Ever wonder if there are secrets you should know in order to make the most out of your campsite? I thought I’d share some of our favourite tips when it comes to being comfortable on a camping trip.
My family and I are lucky in that we’ve been able to reserve the same site in the same campground for a number of consecutive years. We know the layout of the land, so to speak (we know where all the tree roots are). My husband knows how many tarps it will take to cover our tents. We also know exactly where to pitch our tents for maximum safety, privacy and ease of use.
This won’t always be the case, either but when we don’t get “our” site, there are steps we take:
Clearing the land (within reason).
Technically, you’re not really supposed to pick up sticks and such but when you’re about to lay your tent out, it makes sense to get rid of pine cones, rocks, sticks and any garbage. We all try to leave the site as clean as we can, but those bread ties just get everywhere! The first thing we get the kids to do when we arrive is to clear this stuff from where our sleeping tents will go. It really helps with comfort.
Generally, bring one or two more than you think you need. You may not know if one of your tarps has a hole in it until you set it up. Tarps are great for keeping tents dry if you’re camping in a rainy time. You can’t do much about the humidity and dampness that goes with the rain, but tents aren’t waterproof.
Tarps are not only great for covering your tent(s), they’re perfect to keep firewood dry, and to use as a mat outside of your tent. It can be tough to keep your balance while trying to stay clean and putting your shoes on at the same time.
Yes, those stinky coils made the list because they really DO keep the mosquitoes at bay. I light one up at dusk and place it on the ground, close to where we’re sitting. Since I’ve started doing this on our camping trips, we’ve used less bug repellent and haven’t been bothered by mosquitoes.
Consider placement for privacy.
Campsites have shrunk in the past ten years, but there are still ways to maximize your privacy. You can still make it feel like you’re further away from neighbours than you are. Don’t have tent doors facing public access points or roadways. The use of tarps can help with privacy.
I’m not a fan of having an audience when I cook in the kitchen tent, so we bought an enclosure for our folding gazebo. We hang three sides and keep the front open for ventilation. And, you guessed it, the door to the tent faces inwards to the camp site. The final touch is when we park the Journey beside the kitchen tent, it boxes everything else in and really helps with privacy.
Clothing can make or break the entire trip. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for a couple of weeks before your trip. This will let you know: if there has been enough rain to avoid a fire ban and what kind of temperatures you can expect at night time. If it’s been raining a lot with no signs of clearing up, you know to bring some extra clothes and a rain coat, not to mention rain boots. The same goes if you’re camping in the middle of a heat wave. If all you brought with you are sweatpants and sweatshirts, you’re going to be melting the entire time.
What else have you tried in order to make the most out of your campsite? I’d love to hear your ideas!