There is more to learning about how to start a campground than just clearing the land and putting up a few electric poles. Starting a campground can be a profitable business or the first steps to an Eco-village or commune. Regardless of what the campground will ultimately be used for, there are still basic skills involved in setting it up properly from the start.
To start a campground you will need:
- Electric hookups
- Sewer hookups
- Dump stations
- Shower houses
- Main camp office
- Fire safety stations
- Fire pits
- Decide what sort of campground to start. If you are starting a campsite from scratch then it may be best to start off with a campground that is geared to tent or RV camping. This type of campground requires no cabins and limited buildings. In fact, depending on the guidelines for your area, only a shower and bath house may be required. Before moving forward with the campground it is suggested that you check with the US Forest Service for permits, designated areas, and special guidelines that may apply to the campground.
- Give the campground light. Electrical hookups are a must for many campers. You will need to make sure that each site of the campground has an electrical hookup for powering small appliances or for powering RV campers. Hire a professional electrician to make sure that all electrical outlets and connections meet the standard codes and requirements required for campgrounds.
- Create a place for waste. Dump stations and sewer hookups will need to be in place if you plan on having RV camps or tent camping as the primary business. Dump stations will be a prime necessity for RV campers to dump their tanks. Sewer hookups can also be placed at each RV camp area.
- Keep the customers clean. Build shower houses throughout the campground. You can have simple shower stalls separated by shower curtains or by wood walls. On the opposite side of the showers, inside of the enclosure, you can have toilets for the campers. Remember to install sinks as well and a dry changing area. This will allow campers who are tent camping to be able to clean, dress, and use the bathroom all in one area before returning to camp.
- Fire pits should be offered at each campsite. When you start a campground do not forget the fire. Fire pits can be dug easily with stones borders to keep flames and ashes in a concentrated area. Place grates over the fire pits for cooking. This simple set up will provide campers with a place to stay warm and to cook without having to leave their site. Equip each site or camper with a fire extinguisher and have fire safety sheds nearby for added security.
- Offer campers a few comforts. Keep one cabin or building as a camp office. In the office offer options like a game room, small breakfast area, fireplace, camping essentials in travel size containers, a food bar, and communication room. Make sure the communication room is equipped with phones and Internet. Some campers are business travelers and may need that emergency email or Internet communication. It will appeal to them to have that convenience readily available without having to leave the site.