The lights in the rest rooms stayed on all night long last summer at Honeyman State Park in Oregon, my very favorite place to camp. The lights were on, but that was the only light that came through the thick forest in which the campground lay. Walking back to our campsite on the dark road in the middle of the night, flashlight in hand, I thought, WHO CHOSE THIS CAMPSITE? That was a rhetorical question, I know my son chose it and he chose it carefully. He studied the map of the campground and found two campsites side-by-side, on a deadend spur road and not on a loop, and not too close to the entrance to the campground. Less traffic on our road, and less noise of cars coming and going. All well and good. But he didn’t look to see the nearest restrooms, which were about a block away, a long walk in the middle of the night. So that is the first question I’ve given him for selecting our campsites for next summer: how far from the rest rooms are they? Noise and traffic I can live with, but not a long walk to the restroom in the middle of the night.
Which leads me to remind you, it’s not too early to start making your campground reservations for next summer. Some parks take reservations as much as six months in advance. If you plan to camp Memorial Day weekend, you’re already a few weeks behind. Popular campgrounds fill up early, and the choicest campsites go fast. Go online, find the campground of your choice, study the map of the campsites, pick one, and make your reservation. Read my book, Camping With Kids, for lots of good tips on making campsite reservations.