Camp Site Selection – What makes a good campsite ?
Although camping and outdoor sports activities have gained momentum in recent years, we may encounter bad results if we do not act consciously. In your choice of camp site selection; If you do not pay attention to the issues we mentioned in our blog, you may encounter wild animals such as bears or wolves, flood your tent or face avalanche danger.
While camping, those who wish can prefer special facilities and camping areas, while those who wish can prefer forests, national parks, coastal or mountainous regions where there are no facilities intertwined with wildlife. If you are camping for the first time; In order to be safe, you should prefer special campings and you can easily find solutions to your every need. You can learn about these issues by reading our article titled “Advice for first-time campers”.
Considerations in Camp Site Selection and Tent Setting Methods and Techniques
Camp Site Selection
- Where should I choose my campsite for a nice weekend?
- Which way should the door of my tent face?
- Shadow under that tree. Is it suitable and safe for my tent?
- The view from this hill is magnificent. Is this place not suitable?
Considerations in Camp Site Selection
- It should be close to drinking water.
Preferring places close to drinking water or water sources as camping areas provides convenience in terms of water supply. However, if there is a small and single water source, spring, etc. in the selected area, do not prefer places very close to the source. The spring in question, which can also be an important source of water for the surrounding wildlife, will be a frequent destination for animals that come to drink water at night. It is important for both your own safety and the sustainability of wildlife to set up your camp at a minimum distance of 100-150 meters from the water source in such places.
- Your tent should dominate 2/3 of the area.
Your tent should be positioned to see at least 2/3 of your camping area. In this way, you can notice the animal, person, object, etc., advancing towards your tent much earlier, and take precautions.
However, camping should not be set up in dense forest areas or in bushes. In such places, sudden and close encounters with wildlife can be experienced. In a clear wooded area, you give animals distance and opportunity to see and stay away from your tent.
- The tent should be close to the vehicle or pedestrian path, not above it.
Do not camp on vehicles, footpaths or footpaths. Besides being convenient for your tent camp that you will set up near these lines, you will stay on the routes of wild or domestic animals that learn to use these lines and you may be disturbed at midnight.
- Camps should not be set up on stream beds, even if they are dry against the danger of flooding.
Even if the weather is quite clear and sunny in your area, a rain that will fall somewhere far away can fill the stream bed quickly or suddenly, causing you to be flooded at night, or even to drown and die. STRICTLY STAY AWAY from sandy stream beds, especially with drifted trees and rocks. Because these signs show that there was a flood right here before. With a little attention to the environment, it is easy to see the traces of previous floods and to determine how high the flood water has risen. If you have to camp in this environment, you should camp at a minimum of 4-5 meters above the flood marks.
- Camps should not be set up on rock bottoms against falling stones.
Camping should not be set up near rock walls. Due to the temperature difference between day and night, there are always micro-level cracks in the rocks, and when these cracks come to a level that cannot bear the weight of the rock, the piece breaks and falls down onto your tent. These rock ruptures occur most intensely in the first 1-2 hours following sunrise and sunset.
- Against the risk of lightning, it should not be installed in high open areas, ridges, under a single tree, on sharp rock bottoms, close to the wall in caves.
The highest point will be your tent when you camp in high open areas, and you will be the outdoor attraction for lightning in bad weather. Again, under a single tree in an open area will also be exposed to lightning danger. However, do not set up tents under dried up, sideways trees. There will be a high risk that a tree or branch will fall on your tent at night while you sleep. If it is a mandatory situation, set up a tent in the opposite direction of the tree’s lying direction.
- Camping should not be set up in places that receive a lot of wind.
A big tree may fall on your tent while you sleep, or something blown by the wind from afar may hit your tent, damage it or even harm you.
- Camps should not be set up in places with avalanche danger or in landslide areas in winter.
Definitely avoid camping in avalanche-prone areas. Landslides can occur when soil or rocks are dragged by rain or flood waters. You can spot such places by looking at the slope of the ground, trees that have been dragged along with their roots, and soil and rocks. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, stay away from such places.
Tent Setting Methods and Techniques
- The area where the tent will be set up should be cleaned.
First of all, a clean spot should be chosen that is not too cluttered.
- Pointed objects that could puncture the base of the tent should be removed from the ground.
If there are sharp stones, nails, thorns, etc. in the area where the tent will be set up, the area should be cleaned, removed, and then the tent should be set up in a clean area.
- The door of the tent should face the direction that will not be affected by mountain and valley winds.
The door of the tent should face the direction that will not be affected by the prevailing winds, not the view. Otherwise, when you open the door, the prevailing wind may suddenly fill the tent and cause undesirable results.
- If there is wind, the tent should be fixed to the ground with nails from the corners in the direction of the wind after being laid on the ground.
If the wind is very strong, after putting the backpack inside the leeward side of the tent, the door is closed and the tent is fixed.
- The tent should be fixed to the ground with fixing nails after the fixing corners are stretched (there should be no wrinkles inside the tent).
- In a well-tensioned tent, the outer tent should not touch the inner tent.
It is important for the protection of the air layer to be formed in this area that the outer and inner awnings do not touch each other. This can be achieved with the extra tension threads on the surfaces of the outer layer.
- If possible in high altitude mountains in summer, the tent should be surrounded by stone walls.
The prevailing wind direction or, if possible, covering the entire tent perimeter with a stone wall will provide leeward protection to your tent, reduce the effect of the wind on the tent body, and help maintain the temperature inside the tent.
- If the tent’s fastening ropes do not go into the ground, they should be tied to the stones.
It is also a method to be followed when tent piles do not function and tents are set up on stone, sand or wood ground.
- No fire should be lit inside the tent. The trunk of the tent should not be used to heat food, water, etc. If the weather is too bad to allow a heater in the trunk, the camp stove / heater should be suspended, not placed on the floor.
- The campfire to be lit should be in an area away from the tents. Otherwise, a spark that will jump will damage the tent and may even cause the whole tent to ignite.
- In order to spend the night safely in nature, the camp site should be chosen correctly. The best campground is not the most scenic, but the safest.