Given the range of considerations described above, together with the requirements for daily activities at or near campgrounds, their design is a complex task. The layout should try to fit the desired number of camping or caravan pitches and the best vehicular and pedestrian circulation (separated if possible) into the landscape while accommodating the wide range of additional structures needed. Different landscapes will offer different possibilities, so a thorough survey is needed to establish the main features and limiting factors before design is undertaken:
Considerations for pedestrian
circulation at campgrounds:
(a) Loops arranged at right – angles to an attraction such as a lake enable people to use the roads without crossing through campsites... >
Buildings with toilets and showers in single-sex sections with a laundry room attached may also be provided. The design and layout can be based on some of the toilet designs, modified as necessary. Laundry facilities may be restricted to hand washing, or may include coin-operated washing machines. The latter may be appropriate if people are staying for any
length of time and there are no alternative facilities within easy travelling distance of the site.
In many places where the weather can be unpredictable, a hall or community building can be provided to give campers a chance to keep warm and dry, to cook under a shelter or to meet other people... >
It may be necessary to provide a range of facilities at campsites. The level and type of provision will depend on the character of the campsite, the type of users it is aimed at, and its robustness. This may be related to the ROS, to national, state, provincial or local regulations concerning public health and fire safety, and the demand for various activities by the users.
Most campsites for tents should be provided with toilet facilities. The type and the amount of provision should follow the same concepts and specifications as those described for toilet provision at day-use sites in Chapter 6. Any of the types described will suffice, depending on the size of the site... >
In North America it is more common to disperse the camping around a site into individual or sometimes dual or family units well separated from their neighbours. A short spur is made off the loop access road, into which the trailer, motor home or car can be reversed. An area next to this is laid out as an open area equipped with a fireplace and table.
The setting for many but not all of these sites is forest or woodland, providing a strong sense of enclosure, screening from neighbours, increased privacy and reduced fire risk. Some sites are zoned into tent or trailer/RV areas. In the tent zones there are car spurs next to a prepared area that is level, well drained and smooth on which to pitch a tent... >
Observation of established campgrounds in various countries and locations suggests that there are different varieties of layout to suit different user groups. Sites can be designed to cater for one group or be varied so as to offer different settings to suit different preferences.
Open sites with free or flexible access
In much of Europe, especially Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, more open campgrounds often seem to be preferred. The populations of these countries are high, space is at a premium, distances to sites are not great, wild or remote places are relatively rare, and more gregarious layouts seem to be acceptable. In Britain and the Netherlands, where woodland cover is quite low, open sites frequently cannot be avoided.
It is typical for a site to be laid out with an... >
Staying overnight in a wild, remote and scenic place offers a rather different experience from staying in a motel, hotel or bed and breakfast. Sometimes the discomforts associated with some forms of camping can be so acute—burnt and smoky food, biting insects, inadequate washing facilities, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements—that the experience of the outdoors must far outweigh these and the perception
of home comforts available in more usual overnight accommodation.
Hence there are two key elements to the overnight experience. One is the level of home comforts to be provided, and the other is the quality of the setting and the atmosphere and its enjoyment.
Home comforts can increase with the type of accommodation available, but there can be a consequent reduction in the quality of s... >
As well as bringing people to the wildlife it is possible to bring wildlife to the people. Areas can be developed into open glades, wetlands or ponds that attract deer, birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Such areas should be designed not just to provide good habitat but also to look as natural as possible.
Open glades in a forest, where sunny edge habitat, good quality forage, water and mineral licks are provided, can attract shy creatures such as deer regularly enough so that visitors have a high probability of seeing them. The edge design of such glades, their shape, size and the impact of management activities should be carefully considered. Irregularly shaped areas where the open space tends to be in the hollows among landform will often look more natural... >
One of the best ways to identify and observe wildlife is from a hide where the approach is camouflaged
and from which a good, clear view can be obtained. Benches to sit on, an aperture to look through, and the knowledge that the animals or birds are undisturbed by the human presence—all add to the enjoyment.
Many organizations have developed facilities to enable visitors to observe wildlife in this way. Occasionally the observation is also used to protect rare species, especially birds, during the nesting season. Thus visitors appreciate the sight of birds feeding their young and understand something of the need to protect them from egg thieves or unscrupulous hunters.
As with any facility, places for wildlife observation will need some design consideration and input... >
One of the most exciting aspects of visiting the outdoors for many people is seeing wildlife, especially unusual or large mammals and birds. Sometimes driving along roads provides opportunities, as some animals use the verges to graze, or they cross roads en route from one place to another, and do not seem to be disturbed by the presence of vehicles. Birds of prey can be observed hunting along road edges for small mammals, taking carrion in the form of road kills and using utility poles and wires as perches.
Often road traffic hits and kills wildlife while large animals such as deer can inflict damage to vehicles and injury to passengers... >
One of the simplest and most effective forms of boat launch is a sloped ramp descending at a shallow angle into the water. Boat trailers are reversed down this, and the boat is slid by hand or let down by cable under its own weight into the water. It can then be moved to a jetty nearby, where passengers can board and supplies are loaded. The trailer and the towing vehicle are then moved to nearby parking, which does not intrude upon the water setting.
Launch ramps can be constructed from:
– poured concrete, which is prone to cracking, especially in areas where severe winter temperatures are likely. If damaged it is difficult to repair. It can also look most urban and too finished for wilder locations... >