How to Choose the Right Primitive Camping Spot

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Beware of assuming every primitive camping spot is truly primitive. Many are still in crowded locations where you’ll run into other campers, while others lack scenery. When you set out to go primitive camping, we know you are looking for a true outdoor escape. If you use our guidelines, we guarantee you’ll find the perfect spot.

Call Ahead

It never hurts to call the campground or a local ranger to ask about the number of campsites available and how big they are. Sometimes this information is provided online or on a trail guide. The benefit of calling ahead is to find out how crowded the site usually gets, and you can ask about the surroundings. Be sure to ask if you need to bring your own wood for the campfire or if the campground provides wood for campers. People are always willing to help, and giving the campsite a call can provide you with more information than you may have thought to ask. Some campgrounds even require reservations, so it is good to call ahead and let the site know that you are planning on staying.

Arrive Early

Another way to ensure you get the perfect spot is to arrive early enough to scope out your options. You want to find level ground with plenty of shade and space for your gear. Finding a spot on the outskirts will keep you from noisy neighbors. You also want to arrive early so you have plenty of time to set up and save some time for unexpected mishaps. If you arrive early, you can make sure you find a space that is big enough to set up a fire pit. Avoid a clearing or high spot where you are vulnerable to strong winds. Heavy wind can blow your belongings anywhere, as well as blow embers onto your tent. Look for spots with plenty of grass and as few rocks and branches as possible. If it rains, you don’t want to get stuck in the mud! Be mindful of any potential hazards, such as flash floods, rock falls, high tide, or avalanches. Bugs are another possible crisis—watch out for anthills, beehives, and wasps’ nests.

Do Your Research

Research primitive camping sites in the area you are planning on visiting. RootsRated is an overall great site for planning any outdoor activity in a location you’re not familiar with. Simply enter your activity and destination, and you will see a list of options from state parks to trails and natural areas. Each site has recommendations and reviews to help you hear firsthand what the site is like. RootsRated will inform you with details like how far the site is from the city, seasonability, whether the campground is dog friendly, and its difficulty as far as terrain and backpacking trails.

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of DailyBeautyHack.com, and the lifestyle editor at OhMyVeggies.com. When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke

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