The First Time Camper – Top Travel Tips

With summer comes the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the long warm days and the cool crisp nights. It’s a time to leave the confines of the city and head to seclusion of the wild. Leaving your cares and worries behind, so you can simply relax and in turn, relax simply. It’s time to go camping.

So, let’s be honest, for some people the mere thought of camping is far from a vacation. To others, however, it’s a great escape; a chance to spend time outdoors and to reconnect with the spirit of nature. Now, if you’re a first time camper it is important for you understand a few things up front. Unlike staying in a traditional hotel or condo, you have to differentiate between essential items to pack and those that are more luxurious and probably not needed. For example: will you be staying in place that has cell phone service or Wi-Fi? Do you need an entire make-up bag or can you get by with just a few basic items? Most importantly, how do you plan to stay warm, dry, and fed during your camping trip? The key to safe and successful camping is knowing what necessities to bring with you and what to leave behind.

Your needs may be very different depending on the type of camping you plan on doing. If you are camping in a rustic cabin, tent camping at a campground, or hiking into the woods and pitching a tent they will all call for varying items. Since it is a good idea to have some camping experience under your belt before you go off deep into the woods, your best bet is to start by reserving a campsite at a campground. Even then, there are some important thing to consider when packing for your trip.

Utilities

Before you even start to make a list of items to pack, be sure to find out if the campground has available utilities. If they do not provide electricity, for example, then bringing that plug in cappuccino machine won’t be of much use. Alternatively, you can bring battery operated equipment, but be sure to take additional batteries. If the campground offers running water and hot showers, then you don’t have to worry about taking gallons of water to weigh you down. Finally, find out if there is a grill or fire pit provided so you can plan on how you will be cooking your meals. Getting this information ahead of time will go a long way in avoiding unneeded frustration later.

Weather- Plan for Rain

As much as we would all like to think that our trip will be rain free and that weather forecasting is a perfect science, the fact is, it is always best to plane for the worst. This means planning for both rain and sunshine alike. There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, only to find the floor of your tent soaking wet. So regardless of the forecast, place a tarp or large piece of plastic under your tent to help keep you dry. Also, be sure to have plenty of seam sealer and duct tape, just in case you spring a leak… or two.

While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to also pack some ponchos, raincoats, or umbrellas as well. These items can help you stay dry so that you can still enjoy your activities even when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate. I always like to bring additional socks with me, too. Since there is no clothes dryer nearby, it is pretty miserable to have to go around with wet feet. These items don’t take up much room, so they’re worth adding to your list to pack.

Protect Your Skin

While it can be fun soaking up the warmth of the hot sun, it’s no so fun getting a nasty sunburn. The sun can be deceiving, so make sure to bring sunscreen with a high enough SPF level to keep your skin protected. Generally, this is going to be a SPF of 30 or higher and I tend to prefer the type that won’t run with sweat. Be mindful of younger children, the elderly, and those with fair skin may need a stronger version. Having a hat with a visor to wear while you are out walking, by the lake, or on the water will add an additional layer of protection during those unexpected heat waves.

Protect Yourself from Insects

Regardless where you camp, a few different kinds of insects will probably cross your path. Bring at least one can of insect repellent with you on your trip. You will most likely enjoy the outdoors a lot more if you’re not spending all of your time swatting away pesky pests. That being said, be sure to check your clothes for any insects that might be hiding in there.

Thick Layers

Because warm days can quickly turn to chilly nights, you will want to pack for all occasions. Go ahead and throw a swim suit in your bag, but you will also want to pack a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and a sweatshirt. If you are camping in a warm climate you may not be concerned about the chilly nights, but it is still important to think ahead, consider weather patterns, and pack accordingly. Bottom line; it is always better to peel layers off than to wish you had brought warmer clothing.

Food

One of the greatest things about camping is being able to experiment with cooking. Whatever you decide to cook on your trip, also consider the essential tools to make the process easier. Tinfoil works wonders when cooking vegetables, for example, and don’t forget to bring a spatula or grilling fork if you’re cooking meat. As much as you might like to only pack paper plates and plastic utensils, you will not be very happy when your plastic fork melts while flipping steaks over the campfire. This doesn’t mean you have to pack the whole kitchen (after all the goal is to pack light), but you will want a few multipurpose tools to make your cooking experience a little easier. Finally, if you are packing meats, condiments, or dairy products, be sure to have large enough cooler that will maintain temperature during your trip. Remember, depending on where you are staying, ice may not be readily accessible. You don’t want your food to spoil before it can be eaten.

