water during a thunder storm also increases your chances of being struck by lightning. Do not camp under big pine trees because they act as lightning rods. Be sure to keep your food and garbage away from your tent to avoid having your tent ransacked by animals. Do not eat food in your tent. You may get a rude awakening.
Do not camp at the bottom of a cliff. This could be catastrophic if a loose rock falls on your tent, especially if you are in it. Also avoid campsites with leaning trees. These trees may fall on your tent in the event of a wind storm. Make sure you avoid poison ivy.
Your campsite must have good drainage. You do not want your campsite to become a big puddle after a rain.
In short, for the best camping experience, you must find a campsite that fits all your camping needs. Identfy your needs. Inquire about campgrounds in the area in which you plan on camping. When you arrive to your chosen campground, drive around to explore the campground to find your site. Camp and have a good time. I hope this information helps you in your endeavors in finding your ideal campsite.