How To Choose A Campsite on Trek

Trekking and Camping are two words in any one’s mind who is planning to venture out into the mountains for a multi-day activities. Camping is fun and is a very important aspect in any activities in the Himalayas. A good campsite is a prerequisite for a night of quality rest, so it’s important to be deliberate and selective about where you sleep. Here are few tips how To Choose A Campsite on Trek.

 In this article, we will talk about the various factors involved in a campsite selection. 

Image- thetravelmonk


Timing should be your top priority if you are going for Camping. Schedule your day so you arrive at your chosen campsite at least 2 hours before sunset. Do Not trek in Dark.


Safety should be your primary concern when selecting a campsite. Stay away from rock fall and avalanche zone and incoming weather. Do not camp on river bed or other low land area having the fear of a flash flood. Do not camp under a single tall tree as it attracts lightening strike.  Stay away from camping under broken trees,  hanging or landed on other trees.

If camping in a closed cave like structure, check every nook & corner of place with flash light, making sure that there is no presence of any reptile or whatsoever. Best way is to do this is with throwing a stone inside before entering the cave. Once you enter the cave tow every corner with a long stick and a flash light.

Lahesh Cave
Image- Lahesh Cave

As Himalayas are home to many wild animals stay clear of caves which have any leftover of animal carcass or bones because the cave may be home to any wild animal. Choose a place which is well ventilated and far from insect breeding grounds, like waterlogged meadows and stagnant lakes.

Image- Insta@crockroaz_abhi


Try to pitch your camp a bit Off-trail, so you don’t disrupt another backpacker’s wilderness experience. But not much far away too. Your Camp should not be near animal trails or prime habitats, which might lead to an unwanted midnight visitor.

Water Source:

Water source is the most important factor in choosing a campsite. You need water – to drink and to cook food. Always choose a campsite near to clean fresh water source, but camp at a safe distance from the water source avoiding any flash flood condition. Choose a spot at least 200 feet away from water and the trail. Your Camp Should not obstructed path of wildlife to water. Ensure you do not pollute it. Remember not to use the water directly if it is stagnant. Do not go near water stream after dark.

Image- Kareri Lake Trek

Well Drained Area:

Your campsite should not accumulate water. Area should be Dry, because wet ground is more thermally conductive. Its easy to imagine what would happen if it suddenly rains and you find water accumulating beneath your tent and surrounding. Choose a elevated land if available which will drain water quickly. If not, use your tools to cut a drain around your tent to drain out the water. Always try and make camp above flood debris.

Image- Thatharna Trek

Campsite Location:

The location of a campsite is mostly guided by itinerary and choice. What we mean by this factor is the vicinity of your campsite to a Village, river, temples, etc. Decency is to keep your campsite away from these. Camp a bit away from the village and its temples.

Sometimes, a villages does not have a physical temple but a place which is considered pious. You should be well aware of these places. If not, your guide is the best help. Keep your campsites away from the river or the water source in the area. In the Himalayas remember, everything is considered Holy. So do not disrespect the belief by your actions. Keep safety factors in mind while choosing the campsite.

Level Surface:

A level surface is desired, but not always available. Minor leveling can be done using your tools. If you are camping on a snow surface, you need to do a minor beating of the snow to make it flat and hard. Usually, a campsite is marked and designated. So its expected to be level unless you are camping in a new unmarked campsite or less frequently used campsites. However, a well marked campsite can turn out to be in chaos after a natural calamity or a heavy rainfall.  

Image- Campsite in Dhauladhar.

Wind Factor:

Do not camp at the bottom of a valley or canyon, where the air would be coldest and most humid. Anticipate the wind. If it’s gusting, then camp under or next to something—like trees, bushes, or large rocks—that will block wind and reduce radiant heat loss. Usually a campsite should be located in a wind safe area. If you are camping in a gorge, pay particular attention to any changes in weather patterns.

However, its not always possible. In a windy area, always make sure your tents are streamlined to the flow of the wind and is not blocking its flow. The door of your tent should not be facing the wind. If you are unable to find the direction of wind, use a scarf or yours’s Cigarette Smoke for that matter(Note:-Smoking is Injurious to Health). Remember, valley winds change their directions in evening and flows in opposite direction to that of afternoon. If there is a natural huge rock blocking the wind, use it. 

Camping In Winter/in High Altitude Zone with Snow:

Camp either on snow or on bare ground that supports little or no plant growth. Camping on snow reduces your environmental impact to nearly zero. Just avoid areas with animal tracks to avoid disrupting wildlife. Camp higher rather than lower. Cold air tends to collect in valleys.

Consider the wind. Examine the surface of the snow: Does it have a frosty, brittle texture while other spots in the area are soft? This indicates harsh wind patterns. It’s best to look elsewhere for a site. Calculate where the sun might arrive first in the morning. Position your tent where it will receive full-throttle sunshine first thing.

campsites in himalayas
Image- thetravelmonk

Scenic Beauty:

Finally, the scenic beauty come into factor after all the above conditions are assessed properly and all are  fulfilled. Don’t crowd other campers unless positively no other choice exists. Also: Don’t plunk down your tent in a spot that spoils a view that other people came to see. When you enter the wilderness, blend in, don’t barge in.

Image- Insta@rajdeeppaulid


Once you’ve identified a potential spot, lie down to make sure it’s comfortable. If it is, mark the location of your feet and head with small rocks, so you can pitch your shelter over the exact location. If it’s not, try different positions or a different spot.

Given the importance of your campsite to your sleep, it’s worth being fussy. Try to point the head-end of their tents toward the east to catch the sun’s early morning rays. It’s not essential, but it may help nudge you out of the sack in the morning. Keep your site clean. Always look for places where your impact on surroundings can be minimized.


About Author

The Travel Monk


May 24, 2021
Yes you blog is so ture. You are talking about real facts. And good to see this kind of post. I really appreciate you 'THE TRAVEL MONK'
May 25, 2021
Thx Shuvam
sim gill
May 24, 2021
great article. covers all the important points and is a good camping guide for beginners.
May 25, 2021
Yes, thx Sim.
Manoj Chandel
May 24, 2021
Worth full information, Thanks
May 25, 2021
Thx Manoj.
Abhishek Agarwal
May 25, 2021
Great information. Will apply the knowledge next times when I'll be camping somewhere
May 25, 2021
Sure, Abhishek.
Deepika verma
May 25, 2021
July 28, 2022
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