The other day I was talking with one of my grandchildren, who is going camping with his scout troop in a couple of days. We got into a discussion of how to decide where to build your camp. I soon realized that this is a subject I need to address in a bit of depth.
Here a few simple rules that will help you.
- Stay out of low-lying green grassy areas, these will collect water if it rains and the ground may be damp.
- Camp uphill from streams or rivers. This will protect you from flash floods and sudden rises in water levels created by releases from dams.
- Look for protection from wind and storms. A rock overhang is a good example.
- Check the site for poisonous plants, dangers of falling rocks, overhanging branches and animals.
- Stay back from standing water to avoid insects pests like mosquitoes.
- Look for a flat place for your bed and campfire.
- Is there a good source of firewood?
- Check for food sources, edible plants, animals and fish.
- Check for the availability of good water.
- In the winter it will be colder in the bottom of ravines and valleys or near low lying rivers. Camping 20 – 30 feet high can make the difference of several degrees.
In times of trouble if you are hiding from someone you may have to break these rules, but use them when you can to have a safe pleasant camping trip.