Campsite Selection Poll
i was wondering what everyone thought when it came to campsites selection in a couple different situations
1. the valley will be colder temp wise but will the lack of wind offset this
2. the hillside will be warmer but will the wind negate that
3. top of a hill, no wind but basically no shelter
plus i'd like to hear what you are looking for when choosing your campsite
i myself want something close to water, level, and sheltered if possible, this is the "big 3" for me
I vote for "close to water, level and sheltered if possible."
Oh?! That's not an option. :)
Granted round here the 'hilltop' is not that far a walk from the 'valley' but it's windier then all getout up there. Mountains must be a lot different.
As a general rule, I like being close to water too. Unfortunately, it's been so dry here that there's almost zero water in the creek beds anyway, so last weekend I tried the top of a hill. It was a nice change of pace, but as soon as we get enough rain to at least have a few pools in the creek beds, I'll be back to camping closer to my amphibian buddies again. :) I may try a hillside some time this winter. If you find the right spot on the right hillside you can still have shelter from the wind and be far enough up from the valley floor to have a few degrees higher temperature.
A friend of mine tells of doing some anthro work at a rock shelter in the western Ozarks. It was the dead of winter, and generally, quite miserable. Except.
They were amazed to discover that this spot chosen by earlier humans was almost balmy...mid-slope, south facing, high thermal mass. Traveling to and from the site, they dressed appropriately for the season, and once there, worked in shirtsleeves.
location, location, location = water, suitable trees, shelter from wind.
young blood taught me about sites. out of wind and not the lowest. he took me to his site on Spinger, 12/31/08, i will never forget. :)
Depends on the weather. High windy ridges have less bugs if is is warm weather. OTOH there is lightning in a storm. Bottom of the valley is potentially wet. Part way up the hill with a tarp wind block or in a cove when cool. Water always an issue.
we don't need a level spot, we haz hammocks!
KM (who would be interested in seeing that cave-ish spot yesss...)
Level spots are for groundlings! :) One thing I LOVE about hammock camping is that I can go places that are inhospitable to groundlings: rock outcroppings, hillsides, near canyon walls, over cacti or other bramble, etc.
Avoid valleys and low areas because they get cold at night. I like finding great views, if possible. Shelters areas on a hill, or lee side, help avoid rain and wind.
Personal preference too. I think level spots are probably fine for big group hangs, perhaps, when there is a lot of community interaction, but when I'm backpacking, it certainly is not a consideration.