Looking for the best place to set a tent is an important part of camping, as the experience of your trip mainly depends on where you decide to stay, so it is worth choosing such places that will provide you with both comfort and safety.
Almost everyone faces the question of picking a good place to stay for the night, from car camping enthusiasts with a pre-planned route, to a tourist with a heavy backpack on his shoulders, who decided to stop on a mountainside with the advent of darkness, or due to a sharp change in weather.
In the case of a campsite, finding a suitable place is easier, since such areas are already prepared for comfortable living. However, when you go on a trip in nature, then you should pay special attention to choosing the best place.
There are many things to consider when searching for a place where you can stay, such as the terrain, the environment, the weather, and the features of your tent, as it is obvious that finding a suitable place to set a 1 man cold weather tent is much easier than in the case with the same shelter for 5, 8 or 10 people.
Let’s take a look at some of the main things to pay attention to when finding the best place for camping when you are in forests or mountain areas.
Set up your camp before dark
If a possible place to stay was not planned in advance, it is recommended to carry out all the necessary actions before dark, since even the brightest lanterns are often not enough to thoroughly assess the situation, especially when you are in unfamiliar conditions and locations. Usually, it is enough up to 2 hours to make all the preparations and set your tent.
Do not stay far away from roads and routes
When you are searching for a place, keep in mind that it would always be better to set a camp not too far away from roads, which provide you with both convenience and safety during camping. The distance of 100-200 meters (330-650 ft) will be good enough, especially if you have stayed in a forest or mountain area.
Open areas and high grounds are not always the best options
Even though setting up a tent on a hill can help you to avoid flooding, there are some possible risks you may face, that is why such places are not the best choices. In open areas, you will encounter a lack of natural protection from the weather conditions like strong or rapid winds, which means that you will not have a safe place to hide, except your tent, which in such cases must be definitely a well-protected and quality shelter.
Keep a safe distance from rivers, lakes, and any other bodies of water
Rivers and various reservoirs may attract you with their wonderful appearance and sounds, however, once the night has come you can be surprised by the huge number of insects there will be, as well as you can face high humidity, a possible rise in the water level, and suffer from tent condensation, which makes things uncomfortable. Thus, the safe distance between your tent and bodies of water should be 100 meters (330 ft) and more.
Also, it is worth excluding the lowlands as a possible place to stay, as the air is generally cooler here, which also leads to condensation, and the worst part is that in case of heavy rain, you can easily wake up in a puddle.
Avoid areas with a lot of moss and tall vegetation
Pleasant to touch, moss can be fraught with several risks. So it is better to choose a place covered with a layer of fallen leaves instead, as both moss and tall grass hide the real features of the surface on which you may decide to set up the tent, as well as it may significantly complicate the whole process of site preparation.
Moss and tall vegetation can damage the bottom of the tent, hiding some branches, cones, stones, and other irregularities. Also, the excess moisture that moss absorbs like a sponge can cause your gear and clothing to get wet and increase tent condensation as well. Besides that, moss is usually a home for many insects, especially during the dry season. Thus, to make your living in a tent safe and comfortable, it is worth avoiding such areas, and also taking a footprint that would help you to protect your tent from wear and tear, and provide a soft layer under the tent, thus these are good reasons why use a tent footprint is a great idea.
Do not set a camp near deadwood and lone trees
Before setting up your tent, always make sure there are no dangerous dead woods or branches hanging over you, as branches and limbs can easily be broken from trees by a strong gust of wind, which may put your life at risk. Also, do not ignore the possibility of such danger even if there is good and calm weather, as everything can suddenly change.
Another risk is related to lone trees. During stormy weather there is always a chance that lightning can hit that tree, so try to stay away from such.
Picking the best place for camping may take you some time and look boring, especially when you are on a long trip and tired, however, the more attention you would pay when searching for a great place, the more safe, convenient, and pleasant camping experience you will get, so put some efforts to ensure that your camp is in the best place to stay.