CHECK THE FORECAST Before going on a trip, prepare for the weather of the destination. When you check the weather, do it a week prior to plan ahead. With that in mind, you’ll also want to recheck the forecast a day or two prior to leaving. Nowadays, the weather can change and having that extra time to adjust will make your trip that much better.
CHOOSE THE FLATTEST SURFACE One of the most important factors to consider when looking for that ideal campsite is flat ground. Finding a flat area to set up camp can be the difference between a good night’s sleep and waking up with a broken back. Yes, we are exaggerating so you can get the point. However, if you have ever slept on uneven ground you might be agreeing with us. Once you find a flat area, clear out any debris that can disturb your rest. This can be in the form of rocks, twigs, branches, etc....
AVOID SLOPES Having a flat surface is important but flat surfaces can still pose a threat depending on the location it’s on. If you have found a flat surface upon a mountain, it can easily be mistaken as a safe spot for the view it’s providing. However, keep in mind that if it rains you may be waking up in a puddle of water or worse a possible flash flood. Also, be wary of anything that can fall towards your tent; e.g. rock slides, tree branches. Occasionally you may find yourself settling for a slight slope. If that’s the case, make sure to have your head upward towards the slope. You don’t want to sleep on a slope sideways because you may roll down and damage your tent as well as hurt yourself.
CONSIDER SUN CONTACT Depending on the season you are in, you might want to stay warm or be in a cool area. During hot, clear sky days try to pitch your tent next to a shady area. You don’t want to turn your tent into a sauna. Above all, get familiar with your tents care label. Tents may become damaged by long exposures in the sun. During the colder days of the year. Position your tent in a sunny area to stay warm. Another thing to keep in mind is if the sun is keeping you warm, it is also keeping your environment warm. So, be careful about melting snow and falling objects.
OBSERVE WIND DIRECTION AND AIR TEMPERATURE Is the spot you picked severely exposed to wind? Like stated earlier, depending on what season you are camping in you may want to stay warmer or a little cooler. In the summer, a pleasant breeze removes condensation but in the winter, it can make your night a lot colder. With wind direction also comes air temperature. Remember that air is heated by day and cooled by night. Air becomes denser as it chills; thus, cool air sinks and flows in channels toward lower ground.
PRACTICE LEAVE NO TRACE A simple rule and responsibility to apply when leaving a campsite is “leave no trace.” To summarize: leave natural places you visit the way you found them. For everyone to appreciate natures gifts we have to remember our environmental responsibilities. This means disposing of any artificial waste.