Camping: Choosing a Great Campsite!

Factors to Consider

Choosing a great campsite isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Various factors are important to your choice.

  • The season,
  • The weather,
  • The wind direction and strength,
  • What amenities are available in the area you want to use?
  • What do you want to do while camping?  (hiking, fishing, geocaching, exploring, etc.)

Prepare for Unwelcome Visitors!

Taking Stock of the Situation

High on everyone’s list is choosing a scenic spot.  However, high winds and/or damp weather will be more important factors in choosing a site.

Experienced campers recommend a fairly flat area, with some shelter from gusting winds and damp.   Make use of a gully, a clump of bushes or trees, a low wall or even a rain fly — when wind and rain bear down on your site.

In case of rain, make sure that your site is not a low place where rain will settle.  Depending on the weather and your cooking plans, do you need to find a locale near wood?

Water Issues

During hot weather, each person will need 6 quarts of water per day.  Will you be bringing that with you?

In colder weather, 3 quarts of water per person, per day will suffice.  What do you know about the area where you will camp?  Is the water there drinkable?

I recently read an article by a ranger who stated that campers should assume any water source available in America is polluted.

That means you will need to have a way to decontaminate the water:  iodine, a means to boil water or a filtering system.

Make sure your water bottle is safe; once opened, bacteria and mold grow in bottles of water (I’m referring to using bottled water from the grocers) .

Locate your site some distance from a water source, so you do not contaminate it.

Wild Animals

Most animals are happy to scavenge for a free meal.  Raccoons love to show you how fast they can open the snaps on any Igloo container!

Leaving food in the camping area is an open invitation to night-time dining guests.   Go online for directions on constructing a ‘food cache’ — a way to hang your food up high — between 2 trees — at some distance from your sleeping tents.

If you are camping in bear country, be sure to decide on your ‘escape tree’ — a way for you to get away from an over-friendly (or aggravated) bear!

Still want to go camping? 😉


Need a Camping Checklist?  Use ours!


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Published in: on February 1, 2011 at 12:08 am  Comments (1)  
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All I Want for Christmas is … a Tent for my SUV!

When designers decided to turn the concept of a tent upside down, they didn’t stop with trucks. They reasoned that if a truck could contain a tent, so could an SUV, minivan or hatchback!

Talk About Unique! 

Many of the SUV, minivan and hatchback designs allow the tent to be separate or attached to the vehicle. Therefore, you have the convenience of being able to leave the tent in place, while using the vehicle elsewhere.

How Do I Get the Tent Back Into This Tiny Bag? 

Sportz SUV 83000 Tent with Screen Room

Sportz SUV 83000 Tent with Screen Room



One of the biggest complaints from campers is that the tent never fits back into the original storage bag.  Designers were listening and have created unique ways to help people with two left hands successfully navigate the tent back into the bag.

Yeah, But Will it Fit My Vehicle?

Most of these new-generation tents are very specific about the size and model of the vehicles that fit a particular design.

If the information tag includes: “Fits most hatchbacks” — keep looking. That company is not attending enough to the needs of the customer. Great info tags specify exactly the models and years that fit any given tent.

Other Things to Watch

The standard height for SUV tents seems to be between 7 and 8 feet. This height is great for tall campers and creates a sense of spaciousness inside the tent. Don’t shortchange yourself!

Check what the flooring is made of before purchasing. I think the floor takes the most abuse and it should have ‘rip stop’ fabric or some similar treatment to ensure good looks and long lasting comfort.

Warranties are a must with these tents. One-year is the minimum time  a tent should be under warranty. Ninety days simply isn’t enough time to check for manufacturer’s defects.


Dome-to-Go Tents!

Dome-to-Go Tents!


Keep in mind: Generally, tents are water-resistant, not water-proof.

Check the fabric carefully. I think cotton and canvas are poor choices because of the issues of  mildew and condensation. One of the quickest ways to ruin a tent is to put it away wet.  Even Polyester/Titanium fabric (one of the best) is no match for storing a wet tent.

Some Cautions

Remember that your SUV/Truck tents are situated near the fuel source and exhaust pipe of your vehicle. This calls for some extra precautions.

Do not use fuel-powered lanterns or heaters inside these tents. Candles, matches and open flames should not be used inside.

While the tent is installed in/on your vehicle, the vehicle cannot be moved.

These new generation tents attached to vehicles are making camping converts far and wide. Perhaps they are just what you need for your next camping or hunting trip.

Santa, are you listening?


This blog is a companion to my website:

What’s So Great About a Truck Tent?

So Why A Truck Tent?

Tent makers have listened for years to complaints about regular tents.

You know what they are: Uncomfortable sleeping on rocks and debris;   worry over getting wet during a rain shower;  the aggravation of tent poles that never seem to fit together; concern about leaving the truck in one place and camping elsewhere, concern about critters joining sleepers in the tent 🙂 . . . .

What is a Truck Tent?

Tent designers decided to turn the idea of a  tent on its ear!


Camping in a Standard Truck!


Incorporating the best points of  grounded tents, they created new solutions for camping challenges. Truck tents are self-contained units that offer rain protection, excellent ventilation and easy set-up. The poles are color-coded and tents can be operational in 15 minutes, or less.

Sizes to Fit Most Trucks

Along with clever features and ease-of-use, truck tents are available to fit most trucks! Whether your truck has compact short bed, a full size step-side, a Dakota Quad Cab with 5.5′ bed, full size long or short bed, or most any other configuration, there’s a truck tent for you.

Things to Look For in a Truck Tent

Creature comforts are emphasized in tents that are attached to trucks. Check the height of the tent – they can vary widely. If you have a slider window, you may want access into the cab. Some models have this feature.

How is the tent held into place on your truck? Will the hooks used be


A Tent Design for a Compact Truck!

kind to the finish on your truck?

Check for gear pockets and hooking systems that can be used to hang clothes or for lamp placement.  It’s helpful to have reflective zipper pulls for use at night.

Tents that are light (in color) on top offer more interior light in the tent. Conversely, dark topped tents are darker inside the tent – day and night.

What’s Next?

Next time, I’ll show the latest in camping style for folks with an SUV or other vehicle!  This will show the Lexus of camping! ~~~ Need a Camping Checklist? ~~~

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