There are six especially essential things that you should think about before you want a campsite. These are necessary steps that you can do even if you are in the wilderness. Of course, if you are in a campground, you may not have the option to choose, in which case you would look at the amenities of the campground you are choosing. Likewise, if you are in an emergency, you will want to prioritize. Safety should always be your priority. Everything else will settle into place. If you are safe, you can figure out your options.

Safety

Keep away from places that could fill with water if rains. Choose a location that is not going to attract wild animals. For example, if you see that there are animal tracks or dung near you, do not camp. Unexplored caves should be avoided; you could have an animal hiding for nightfall or be lured by the smell of food. In an emergency, you may want to stay where you can be found easily. That may mean you need to be in an open area so that air rescue can spot you or close to a marked trail that may be searched routinely.

Size

Take into consideration that your camping party will need to set up their tents and start a fire to cook their meals. You may want to consider the ability to hang food on trees to keep animals from reaching it. You’d want to be able to light a fire without concern that your fire could catch a tree or a tent on fire. Leave space around the fire pit to allow people to move around safely. Tents should be spaced far enough apart that they do not impact the integrity of the tents themselves. If the wind blows, you do not want them hitting each other.

Terrain

You want to pay close attention to what you are camping near. Overhead trees can lose branches that could fall on you. Looking at the trees could save you some grief. Do not be too close to hills that could lose rocks on you should an animal pass. You need your tent area to be level. Clear debris from the area so that your tent will not be torn. Of course, you do not want anything under you when you lay down. That would make an extremely uncomfortable night. Making sure you are not in a depression will ensure that you will not wake up in a puddle should it rain heavily. Flash floods can be life-threatening.

Privacy

If you are in a public area that is frequented by campers, you may want to walk around and ensure that you do not have people too close to you. You want to be able to walk away from the camping area to relieve yourself without worrying about who will see you or that you could be contaminating another camping area. There is something to be said about feeling safe in your tent. If you know there is no one around you; you are confident that you are not going to be disturbed while you sleep.

Permission

If you are on public land, you probably already have permission. Just make sure that you check the laws in your area for camping. So areas will be off limits due to mating seasons of animals, weather conditions, or possibly even hunting. Just make sure you know what your borders are and when you cross over to private land. Most areas have strict trespassing laws, get to know them. If you are camping on private property, make sure you have the person that you received permission from documented. It is the camper’s responsibility to make secure any permits needed to camp, hike, fish, and hunt on public land. For your safety, know when hunting is allowed and what type of shooting is permitted.

Water

Unless you are carrying all the water, you will need for your entire camping party, and you will want to have access to water. This can be a stream, river, pond, or even an ocean. You will need buckets or containers to haul water and sanitize any drinking water. You do not want to be right on the water, but close to it. That will minimize the threat of predators who may come to the water to hunt. This will also ensure that you are not going to have flooding issues should water levels rise.

Once you have a secure place to pitch your tent, you can move on to the other necessities of camping. From knowing where you are going to understanding what to do in an emergency, information can help make the difference between a great trip and a disaster. Remember, if some of your party are not ready for camping in a tent you can always search the classifieds for "VW campervan conversions". Always be prepared. Only then can you be sure that you will avoid the mistakes that new campers tend to make.