Planning for a camping trip may seem like a lot of work, but planning ahead and ridding your packing list of unnecessary items can help simplify the process. When all is said and done, the most important things to consider are your basic fundamental needs: food and water, shelter, clothing, and safety. Everything else is optional and can only add to the enjoyment of your camping experience.

Camping is an opportunity to reconnect with nature, enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, and experience a different way of life. Enjoy the essence of camping by leaving a few luxuries behind and getting away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine. By keeping it simple and planning ahead, camping can be a fun and stress free way to enjoy the great outdoors while spending quality time with friends and family.

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Categories of Camping Tents

Before you could certainly proceed on your future adventure for holiday or vacation to the famous outdoors you ought to ensure that you have all the suitable camping gear to make the special occasion remarkable and memorable. Going camping is a stupendous encounter as well as the one that is embraced by individuals of various age groups. Being perfectly equipped will allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventure.

Regardless of whether you are venturing into the great outdoors or staying at a structured campground, an appropriate camping tent needs to be at the very top of the checklist. They come in a dizzying range of models, designs, and sizes. It’s extremely important you ultimately choose a camping tent that is designed to have capacity for the number of individuals who are planning to doze off under the roof. In some cases it might be more comfortable to have multiple tents which also allows for additional storage space.

You should consider using a tent pad which is made of a strong suitable material that will prolong the life of your tent. The tent pad should be smaller than the tent footprint to prevent water running inside. Try and avoid walking with shoes and heavy hiking boots on inside the tent because it damages the tent pad and tent floor.

Prior to starting your hunt for the perfect tent, have an idea what amount you’re willing to invest. Also consider the environment you plan on camping in as well. Tents with good tent pads and a footprint will give the best service to its user. The end results will be impressing with or without rain.

Camping tents are categorized by using three ratings: three season tent, four season tent, and all season tent. The three season camping tent is ideal for spring, summer and fall. They can hold up in moderate weather including light snow, rain and the wind. These tents most often have mesh panels for ventilation as well.

The four season tent is ideal for extremely chilly temperatures, heavy snow and strong winds. The four season tents are made of thicker, and more durable fabric which make them weigh more also. Something you will need to consider if you are backpacking.

Apart from the periodic classification, you will find backpacking tents and ordinary tents. Backpacking tents are easily portable which makes them fast and easy to set-up. The largest sized backpacking tent I would suggest is probably a three man tent. This could certainly give two individuals sufficient room for sleeping and storage as opposed to having a larger one which might be too heavy to carry in your backpack.

What’s the most appropriate dimensions of a camping tent (not a backpacking tent)

The size and weight of a camping tent doesn’t really make a difference, as long as you’re capable to carry it from your car or truck to the camping area and it accommodates in your vehicle along with all of your other camping supplies. Camping tent capacity is founded on the number of individuals who can comfortably doze off inside the tent. Take for example, a standard two man tent will fit in two individuals and most likely have very little space for storage. A reputable principle is to always purchase a camping tent which holds a capacity rating of two people in excess of the

number that will be utilizing it. This will create additional space to extend a bit and store your gear equally.

In the event that you’re carrying out family camping, the multi-room tents operate awesome. Multi-room tents are available in 2-room fashions, where the accommodations are segregated by an inside camping tent wall with a zippered doorway. The 3-room model has the two rooms, as well as an additional screen room, which is perfect for storage and for changing clothes, playing games, etc. Family cabin tents are perfect when you have small children.

More features to lookout for are:

A rain-fly to keep the rainwater off

Folded seams and even double stitching to help keep the rain out

A waterproof tub surface also keeps water out

No-see-um meshing to keep insects away

Strong zippers that withstand with constant utilization

When it rains while you are camping or perhaps your camping tent is moist once you strike camp, you should layout the tent in the yard to air-dry it out whenever you get home. This assists protection against mildew together with fungus. Clean and dry tents promote good health to the user.

Camping In Europe – Discover The Pros And Cons Of Camping Abroad

If you wish to go on a foreign holiday but do want the high cost of staying in a hotel or resort then camping abroad or camping in Europe especially could be for you. You can enjoy many different experiences that you would not normally be able to take part in if you had your camping trip in the UK.

