There are a few key elements when selecting and deciding how to build sites for a campground. Having a poorly laid out campground can cause drainage problems with rain water runoff or rising river water. Most modern tents are designed to be light weight and have good ventilation but can be easily damaged by heavy wind and weather. Be mindful of these basic steps when selecting an area to build a campsite.
- Elevation and site preparation. A good campsite will have proper elevation allowing rain water to run away from the base of any camp structure. Particular care should be taken to ensure a campground is located above any possible flood plain. Storm surges and flash floods can swell a seemingly calm body of water with little warning. The site should be clear of brush, sticks, and sharp rocks before any camp shelter is erected.
- Watch out for dangerous conditions. Make sure the campsite is sheltered from prevailing winds and always check overhead for power lines, potential rock slides, or hazardous trees. Always research the local flora and fauna to determine if there are any potential threats such as bears, snakes, or poison ivy.
- Be careful when using fire. Many camp shelters are highly flammable and can be damaged by floating embers from a fire. A fire pit or ring should be used to contain the fire and should be located at least ten feet downwind from any camp shelter. It is also advisable to have water available to extinguish a fire before retiring to a camp shelter.