What makes for a good campsite? Most of the time its the people you are with that will make or break your trip. However, there are definitely priorities you need to keep in mind when picking a campsite. These tips apply for both RV parking as well as tents and will help you find the best places to camp. If you are looking for RV specific tips, check out how to choose and RV park.
First, make sure you have a level site. Nothing is more annoying than trying to sleep in a camper that isn’t level, or on un-level ground. Sleep with your head below your feet and you’re in for a long night. If you share your bed the problems with uneven surfaces is compounded. A level spot will eliminate these problems.
The second biggest priority when finding the best place to camp is getting to the area early. If you have to pick your site out, you don’t want to do it at night. I can’t count the number of times I spent the time getting setup at night, only to move the next day because (insert random reason here… bad view, bad small, cow poop in campsite.) Show up during the day so you only have to setup once.
Best Places to Camp for Free
There is plenty of free camping between BLM land and some National Parks. You truly have many options as long as you’re willing to dry camp. (See: common RV terms for dry camping definition.) When we take these trips we usually bring along an ATV or Dirt Bike. Some of the most scenic camping ground for your RV or tent sits in our National Parks and on BLM land.
The best places to camp for free can also be found in one of our RV travel apps. This is a great list of apps for any camper, but especially those who like to camp for free. In addition to free camping, you will find the best navigation apps and campground reviews.
Camping for Beginners
The biggest piece of beginner advice is to be patient. Whether you’re backing in your RV, or figuring out how to setup your tent, there will be high stress moments. If you stay relaxed and patient it will also keep those around you relaxed. It makes for a more enjoyable camping experience for everybody.
If you have never camped before you’re going to need an air mattress. Sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag won’t feel good in the morning. I prefer a cheap single mattress that blows up via power and battery. You can check current prices on Amazon here.
After relaxing your way through the stressful time of setup, the second best, and last piece of advice is to get up, get out, and start exploring. Seriously, go meet someone. If you are at an RV park, there are usually good people around. We have met some great people through RVing, and we hope you do too.