How to pick a camping spot
With SUVs, campers, 6 room tents, many people bring their entire house outdoors. Don’t get me wrong, I way over pack when I car camp. There are things that just make it more enjoyable. I think where I draw the line is the radio.
When I’m outdoors, I want to hear the outdoors. I want to hear peace & quiet, animals, and water flowing. Not one camp site deciding to fill the entire camping ground with their music. The thing about a camp ground is everyone can hear the smallest noise. So, while you might have your radio on low volume, everyone in the campground is now required to listen your music. There is no escape. And when the sun sets at 5:45pm, it’s a long time to the 10pm quiet hours.
For the most part, I haven’t had too many problems with my sites. Maybe it’s luck or maybe I learned what to look for over the years. Just in case it’s not luck, I’m going to share with you a few things I look for when I go camping to get more of that outdoor feeling.
Most camp grounds typically have various amenities available. Such as Full RV hook ups, electric outlets, running water, towels (full bathrooms to composting.)
As my general rule, the more amenities a site has, the more people, kids and party groups you are going find. Well, party groups you find just about anywhere, but in general, the more amenities, the more people.
Back to the question about why do people camp when they bring their whole house. You are still in nature. It’s hard to be mad when you are submerged in the outdoors. Sure, I would prefer you turn off the radio. But sitting outside, next to a fire, with the cricket and stars shining above you, gives you a certain ease and comfort that is hard to find in busy cities…even if you live in a suburb.
Full Hook Ups, including sewer
Most these sites will have RVs so at night, you might hear the hum of their generators, air conditioners/heats, and possibly TVs. RVs also have more room to pack things.
Radios, electric scooters, kids, animals. I saw a guys with a cage of cats outside next to his RV today! Obviously, if you are camping with an RV, you’ll want one of these spots. They are the most expensive camping sites.
Electric and Water Experience
When a site has electricity, I would expect about half the sites, if not more, to have an RV. Now there are a few caveats here. If the campground has a large number of sites will full hook ups, sometimes the electric & water sites are more for tent camping. For electricity, typically each site has a power post near the parking spot with 1 to 2 outlets. Oh yeah…I just remember the sound of the pump for the air mattress. I have been this person. Just remember, if you bring an air mattress, fill it before the sun goes down.
You might see a pop-up camper here and there, but typically these sites will be tents only. An exception would be if the entire campground is water only. Water only & primitive sites are typically the cheapest. Prices depend on the park.
No RVs! Probably very little people because the camp site is not usually in eye sight of your car. That means, anything you want to camp with, you must carry to the site. Every primitive site is a different distance from the parking lot/trail head. Be sure to check how far the site is before you reserve it to ensure you can get all of your stuff there!
Primitive sites are less likely to have kids or large groups of people as well. Also, primitive sites tend to have distance between the sites. Meaning, you likely will not be able to see the camp site next to you.
When to expect kids
Holidays. Any weekend where schools are out the Monday or Friday, the campgrounds will have a lot of kids. And possibly boy scout troops…multiple troops. The holidays are big weekends for the parks. While it would be great to use my day off for camping, I typically try to avoid the holiday weekends. In addition, if you want a campsite during a holiday weekend, you need to reserve it well in advance. Don’t forget President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Easter. Remember to check the school & bank holidays, even if you don’t have kids. Their schedule of holidays might be different than your work.
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