Picking the right campsite isn’t always as simple as finding a clear patch of ground and pitching your tent for the night. There can be a lot more that goes into it than just that, including proximity to water, shelter provided from the wind, how flat the surface is, and much more. But don’t take my word for it, as long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka has some thoughts to share on what makes a good campsite as well, and if anyone would know, it would be Andrew.
In a story written for National Geographic, Skurka shares his thoughts on what to look for when selecting a campsite. He says that you should start thinking about where you want to camp each night about halfway through the day. By that point, you’ll know how fast you’re moving and how good you feel, which will impact where you might end up. He also suggests looking on a map for possible locations that will work best, searching not only for flat ground, but avoiding valleys and canyons where temperatures can drop dramatically and humidity can impact comfort. He also recommends avoiding game trails and soggy areas that could be breeding grounds for insects.
After you’ve picked out a general area where you want to stop for the night, Skurka says it is time to start looking for a specific campsite. He says that on his backpacking excursions he likes to look for campsites that are covered in natural materials like pine needles or leaves, as they are more comfortable and warmer. He also keeps an eye out for trees or rocks that can serve as wind block and naturally contoured for sleeping positions. Skurka also reminds us to look for dry ground and and spots that are safely away from potential flooding.
Experienced campers and backpackers may find a lot of this to be common sense, but it is always nice to get a reminder of what to look for as well. Beginners will certainly appreciate the advice that Skurka has to offer, particularly when you consider that he has spent hundreds of nights sleeping in tents throughout his hiking career.
Read the entire story by clicking here.
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