Camping season is apon us! Woohoo! How to find that perfect camping spot? Here are a few ways I find a spot I can be sure I can kick my feet up and purely enjoy.
Camping is different for everyone. There are backpack campers like my daughter. Where you leave your vehicle in a parking lot, load up your backpack and hike in to the forest. She also likes portage camping where you float or paddle to through a maze of rivers, putting up a tent where ever you can. There are many parks in Ontario that are walk in only. Algonquin Park has many different places where you can only get to by backpack camping. A lot of crown land in Ontario has the opportunity for this kind of camping.
Tent camping is also a popular passtime but as you all know I own an RV. My daughter often will invite me along but I tell her, if my van cannot camp there neither can I. Lol.
Along with the different types of camping there is also different types of RV camping. Some people need and want all the amenities. Hydro, water, cable, a home away from home. I know people that love RV parks, where there are just row after row of RV’s. Where you camp also depends how large your RV is. Mine is a Class B campervan so she can fit anywhere a van can, discounting low hanging trees of course, but a Class C that is 40 feet long needs more room to maneuver.
A perfect camping spot is such an individual choice but there are a few tricks that no matter how you like to camp you can find yours.
Google is your Best Friend
If you know exactly where you want to camp or if you are on a roadtrip and are not sure where exactly you will end up that night Google maps is your best friend. It is very user friendly and if you Google the right words into the search bar you can come up with some pretty good spots.
If you know that city you are going to, Google, campgrounds near “the name of the city”. If you are looking for an RV park the same would would apply just change the name of what you are looking for. Being as exact as you can and using as less words as possible will bring the best results.
There are several ways to find what you are looking for while you are on the road. You can search the area that you believe you will be near by nightfall. I will do this about 2 to 3 hours before nightfall, by that time I have a rough idea what area I will be in. It will give me all the campgrounds in that area. Zooming into an area will give you smaller campgrounds or choices of what you have searched.
A lot of time when I am just roadtrippin I really do not have a destination. Since I like odd and interesting things, I will often put that in my search bar. That is how I found Jackson Lake Island in Alabama. Definitely a treasure find and is on my list of places to go back to.
There are also camping websites such as Camping in Ontario that will give you lists of campsites. A stop at a welcome center will also have some great information.
How to find what you need
Now you have the area you plan to stay in and a few campgrounds you think you may like, how do you choose which ones are best suited for you?
My personal preference is to be surrounded by trees or by the water. A somewhat isolated campsite. Hydro (power for my American friends) is nice but not necessary. Cell phone service appreciated but can do without, unless I have a blog to write. Lol. If I choose to stay in a campground the shower and laundry facilities are important but I do not want to be too close, then it becomes a high traffic area. I will gravitate to Provincial or State parks but have stayed at some nice private campgrounds.
Again I go back to Google. If they have a website I will peruse their website and site map. Look at their ammenities list. Do they have firewood you can buy? I do not like or have the room to carry wood so having firewood available on site is important to me. I love a campfire and hotdogs roasted over an open fire is just the best. I will also read reviews from people’s experiences who have stayed there. Google satellite is also a great tool to see the natural surroundings of the campground.
Sometimes you find a gem and not even realize it until you are there. Rainbow Falls in Northern Ontario is always something I wanted to see. They have a campground near the falls but is on the Lake Superior side of Highway 17. I went for the falls but will go back for the campground. When I entered the campground I was greeted by wonderful staff. They let me wander through to pick a site, which most campgrounds will do. It was then I noticed that they had hydro sites on the water. That is highly unusual but welcome. A chance to give everything in my van a good charge including my vacuum because beach sand will tend to move into the van and coffee on the beach in the morning is always a good morning. What a beautiful spot that was.
This was such a nice park I had to stay another day. I went back up to the registration to see if the site was available. Unfortunately it was not, but she said if I could do without the hydro I could have a spot with my own private beach. The site was a little off the beaten path but she thought I would like it. Oh boy was she right. Surrounded by trees with an opening to a small beach. Oh my stars it was perfect.
Sometimes it is all in the Timing
Timing is an important role in campground choosing. Campgrounds get mighty busy even of they are out of the way at certain times of the year. When the kids are out of school it can busy on all days of the week but when they are still in school the weekdays at most campgrounds are pretty quiet. Weekends in the summer can get crazy. There are times that I have been staying at a campground and left for the weekends. Lol.
Staying at what has become one of my most favorite Ontario Provincial Park, just off Highway 101 north of Timmins Kettle Lakes has everything I could want in a campground plus a little more. Even way up north it gets busy on the weekends. I would stay there on the weekdays and go exploring on the weekends. Leaving before it gets busy and coming back to the peace and quiet on Monday. Well except for the wayward woodpecker that chose the metal sign outside my site to peck on for his wake up call. Lol.
Check out my morning wake up call on my YouTube channel. Lol.
The right campground for your individual needs will make or break your gettaway experience. I hope these few little tips will help you find your perfect spot!
Thanks for coming along! See you next week!