Ever get to your site only to have music blasting in your ears, loud neighbors staying up till 2am, or animals attacking from all angles?
Turns out, camping is really only as fun as the site you end up getting.
Picking that perfect site away from the crowds but close enough to amenities means competing with tons of other campers who are looking for the same comfort outdoors.
To reserve a site for your next trip you’ll want to learn expert tips on using online booking systems as well as what to do if your site is already booked.
In this article, we’ll share some tips on finding the perfect spot for your needs, what information you’ll need to provide when making your reservation, and how to reserve a campsite like a pro.
Choosing Your Campsites
Picking out a campsite is kind of like choosing your own set of clothes. What fits, looks good on you, feels nice, and matches the quality you expect is typically what you’re going to go with.
Everyone can find a type of campsite that fits their personality.
Not to go all Forest Gump but there are:
- Glamping sites
- Electric sites
- Water sites
- RV sites
- Group sites
- Equestrian sites
- Primitive sites
- And more
Choosing the path of least resistance is the best option when choosing your own campsite. Find one that matches your skill level so you can focus on having a good time and won’t have to worry about outdoor survival skills.
Each campsite will have a different way of booking and a different set of rules.
Some will have an online reservation system while others are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
First-time campers will want to reserve a site ahead of time to avoid any last-minute surprises.
Making A Reservation
Grabbing your perfect site is going to take a little effort on your part. The best sites go quickly and book well ahead in advance.
In 2021, 8.3 million campers took their first night sleeping under the stars according to popular app The Dyrt.
If you want to beat the crowds you’ll have to use a reservation system. Most systems will require you to enter basic information like your name, email address, and other info to start an account but once you enter it in once, you won’t have to enter it in again.
You’ll also have to decide on the type of site you want and how long you plan on staying. Some sites may only allow for a certain amount of days so make sure that matches up with your itinerary.
Luckily, there are a variety of online reservation systems that make it easy for campers to find and book their favorite camping spots.
Organizations like Reserve America, Recreation.gov, and the KOA offer website booking tools that allow visitors to quickly search and reserve campsites in some of the most beautiful natural locations all across the country.
You’ll find public and private camping websites with step-by-step instructions on:
- Checking availability
- Creating an account
- Submitting payment
- Reviewing important rules
- Setting site reminders
They also provide helpful preparation advice like what gear to bring, nearby attractions, activities, and food recommendations.
Some campsite systems will only let you book so far in advance, so your favorite site might not be available.
You can, however, set up a reminder through the site that will automatically email you when the site opens up.
Alternative Camping Options
Dispersed camping is a great option for those who want to get away from the crowds and enjoy nature in peace.
Dispersed camping is free but functions in the grey areas of camping. The concept is essentially an umbrella term for camping in free areas around campgrounds or in areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
One of the best things about dispersed camping is that there are no rules or regulations. You can find a spot that suits your needs and set up camp however you like.
The only downside to dispersed camping is that there are no amenities like showers or toilets, so you’ll need to be prepared to rough it a bit.
But if you’re looking for some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of city life, dispersed camping is definitely the way to go!
Useful Websites and Apps
Knowing the best apps and websites to use for reserving sites will ensure you’re getting the best spots available.
Some of these resources are accessible by mobile device so you can reserve a site from anywhere in the world.
You’ll be able to view photos of your specific site, read reviews of what people think, and find areas to explore nearby.
Plus, you can even filter campsites by electricity, pet-friendly, water, RV, and more.
Here are some of the best online campsite reservation systems to use:
- Reserve America
- Harvest Hosts
- Glamping Hub
- Wander Camp
Pack for Your Reservation
Going on a camping trip doesn’t just require a well-thought-out reservation, you’ve also got to make sure you have all the necessary gear.
Fortunately, there are a lot of modern products available that make it easier than ever to stay comfortable and safe while roughing it in the wilderness.
Before setting out for your campsite, ensure that you pack all the essentials including a tent, sleeping bags, food, and plenty of water.
Moreover, don’t forget about the other supplies that may come in handy such as flashlights, a first aid kit, insect repellent, and sunscreen.
As an added layer of comfort and security, use a camping checklist that will help you remember all your items and make organization a breeze.
By taking the time beforehand to make sure all your camping gear is ready to go, you can set off into nature with peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for whatever comes your way during your outdoor adventure.
Follow the Rules and Regulations
Camping trips should be fun, peaceful experiences for everyone. That’s why it is so important for campers to follow all the rules and regulations of the campsite.
Every site is different but you can expect to follow rules like:
- Respecting quiet hours
- Leaving no trace of your campsite behind
- Swimming in designated swimming areas
- Staying on marked trails while hiking and biking
- Pet regulations for specific sites and trails
Also, all campfires must be attended at all times, with logs kept small and burning only within fire-pit rings or metal containers that are provided.
Following these simple guidelines not only helps create a safe environment but also reduces the potential risk of damaging natural resources or harming other people or wildlife.
By following all the rules and regulations of a campsite, you’ll have an enjoyable experience for everyone now and for generations to come!
Leave the Site How You Arrived, If Not Better
Camping is a wonderful way to get outdoors, explore nature, and appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors.
Yet, it’s important to remember that we must share the natural landscape with other campers.
That’s why it’s essential to always leave nature how you found it, if not cleaner and better.
Even if camping at a private campsite, clean up after yourself and leave the area as close to its original condition as possible.
Dispose of garbage properly, secure containers for water and food away from wild animals, make sure all tents are taken down and pitched properly before leaving, and leave the fire pit clean of any debris.
All of these things can help ensure that the next group of campers will enjoy the same beautiful campsite as you did.
Plus, when everyone takes responsibility for preserving our outdoor spaces, it helps create one giant campfire community.
So be sure to clean up after yourself before heading home from your camping trip – it not only helps take care of our shared spaces but also sets an example for others around us.
Reserving Your Campsite
Reserving a campsite is necessary if you want to grab the best spots in the park. Good weather months always book out well in advance so reserving your site makes sure your family is close enough to activities while still getting some privacy. Use the websites and apps mentioned in this article to easily make an online reservation and set up an automatic reminder if your site is already booked.