Finding a good place to sleep is the most important part of a camping trip and these 3 tips for picking a good campsite will make finding one much easier. Ensure that you are just as safe in your tent as you would be at home by using these tips to find the best area to lay out for the night.
- Find Tree Cover
In addition to your tent, having solid overhead tree cover can keep the elements off your head while you sleep. The most important thing is making sure these are healthy trees. Standing dead trees, often called widow makers, are extremely dangerous to sleep under. Weather can blow these down in the middle of the night and you definitely will not wake up from that. Survey all the trees around your prospective campsite and ensure they are alive and healthy. The telltale signs of a dead or dying trees are vertical cracks going up the trunk, missing bark on the trunk, dead or cankered areas of bark, or if underneath the outer layer of bark is brown. Leaning trees can mean that the root system is damaged, and the tree is at risk of falling. Look for dead branches as well as they could seriously injure you if they fall in the night. Tree position is especially important if you are using a hammock for your shelter, so make sure you are picking a good location. The advice about dead trees is especially important for hammock-sleepers, double-check that the tree you are tying onto are healthy.
- Take Note Of Wind Direction
IF you are camping in an area where there are other parties nearby, noting the wind direction can give you a much better night's sleep. Make sure you are upwind of nearby parties so the smoke from their fires is not blowing into your tent all night keeping you from sleeping. This will also come in handy for your own fire. Position your fire downwind from your tent so you aren’t inadvertently smoking yourself out of your shelter. If the wind is especially strong during your trips it can also blow down trees. Set up your campsite upwind from trees that could be blown over during the night to keep yourself safe.
- Find A Site With Lots Of Available Firewood
You will inevitably be making a campfire to keep you warm when the sun goes down so having firewood readily available is imperative. Finding already fallen branches and trees will make getting the wood multitudes easier. If you start planning early enough in the day you can lay out damp wood in the sun so it will e dry by the time you need it. Make sure you have a cutting tool like an ax so you can break up the wood to fit in the firepit you create. Having rocks around to make a barrier for the fire is important too, so scope some out before you start building.
Use these 3 tips to picking a good campsite next time you are in the great outdoors and enjoy a restful night's sleep.