Family Camping- Selecting Your Campsite

Photo: Camping-Quiz by Brooke Duckart

If you enjoy family camping, the following scenerio is very familiar to you.

It’s Friday afternoon at 3pm. The kids have breezed in from school. Backpacks are put away. Snacks are waiting in the car.

“Let’s go! Let’s move people!”

The next 48 minutes are critical. Campers know that the first decision made at the campground is the most important decision of all.

This one decision can make or break your camping trip. Do not take this decision lightly!

Selecting your campsite is a decision which will impact the rest of your camping trip. And seasoned campers know that selecting the optimal campsite is based on more than just luck. Let’s look at some factors in choosing the perfect campsite.

1. Timing is everything. Most campers get to the campground Friday evening. If you wait too late, all the best campsites will be taken.

2. Location, Location, Location. Which location is best? The best location depends on your preferences.

Have kids? Campsites by the playground are prime real estate.
No kids? Campsites AWAY from the playground are favorable.
Traveling with a group? Finding multiple campsites in close proximity to each other is key.
Tent camping? Proximity to the bath house is a consideration.

3. Find the sunshine. Campsites that offer a lot of shade are best for Summer months. In the Winter, look for a campsite in full sun.

4. The Inside Scoop. Insider knowledge is very valuable when selecting a campsite. If you have previously camped at the campground, you probably already have some inside knowledge of which campsite is best. In not, ask a Park Ranger for the scoop.

The inside knowledge is how you know which campsite has a trail beside it, leading down to the river. It’s how you know which campsite has a nice grassy area beside it, making it perfect for throwing a football.

So next time you go camping, use these camping tips, so you can find the perfect campsite. And then, relax. After all, it’s just a campsite!

I’ll see ya by the campfire!


What about you guys? What factors do you consider when choosing a campsite? Do you try to camp in the same campsite or do you like to change it up?

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Tiffany loves tent camping and knows how to bait a hook.

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  1. Michael & Donna Douglas says:

    Timing is everything. We try to get to the campground around lunchtime on Friday. After checking in and grabbing a good site map,we take a ride around the whole place and mark sites that look promising. Then slowly eliminate sites until we find THE place for our camp. Flat…trees around…close to the potty house…no neighbors (yet)…and always close to the lake!

  2. At many of the National Parks campsite selection is done online via an interactive map, complete with thumbnail photos of the actual site. It’s hard to picture all of a site’s virtues or negatives, but I’ve found that it does help emilinate some of the guesswork when selecting a site beforehand at a location for which you may be unfamiliar.

  3. Dianne Edwards says:

    The information you have is excellent….especially about arriving early!! One more consideration campers with kids might consider is the distance to medical care. If you are far away from “civilization” and God forbid an accident occurs, helicopter ambulances are VERY expensive and not always covered by your health insurance.

    Keep up the great work!!!

    • Campy Mom says:

      Great point. And I didn’t know helicopter ambulances weren’t covered by insurance. Yikes!

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