You don’t need to spend much money or time to create a campsite that campers will dig. After all, nature does most of the hard work for you, setting the scene.
If you’re considering hosting campers on your land, our advice is to start small and simple. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do just that!
Firstly, there are a few common elements all good campsites require:
Good drainage: A bit of rain shouldn’t dampen spirits, but camping in a puddle is no fun. A spot with good drainage is critical.
Relatively flat and level ground: An incline does not bode well for a good nights sleep, so the flatter and more level the ground, the better. This being said, if your land is uneven, it’s not a deal-breaker. Most travellers have ‘levellers’ for their rig, so just make it clear that they may need them.
Privacy: Whilst not essential, a big part of Youcamp’s appeal compared to commercial campgrounds is privacy. If you’re going to offer multiple campsites, locate them at a good distance from each other, preferably out of view.
Maintenance: The beauty of campsites is they are low-maintenance, but not maintenance-free. If you’ve got a grassy spot (which Youcampers love) keep it mowed.
So, with those points in mind, here are three simple campsites you can create in less than a day.
1. The Drive In
This is the easiest type of site to get started with. All you need is a cleared piece of land safely accessible by a motorhome or vehicle towing a caravan or camper.
Most caravan and motorhome travellers are self-sufficient, with their own toilet and the ability to take all waste with them. They simply want a peaceful place to park with a nice outlook.
The site itself will need to have a good turning circle. The access road will need to be fairly wide, with no tight turns, and no low hanging trees. If the track is difficult to access during wet weather, consider only offering this site during the dryer months, or to experienced 4WDers only.
2. Simple Swag Spot
These are sites that suit swags or tents, for campers who enjoy nights under the stars with minimal setup.
Find a flat clearing of land, around 6m x 6m minimum. This is enough to fit a double swag or a two-man tent, with room to move. Look for a spot protected from the wind, that also makes the most of the natural surrounds; whether it’s looking onto a nice view, near a water source, on a hilltop with a good vantage point, or tucked into a sheltered bush setting.
The site needs to be easily accessible on foot. Bonus if you can park a vehicle there, but not essential. Walk-in, walk-out sites appeal to many adventurous campers!
Often, tent and swag campers don’t have their own toilet, so if you can provide one or access to one nearby, that will help increase interest. If you can’t provide a toilet, no problem. Simply advertise your site for self-contained campers only.
3. Group Site
What’s better than camping? Camping with friends! Group bookings provide great value for hosts, so if you’ve got space, consider a Group Site. These sites have the same criteria as the Drive-In and Simple Swag Spot sites but require much more space. We recommend an area of at least 20m x 20m.
So, find a flat, level area, that is easily accessible and protected from the wind (if possible). More people usually means more noise, so look for an area that is out of earshot from other campsites on your property. It should have space for 4 – 5 tents minimum plus enough room for a communal area. Groups will often want to set up a shared shelter where they can gather together for meals and relaxing. They’ll also want room for everyone to fit around the campfire.
More people means more vehicles, so you’ll also need to plan enough parking space.
Keen to keep going?
Here are several easy-to-make and cheap-to-do additions that will widen the appeal of your basic campsites.
- Provide a designated spot for a campfire. Could be as simple as a circle of rocks. What’s camping without toasted marshmallows and foil-wrapped spuds?
- Consider providing or selling firewood. There’s something special about turning up to camp and having a pile of firewood waiting.
- Allow well-trained dogs. National Parks, along with many commercial caravan parks don’t allow dogs. But many Youcamp sites do! ‘Are you dog-friendly?’ is one of the most common questions we see campers ask.
- Add a picnic table and/or somewhere to sit. Place a few wooden stumps around the campfire area, or get handy with this good lookin’ DIY picnic table from Better Homes and Gardens.
- Provide access to drinking water.
- Local tips and info: No one knows your place better than you, so provide campers with information about local walking trails, fishing spots, swimming holes and other great things to do in the area.
- Provide a toilet. There are several options for setting up a campsite bogger from portable camping units to more permanent composting toilets.
- A shelter, basic camp kitchen and solar lighting are also great additions campers love.
Once you’ve set up your campsite, the next steps are to take photos, set up a free listing and start welcoming bookings! Find out more about hosting campers with Youcamp here or get in touch with our team at [email protected] for more info.