While camping is a year-long activity, plenty of people refer to summer time as “the camping season” . School is out and so is the sun – that’s why many parents send their children to summer camp to enjoy nature and have outdoor adventures with their peers.
But if you yourself are planning to go camping on your own this summer, now is the time to make plans! Yes, a lot of campgrounds will be crowded but you can choose spots that are a little more off the grid if you want some R and R. But if you don’t mind having some fellow campers around, think of it as “the more, the merrier!”.
But before we get to the gorgeous summer camping spots you can visit, here are some quick reminders for summer camping:
Disassemble your tent during the day – Every camper knows that the best spot to set up camp when it’s hot is near or under some trees so they can provide you with shade. However, as mentioned, it’s not that easy to get a good camping spot around summer as popular campsites will likely be crowded.
If all the good spots are taken, the best thing you can do is disassemble your tent during the day. When left out under direct sunlight, your tent will absorb the heat and it will feel like a sauna inside. Also, sunlight can damage your fabric’s tent. Once the sun is down, you can assemble your tent again. A lot of work, yes, but you’ll be thankful.
Keep everything open – When you’re not sleeping, open the doors and windows of your tent to let the cool air circulate. If you’re ready for bed, zip them up but consider removing your rainfly.
As you sleep, the hot air moves up your tent and condenses on the rainfly. To allow the heat and moisture to escape, remove your rainfly – just make sure to check the weather forecast first and make sure there isn’t any expected rainfall!
Use warm lighting – Bugs and insects are aplenty during summer, so to help keep them away, use a warmer orange lighting around your tent (it’s not appealing to them as opposed to white light). Don’t forget your bug spray!
Bring a portable fan – Battery-operated fans are a godsend for summer camping. If you’re planning to buy one for your trip, look for a lightweight, quiet and portable one that you can attach to your tent!
Always stay hydrated – This is great advice all year long, but you need it especially during warm weather. Make sure you bring enough water and always have a bottle with you especially if you’re exploring or hiking under the sun. Also, pack your cooler right so your drinks stay cold!
Here are 5 of the top summer camping spots in the USA:
Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay National Park, AK)
© Bob Vila
From the Bartlett Cove Viewing Dock, the free walk-in campgrounds are accessible only by foot (about a 1/4 mile walk) but everything is well worth it! The campgrounds feature a fire pit (with free firewood), bear-proof food storage caches and a warming shelter.
A peaceful spot with amazing views, Glacier Bay National Park is a haven for water lovers – go fishing, kayaking and do other fun water sports. The park also has 3 hiking trails adventurers can explore. But not only that, since the park is mostly water, you can even hear the whales while you sleep!
Reservations are not allowed, but you can call the Visitor Information Center for availability before you arrive.
So if you want to enjoy some cool waters under the warm sun, consider camping in Bartlett Cove!
National Bridges National Monument (Utah)
If you’re planning the trip with family, this is somewhere you might want to consider. The beautiful natural formation was not only declared as a National Monument in 1908, but the park is also considered to be the first International Dark Sky Park – perfect for a fun-filled night of star-gazing.
Getting to the campgrounds requires a short hike (the kind that is fun for kids!) and you’ll experience real outdoors here as there is no electricity or electricity. The 13 campgrounds however feature a tent pad, a fire grill and a picnic table.
There are a number of trails you can explore and beautiful bridges you can come see!
For more information, check out National Bridges National Monument.
North Rim (The Grand Canyon, AZ)
Referred to as the canyon’s best side, the North Rim is a scenic destination that’s great for camping. The campgrounds offer a dumpsite, a water refill station, grill, showers, restrooms and laundry stations. Both tent and RV camping is allowed.
Aside from the breath-taking views, you can also enjoy hiking, biking and even a ride on a mule! Make reservations, though, as the campsites only operate from May 15 to October 31.
Check out more information about North Rim here.
Acadia National Park (Maine)
Camp at Acadia National Park if you’re looking for plenty of outdoor activities to do. For some sightseeing, you can visit the famous Bass Harbor Head Light, Cadillac Mountain, Wild Gardens of Acadia and more.
You can also hike the many available trails, go kayaking and do some bird watching here. The park offers 5 campgrounds both for tent and RV campers with different amenities. Reservations are required.
Check out Acadia National Park to get more information.
Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
© Trip Savvy
A popular California park, Joshua Tree offers a great experience in terms of desert camping. With breath-taking views, the park has 9 campgrounds and a plethora of fun outdoor activity opportunities like hiking, rock climbing, bird-watching, biking and star-gazing (the park is known for beautiful night skies!) They also offer ranger-led programs you can participate in.
Go here if you want more information on Joshua Tree National Park.
Indeed, summer time is a great season to camp because you can enjoy all the outdoor activities without the worry of bad weather. Check out one of the best summer camping spots in the country and start planning your next adventure!
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