Calgary Accommodation: Choosing a Campground
Camping is a lot of fun, lets you spend time in this country's Great Outdoors, and can save you a lot of money compared to travelling and staying in hotels. There are a number of features you should consider when choosing a campground.
Typically if you are tenting, you want a grassy or sandy area underneath your tent but a paved or gravel place to park your vehicle. If you are RVing or camping in a tent-trailer, you prefer a paved pad for both your camper and vehicle. You may also need to consider the size of campground to ensure adequate room for your RV and secondary (towed in transit) vehicle.
You can choose a campground based on the degree of rustic-ness or level of civilization. At the "rustic" level the range goes from campgrounds with no roads you have to hike to (leave your RV behind!), to those with unfinished or very rough surfaces for tent, camper and RV. In the adequate level campgrounds can range from those with minimal services (showers and pit toilets), to those with electricity & running water. The full-featured campgrounds provide campsites with electricity, water and sewage (even telephone and internet) right at the campsite, and have pull-through/drive-through sites, sewage dumpsite and propane tank refill stations.
Another criteria for campground selection is the recreation. Some campgrounds are located near major attractions, while others provide a number of recreational features for their guests. Some campgrounds have beaches or pools for swimming, river or lake access for boating, and some even provide boats and other equipment (some for free and some for rent). Those traveling with children may want to choose campgrounds with playgrounds, shuffleboard, sports fields, and indoor arcade/playrooms for rainy days. Some campgrounds in nature settings have ready access to hiking trails. Some campground brands (KOA and Flintstones come to mind) have set standards for on-campground recreational facilities.
Some people may choose their campground based on location. Some campgrounds are close to town, some are even accessible to public transit. Other campgrounds are close to major highways, making them both easy to find and minimize your total travel time if you are camping enroute to a final destination. Other campgrounds are chosen for their proximity to other attractions, recreational features, or bodies of water.
Lastly, some campgrounds allow or disallow certain things, which may impact whether or not you wish to stay there. Some grounds welcome pets, while others prohibit them, and some may allow them based on criteria (how big, how loud, or how well trained). Some campgrounds prohibit either radios (particularly in nature/wilderness settings) and others are alcohol free (to keep away the rowdy partying set). Today, several campgrounds have made all of their facilities, including bathrooms, showers and recreational facilities handicapped accessible. Some campgrounds on lakes or rivers may have a motor-free policy for boating. We have noted any special constraints or features to help with campground selection.