One of the best and most important aspects of camping is the campsite. Choosing the perfect campsite can be tricky, depending on your rig and the type of campsite you’re looking for. You’ll have different requirements and options with Reservable campsites, first-come first-served campgrounds, and boondocking sites.

Choosing the perfect campsite: reserving online

One of the great things about larger state park and national forest campgrounds is that you can reserve a site. Not only does this free you up from the stress of worrying if you’ll find a site (especially these days) it also gives you a chance to look over your campsite options.

When looking over the campground map of available sites, you’ll be able to consider: distance to the showers/bathrooms, to the playground, whether the site is a pull-through or back-in, where in the loop it’s located, and how big (long) the site is. This means you can pull into the campground with confidence knowing the site you’re headed for is just right for you.

In these campgrounds you should really think about what’s important to you. If being as far from the playground as possible is needed, find that site! Hate backing in? Look for available pull-through sites.

Many of these now have water at each site, or at least in multiple places within the campground, so you can easily fill up on your way in, too.

choosing the perfect campsite

First Come-First Served Campgrounds

If at all possible, find a map of the campground before you get there. This may give you an idea of what sort of sites you’re looking for. Here it may be more important to be close to the bathrooms, as many of these sites are further from dump stations than most larger, online-reserve campgrounds. These sites tend to be more primitive, so looking for a level site with enough room to fit your camper will be more important with these sites too.

Often these sites really vary in size from tent-site only to one that will fit you, your travel trailer, and your buddy’s truck camper too.

If you need a larger site, and you don’t feel stressed to find a spot make a few laps around. Check out the views, which sites are closest to the road, or furthest from any big gathering spots, and choose accordingly.


If you’re boondocking, we think the most important thing to look for when choosing the perfect campsite is privacy. Find a site that is away from others, tucked away with plenty of trees and rocks for outdoor bathroom breaks. If there is a running creek nearby and you know you’ll need water (and have the supplies to filter it) you might consider that too.

Look for a level site, away from bogs, to avoid mosquitoes. If you’ve got kids and lots of gear, try to find a place with enough room for everyone to spread out, some sunshine and some shady areas too.

As long as you’re all having fun, is any campsite less than perfect?

Ready to look for a new camper? We’d love to help!