In France there are hundreds of rural campsites where you can stay at, anywhere from a vineyard to a cheese makers. Some European campsites are huge in size, some sites in Italy literally have several thousand pitches available. This form of camping has really taken off in Europe and is now popular in countries such as Croatia.

The larger campsites found in France are often based in large coastal towns and can offer the camper exotic swimming pools, fine dining and supermarket shopping. Alas there are drawbacks. The downside is that on the plus side you will get a lovely sunny holiday but on the downside due to this climate many sites are totally devoid of any grass in the high season. Shade is hard to come by, and European campsites do pack the people in very tightly. There is often no more than a metre separating you from the next family in their tent. In the UK it is governed by law that you have to allow at least six metres between each tent.

Try not to let these pints put you off; a foreign camping experience will be a memorable experience. If you are a member of the Camping and Caravanning Club then they have a foreign travel service which you can utilise to book it all for you, as the prospect of finding one of the many thousands of campsites in Europe can seem a bit daunting. They provide you with a European camping package including ferry crossings, travel insurance, roadside recovery, pitches and a wealth of other useful information. You often find as well that they can do it cheaper this way for you than if you tried to arrange it yourself.

Many keen campers never leave Britain’s shores, I can indeed understand this as the British experience of camping is like no other, however if you don’t experience foreign camping then you are certainly missing out on what camping has to offer. Europe attracts thousands of British campers each and every year, so you owe to yourself to give it a try sometime.

Campfire – How to Put Out Safely

A camping trip just doesn’t seem complete without the enjoyment of a nice warm campfire. No campfire, no s’mores, no way! It is sad though that some campers have managed to turn a campfire into a wildfire.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, escaped campfires are the second leading cause of wildfires. Before you build a campfire, brush up on …

Basic Campfire Safety

1. Choose a clear spot away from trees, logs, stumps, overhanging branches, dense dry grass, and forest litter

2. If there is an existing fire ring, use it, don’t create a new one.

3. When not in a designated campground, build your fire within a ring of rocks. Dig a small pit away from overhanging branches.

4. Keep your campfire small.

5. Clear a five-foot area around the pit down to the soil.

6. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.

7. Stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire.

8. After lighting, do not discard the match until it is cold to the touch..

9. Never leave a campfire unattended! Even a small breeze could quickly cause the fire to spread.

10. Understand how to put out a campfire safely and completely.

After you put out the campfire, take an extra minute to check the entire campsite for possible sparks or embers, because it only takes one to start a forest fire. Remember, if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.

Now you know what it takes to have a safe campfire. What goes well with a campfire? Food! Go on to a list of favorite campfire recipes [http://www.joyofcamping.com/camping-tips/campfire-smores-banana-split].

Fishing in Sumter National Forest’s Enoree District

South Carolina’s Sumter National Forest is a popular recreational area for hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. The Enoree Ranger District is located in the central piedmont area, a short drive from major population centers in Columbia and Greenville. Fishing is allowed in the three major rivers that flow through the national forest as well as in a number of small lakes. Fishing areas are managed in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. A valid South Carolina fishing license is required for fishing on national forest land.

A small fishing pond is located at Molly’s Rock Picnic Area, once the site of a plantation home. The one acre pond was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Ranger District manages it for catfish, and there is a 5 fish limit. A fishing pier and restrooms are available onsite. No boating or swimming is allowed in the lake. Molly’s Rock is located north of Newberry off US Hwy 176 and Forest Service Road 387.

Canoes and flat bottom boats less than 14 feet in length are recommended in the Broad, Tyger, and Enoree Rivers that flow through Sumter National Forest. Woods Ferry Recreation Area, near the town of Leeds, allows easy access for fishing and boating in the Broad River, on the eastern side of the national forest. Restrooms, water, and picnic facilities are available in the day use area. Overnight camping is also allowed. River access is also available at the Broad River Boat Ramp east of Monarch Mills. Fishermen wanting to launch small boats on the Tyger River can use the gravel boat ramp at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, located off SC Hwy 16. An easy access concrete boat ramp is available at Beatty’s Bridge off US Hwy 176 south of Union. The Enoree River may be accessed at several points in the national forest. Ramps are located at Jones Bridge on SC Hwy 98, and on Forest Service Roads 336A and 339.

