Bag of potatoes, Found Window, Fabric, Found cardboard box, 2015
Decoding Campground Symbols
curated by Vanessa Kowalski and Frankie Carino
with works by: Anna Helms, Chris Hanke, Brandon Jardine, John Wigmore, Nicholas Gottlund, Terrance Regan, Anthony Cudahy, Albert Samreth, Vanessa Kowalski and Douglas McCollough
You know where you want to go, and what you want to see and do; now it's time to start making those all-important campground reservations. The most convenient way is to book online at a camping reservation website. Simply select the state you want, the nearest city, or even the name of the campground. Easy enough.
Then it can get a little confusing.
In the list of campsites unfamiliar icons and symbols may appear next to each listing: tiny images of dogs, electrical plugs or lightning bolts (some with a number next to them), wheelchairs, and the like.
You may also notice exotic phrases like "primitive," "full hookups," "vault toilet," "loop," "pull through," "driveway surface," "accessible" and others.
Then there's the map of the campground. It shows tiny drawings of tents, trailers and motorhomes; plus someone taking a shower, and water faucets.
Now you start to wonder: What kind of campsite should you get? How far from the lake is it? Will your RV fit? What about water and electricity? Where are the restrooms? Are there restrooms?
The last thing you need is to pull up to a campground with your tow vehicle and 25-foot trailer, only to discover that you accidentally reserved a tent site with no adjacent parking. You've got no shade, no water, no power. Worst of all, there's not enough room for your trailer and your SUV. And there are no other sites available.
The best way to avoid that scenario is to know what you're getting into. Here's a list of campground symbols, and their descriptions, to help ensure you reserve the right spot.