You've chosen where you want to go, and you've picked a campground with the level of amenities that suits your family. Now you need to zero in on your campsite. Sometimes, you're assigned a site, or you get the last one available. But if you have a choice, do a drive-through before settling on a site. Here are some practical considerations:
- Bathrooms. Unless you're in an RV with a bathroom – and even then, if you're in a campground without hookups – proximity to the bathroom is a big question. Be close enough so that you won't have to hike in the middle of the night, but don't end up so close that everybody else traipses through your campsite en route to the facilities.
- Water. If it's a campground where water must be carried from a central location, strike a happy medium. Get close enough so that hauling water isn't too burdensome, but don't camp right at the water source, or you'll be dealing with lots of passersby -- not to mention puddles at your campsite.
- Trash. A site too close to the trash container can be noisy and smelly. In an area with wild animals, the trash box can attract bears, raccoons and other critters, not to mention insects.
- Traffic. Be wary of sites along the campground entrance or exit and near attractions that draw traffic -- especially if you have children.
- Privacy. Choose a site with trees or other natural sheltering features. Avoid camping next to RVs that run noisy generators at night. You may also want to steer clear of sites near group camping areas.