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What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 2:34pm
by graymee
What features would you like to find on a camp site whilst on a cycle tour? Features I'd like to see are:

Value for money - I don't want to pay the same price for me and Mrs Graymee in a 2 person tent that a family of 5 would pay for their caravan with electric hook up occupying 4+ times the area.

Good showers that you don't have to pay extra for.

A basic shelter that you can prepare and cook food in if it's pouring with rain.

Relatively flat, well drained pitch. - I don't like camping in a quagmire.

Please add other cyclist friendly features you think add value to a site.

Re: What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 2:50pm
by johnb
Wi Fi, tables and benches.

Re: What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 5:09pm
by foxyrider
The things that make a good site for me, in no particular order, are

dry grassy pitch - i've spent the night floating in Switzerland and Austria and sleeping on gravel several times
level pitch - one site in Cumbria i almost slid out of the tent!
sensible pricing - I've paid for a pitch big enough for a family frame tent and also been squeezed onto a verge, neither were price appropriate!
clean and working showers - free are best but i don't mind paying if the site is cheap
clean toilets near the pitch - last summer in Denmark i had a good five minute walk to the facilities on one site
quiet - nothing worse than loud music / screaming kids keeping you awake
shop - not essential but nice for treats!
cafe/restaurant - common in europe and saves cooking
location - i've had 25% climbs up mountainsides and remote sites miles down a no destination lane - needs to be accesible to get my 5 star rating
kitchen facilities - more common in the Baltic region but increasingly available in Europe - why struggle on the primus when theres proper stoves and even pots and pans to hand?
dining room / lounge - its lobbing it down and cold, whilst a sit in a pub might be number one an on site lounge is a viable alternative and potential refuge if the weather gets too scary!

My trips can involve a different site each night for anything up to three weeks and whilst you can use sites like ACSI to find sites you do have to take things very much on trust. Most sites will try to find a spot for a man and a bike and i've often paid much less than the advertised pitch price. :D

Re: What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 8:31pm
by Si
No mice.
In the right place.
Reasonable rates.

Re: What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 8:37pm
by Mike Sales
A patch of short, flat grass beside a clear mountain stream, out of sight of the road and as well hidden from other directions as possible.

Re: What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 8:53pm
by Mike Sales
One evening in Essex, at a rural junction, as the light failed, I spotted a weeping willow. The leafy branches concealed a space large enough for my tiny tent. Perfect. I was off, heading for Dover, before anyone was stirring.
On any journey I still have the habit of looking out for such clandestine spots.

Re: What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 9:06pm
by alicej
Aside from wild camping, if we're going to pay for a pitch then I'd like showers in particular because we usually wild camp for a few days so don't get to wash until we stay at a campsite.

After that, in no particular order - separate camping for families so we can go elsewhere and don't have to be woken by screaming at 6am, a cup of tea in the morning, a good real ale pub close by, no midges and friendly staff.

And obviously, I want it to be cheaper for two of us plus bikes to pitch a 2 berth tent than it is for 10 people to pitch a palacial tent with an electricity supply and park their cars. Baffling that so many places don't differentiate.

Re: What makes a good camp site?

Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 11:25pm
by bluemint
toilet, tap, pub within 30 min walk.

Showers are a lovely bonus and I don't mind paying if they're clean and warm. I've been in some places who leave the sheep to cut the grass so they get annoying spiky weeds, which makes finding a decent pitch a bit more tricky. Anything else is a bonus, especially if it's a pub garden table.