(Hint: Not in 3 feet of snow)
Before you go out on your camping/hiking trip, you pretty much know the general area that you’ll be setting up your campsite in and exploring. You have the terrain mapped out and know the safest places to walk, where to find wild game, where to do the best fishing, where to find edible berries, and also where to set up to avoid dangerous animals. All those things are important, and should always be considered when deciding where the permanent location of your campsite will be.
Another rule is to know where the nearest bodies of water are to your campsite. It may seem like the best thing to be close to a pond or stream, but if you are staying overnight you could end up regretting it. This is because the animals of the area frequently visit natural water sources. If your campsite is right there, and all your food and supplies are left when you go exploring the area, you could end up coming back to a ravaged base with your tent ripped to shreds and food completely gone. Not only do big animals like bears come to the riverside a lot, but there are a lot of insects and bugs that will be near the water as well.
If you set up camp to close to water, the flying insects will aggravate you during the day, and the ground insects will do the same at night when you are trying to rest in your sleeping bag. So, the rule to follow is to set up camp in a location that is high and dry. That simply means to find a spot that is on higher ground. This way you can scan the area easily, and you may be able to see your camp from lower areas as you explore the landscape. Also, if there is an emergency, rescuers will be able to see you a lot easier if you are camping on higher ground.