Whether you’re camping in a tent, a tent-trailer, a camper, or an RV, the challenge is finding the perfect campsite.

The criteria for that ideal spot is individual, but there are a few common elements: You want your camping experience to have a minimum impact on the environment, you want to enjoy your surroundings, you want to be safe so that you and your family can relax and rejuvenate and, most of all, you want to have FUN!

TRIP PLANNING

Your first step is trip planning; specifically, you want to first define what kind of experience you’re looking to have. Are you a couple looking for a romantic hideaway? A family looking for a child-friendly campground? RV’ers who want to meet and socialize with others while camping? Every region boasts a diversity of campsites that align with one of these criteria.

You’ll also need to know the regulations in place in your target area. For example, if having a campfire is essential, you don’t want to be disappointed when you reach your destination to find there’s a campfire ban due to forest fire hazard. Finding information like this in advance can be easily accessed on the Internet prior to embarking on your trip.

FIRE BAN UPDATES
British Columbia
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec

And finally, to avoid the added disappointment of the campsite you’ve chosen being full upon your arrival, plan ahead. Perhaps even have a few campgrounds in the same general area picked out, or pay a little extra and make that reservation ahead of time. That way, you’ll be in your relaxed vibe from start to finish.

PROXIMITY TO AMENITIES

If you’re camping with children, you’ll want to be aware of how close your campsite is to the washrooms and designated play area. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time you’ll want to inquire as to whether the campsite has laundry and shower facilities. Do you need cellular service while you’re away? If so, you may want to check the Internet during your trip planning phase and find out if there is Wifi access.

YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Regardless of whether you’re tenting or in a camper, you’ll want your campsite to have some elevation from the surroundings so that if it does rain the water is flowing out of your site, not into it. You’ll want varying tree heights around you, which are helpful for shade, blocking wind, and for privacy. If you’re camping close to a body of water, make sure that you know the tidal patterns – you don’t want to get swept away by the tide while you’re sleeping!

BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING

If you prefer to explore your destination by camping in remote areas, then a local backpackers or campers guide will come in handy. These will have detailed maps with clearly marked trails and recommended camping spots. British Columbia tourism offers guides on line, but your local bookstore or camping store will likely have a selection of printed guides.

When looking for the best backcountry camping sites, again, do your research before departing. Avoid areas known for avalanches and rockslides or areas that have a fire ban.

DO:

  • look for a spot above the high water mark
  • look for natural wind blocks like large boulders and rocky outcroppings or a dense stand of trees
  • give yourself a scenic outlook

DON’T SET UP CAMP:

  • at the base of a cliff where loose or falling rocks could fall from above
  • under leaning trees or trees with dead branches
  • under a lone, tall tree that could attract lightning
  • in marshy areas where mosquitoes thrive

You should also be able to recognize such things as poison ivy plants and keep in mind that rocky areas could have snakes.

Regardless of your final destination, enjoy exploring your corner of this amazing beautiful world.

What are your best tips for finding the perfect campsite? Leave your comments below or join the discussion on our Facebook page!