7 Tips for Choosing a Campsite from Leave No Trace
Sea to Summit has partnered with Leave No Trace since 2007 and was a founding partner of Leave No Trace Australia in 2009. Leave No Trace provides innovative education, skills and research to help people care for the outdoors.
Picking a good camp spot can help you sleep well and be ready for tomorrow’s adventures.
Whether you’re setting up at an established campsite or deep in the backcountry, here are a few easy tips to help you find a great camping spot from our partner Leave No Trace.
1. Plan ahead
Research the rules and regulations for the area that you plan to visit. Some areas may require a fee or reservation to use while other areas may be closed during certain times of the year.
2. Arrive early
Get your first pick of a campsite by arriving early to your site with enough time and energy to set up before the sun goes down. This will help you find a site that is a good size and fit for your group.
3. Avoid flood zones
Prevent your tent from becoming a swimming pool overnight by picking a well-drained area, far away from flood zones. Look for signs of water flowing through the area like dry creek beds or storm debris. When in doubt, camp on higher ground.
4. Check the area for hazards
Keep yourself and your group safe by checking the area for any natural hazards like standing dead trees or overhanging branches that could fall into your campsite.
5. Use designated campsites
Protect fragile plants and soil by using a designated campsite. Some campsites have tent pads, which are elevated platforms that provide a dry and durable spot. If a designated campsite doesn’t exist, try to set up on a durable surface like rocks, bare ground, or dry grass. Avoid areas where impacts are just beginning to prevent further damage to vegetation.
6. Camp away from water
Leave room for wildlife to access water by camping at least 200 feet or 70 BIG steps away from the water’s edge.
7. Remember, a good campsite is found, not made.
Preserve the area’s natural beauty by leaving things like rocks, sticks and leaf litter where they are—these objects are important for the health of the ecosystem and they keep the site looking beautiful for the next campers.
Now you know everything you need to enjoy your camping trip, have a great night’s sleep and ensure that you Leave No Trace while you’re doing it! For more information on camping or tips and advice on spending time outside, head to Leave No Trace’s website, LNT.org.