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How to Decide Where to Go Camping

No matter how many times you go camping, deciding where to camp next can be challenging. There are many factors that you need to consider before making a reservation.

With campsites being a hot ticket item lately, you don’t want to put off making reservations very long.

So let’s see how you can decide where to go camping for your next trip.

Campground Options Can Be Overwhelming

There’s no shortage when it comes to possible camping options. When you consider all of the possibilities, it can be overwhelming. The whole process can be rather stressful and causes many to forget why they’re camping in the first place.

It’s important to remember your intentions behind camping. It’s supposed to be a relaxing recreational activity and helps you refresh. While you want to make the most out of every opportunity to go camping, it’s essential to remain calm and flexible.

Camping has become trendy in recent years, and it’s likely going to cause a massive shortage when it comes to finding campsites. Don’t put off making reservations any longer than you have to, or it will severely limit your options. That can be equally as overwhelming.

Woman sitting in camping tent.
Relax in the great outdoors on a camping trip.

How to Decide Where to Go Camping

The saying of “too many chefs in the kitchen” can apply to deciding where to go camping. It’s essential to limit the amount of input you’re getting when planning your next trip.

Here are a handful of things you should consider next. Let’s take a look.

What Kind Of Weather Do You Want?

If you’re not a fan of a particular type of weather in everyday life, there’s a good chance you’re not going to enjoy it while camping. If your RV struggles to stay cool, you’re most likely not going to want to camp in the desert during the warmer months.

The weather can make or break your camping trip. If you’re planning to camp in an unfamiliar area, do a bit of research before booking campsites. Look at the average temperature for the time of year and ensure you have the appropriate gear for staying comfortable.

Pro Tip: Unsure what type of camping is right for you? Check out these 11 Types of Camping before you head out on your next adventure.

What Kind of Environment Appeals to You?

The environment is a crucial element of any camping trip. If you don’t like the idea of having neighbors while camping, then camping in an established campground likely won’t be for you.

Noisy or inconsiderate neighbors can have you running from campgrounds and looking for boondocking or other backcountry camping options.

One great thing about camping styles is that they’re not one-size-fits-all. Just because you have a bad experience in one camping environment doesn’t mean that all future experiences will be the same. 

Three friends sitting around campsite.
Enjoy camping in a group with friends, solo, or with family.

What Is Your Camping Setup?

You can’t avoid considering what your camping setup will be while camping. Some campgrounds design their spaces for a specific type of camping setup. If you’re in a smaller RV or even a camper van, you’re going to have a bit more flexibility when picking sites than someone in a massive Class A.

When deciding where to go camping, you want to make sure your camping setup will work. While there are some incredible places to go tent, car, or van camping, those spots likely won’t be accessible to someone in a Class A or even Class B RV. Trying to force yourself into a campsite typically damages an RV or other property.

How Much Time Do You Have?

Arguably one of the most important factors to consider is how much time you have. If you’re only looking for a weekend adventure, you won’t want to go too far from home. Doing that will cause you to spend too much time driving and not enough time relaxing.

If you’ve got the time to consider an extended trip, you can broaden the radius of potential options to how far you’re willing to drive. When deciding how far you’re willing to drive, it’s also important to consider how long your traveling companions can tolerate riding. You don’t want to start your camping trip off with a long car ride that results in frustrations and cranky attitudes.

Friends sitting around bonfire on a camping trip.
Make some memories on a camping trip you are sure to never forget.

What Activities Do You Want to Do?

Consider what activities you and those traveling with you most enjoy. If it’s summer and you enjoy fishing or swimming, a campground with a lake can be a fantastic option. However, if you enjoy hiking, finding a state park or other campground with plenty of trails for hiking is a solid choice. 

Camping near activities means you’re close to what you want to do and won’t need to waste time driving to and from the activities. So consider the time of year and what activities you’ll want to enjoy during the trip to help you narrow down your options.

Pro Tip: Make sure you have the ultimate camping set up by not forgetting These Essentials When Camping.

What Is Your Budget?

We can all dream of a reality where camping fees don’t matter, and you could book a campsite without worrying about the cost. However, for most campers, that’s just not the case. There are campsites for every budget, so don’t let your budget stop you from camping.

We’ve seen campsites from $0 to $150 and everywhere in between. The tighter your budget, the harder time you’ll have finding sites, especially during peak seasons. So if you’re trying to get the best value, it may be worth considering visiting places during the shoulder seasons (before and after the peak seasons, but before the complete off-season), which is typically when the weather doesn’t cooperate. 

Have Fun Deciding on Your Next Trip

Remember to make the most out of your camping adventures. Planning your relaxing camping trips shouldn’t cause you a tremendous amount of stress. Evaluate your priorities and expectations of your camping trips and start with the most important priorities in a campsite. Like a puzzle, the pieces always seem to fall into place. It may take some patience and flexibility, but the effort is almost always worth it in the end.

What do you look for when selecting your next place to go camping? Tell us in the comments!

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

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