Five-star backpacking campsites

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Five-star campsites || Part 1: Intro, regs, planning, zones & spots

By Andrew Skurka / September 15, 2016 / 16 Comments

Campsites are not created equal. Where possible, I seek out locations that are relatively warm, dry, private, aesthetic, and free of bugs, rodents, and bears — “five-star campsites,” I call them. A high quality campsite makes a difference: It is more conducive to a night of quality sleep, and It enhances my backcountry experience. Sadly,…

Five-star campsites || Part 2: Ideal features of camping zones

By Andrew Skurka / September 17, 2016 / 10 Comments

Recall from Part 1 that I assess backpacking campsites on two levels: zones and spots. The zone-level features of a five-star campsite never change. But spot-level features depend on whether I am sleeping on the ground or in a hammock. In this post I will discuss zone-level features. Safety This one should be obvious, but it’s…

Five-star campsites || Part 3: Ideal features of camping spots, plus Tradeoffs

By Andrew Skurka / September 17, 2016 / 4 Comments

In Part 2 of this series I discussed the ideal features of a camping zone, which is a general area like a creek valley or lake basin. For example, I seek out locations that will be forested and that aren’t in the bottom of a drainage. Once I have arrived in a camping zone, I…

Five-star campsites || Part 4: Four examples of classically bad campsites

By Andrew Skurka / September 17, 2016 / 5 Comments

In the previous two posts I discussed the ideal features of backpacking campsites, on both a zone- and spot-level. There are many of them, probably too many to remember. So in this final installment I will discuss four classically bad campsites. Despite having multiple and severe problems, I regularly see backpackers camping in these types of locations. If…