Setting up a Campsite – Electrical

Power was the first thing we needed at the 40 acre woods.  Without the power we could not run the well we needed for water.

Contacting the local power company I found that I needed to go to the courthouse and get an official 911 address for the 40 acre woods and a permit to install a power pole.  The pole must be inspected by the county before the power company would run power to the pole.

Getting the power pole and installing it was up to me.  I found a local lumber yard that had the poles with the hardware installed and purchased the pole.  They helped me load the 20 foot pole into the back of my pick up truck.

Then came the tough part.  This pole weighed several hundred pounds, it was all I could do to drag it out of the back of the pickup truck.  I had to dig a hole six feet deep and get the pole into the hole.

It took a lot of work with a post hole digger and a shovel to get the proper depth.  I then used the shovel to dig an angled ramp down one side of the hole to drop the pole in.  This allowed me to get the end of the pole started down into the hole and lower the amount of weight I needed to pick up when my wife and I walked it up into place.  There were moments in this process that we were both afraid it was going to squash us, but we just kept pushing and walking until it fell into place.

Once in place I could fill the hole back in, install the grounding rod and call for the inspection.  I later rented a trencher and ran the power underground from the pole back into the camp and to the well site.  I just don’t like to look at power lines and I did not want an easement cut through my trees.

I used #10 copper wire, in conduit and buried it 2 to 3 feet deep from the pole to the camp.  That made sure I had enough power and that it was well protected.

By doing a majority of the work myself and minimizing the distance I needed to pay the power company to run a line from the pole across the road to my pole, I was able to do this project for around $1,500.

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