Several small lakes in Sumter National Forest are managed for a variety of fish including channel catfish and largemouth bass. Only electric motors are allowed on these lakes. The Johns Creek Lake Complex is located near Cross Keys off SC Hwy 18 and Forest Service Road 347. Sedalia Lake is located near Johns Creek Lake off the same road. Wildcat Lake is also off Forest Service Road 347. Macedonia Lake is located off Forest Service Road 444, approximately 12 miles west of Union. Pittman Lake is located northeast of Whitmire off Hwy 72 and Forest Service Road 434. Maps of Sumter National Forest are available for purchase in district offices and online.

Cost Estimates for Your Sturgis Rally Vacation

If you are headed to Sturgis for the Black Hills Rally and Races in Sturgis South Dakota you may be wondering how much your trip to the Black Hills will cost? As with any vacation it’s always best to have a budget and plan your trip based on your budget. So with that in mind here are some estimates of typical costs related to a vacation to Sturgis South Dakota for the Bike Rally.

Lodging or Camping:

Hotels in and near Sturgis can be very tough to find during Rally week. If you can find a Hotel room expect to pay nearly $300-$400 per night for a Super 8 type room. If you are camping you usually reserve a space that covers you for 15 days that allow for time before and after the Sturgis rally. This can range from $100-$175 per camper using a tent site. If you have an RV expect a charge of $400 for 30 Amp or $450 for 50 Amp service. Many campgrounds also charge a per camper fee on top of this so add that $100-$175 back on. You can rent a house for around $2500.00 which might work for groups of riders.

Gas:

Since you’ll be riding a motorcycle you will obviously be consuming a fair quantity of gasoline. Typically you’ll get around 25 miles per gallon so to figure out your gasoline costs look at it as $12 per 100 miles. Take your distance to and from Sturgis and then look at the riding you’ll do on a day to day basis. When I tour around the Black Hills I usually ride about 300 miles per day. So for me 1200 miles to travel to and from Sturgis and 900 miles touring gives me a fuel cost of $252.00. Of course if you trailer your motorcycle you’ll need to adjust your costs for the MPG that your truck or car or RV gets.

Food:

Much of the food you’ll eat is fast in nature. You’ll eat a lot of fair type foods and diner type foods. It would be fair to estimate $15 – $30 per day for food (not including alcohol) depending on where you like to eat.

Partying:

If you like to party you can expect to spend a lot on alcohol. Just like a concert or football game if you buy beer in a bar or campground concerts you can expect to pay $6-$7 per beer + tip. So how much do you drink? Take that number of beers and multiply by $7 to get your estimate. You can save money at some campgrounds by keeping an inexpensive cooler and ice and buying beer by the case.

Total Sturgis Trip Cost:

So for a couple of riders on a 5 day trip from the Midwest here’s the cost estimates I’ve figured. Tent camping in around Sturgis $300.00. Fuel for both riders $500.00. Food at $50 per day for the pair $250 and three days of partying $180.00 I didn’t include souvenirs but from my figures this trip for two riders would run about $1230.00 I’d recommend just bring $1500 and you’d be covered. As you can see Sturgis is a very economical vacation but it has a lot of cost variables that will affect the total cost of your vacation to the Sturgis Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Planning Your Camping Trip

Camping should be spontaneous, fun and relaxing. But in order to relax and enjoy that spontaneity, advance planning is a must.

Camping has been a tradition for over 100 years, but back then it wasn’t camping so much as just living in the wild for a while. By the 1940s, camping began to become in earnest a widespread form of vacation. But as the post – WWII economy improved and highway systems developed camping really took off as a relaxing and spontaneous pastime.

Now in the present, with the advent of RVs and the advance of technology camping has became enormously popular. The result? Many campers vie for limited spots during certain weeks of the year at a limited number of campsites.

As more and more camping enthusiest take on the challenge of camping, commercial campsites sprang up to satisfy the need, but there are limits from economic constraints (many campsites don’t make profitable businesses). The number of desirable spots outside National and State parks is limited, too. There’s only so much great scenery around.

So, back to the first thought “Camping should be spontaneous, fun and relaxing”. In order to accomplish this the first step in planning your camping trip is to decide when and where you want to go, then make a reservation. There are hundreds of places online to do that. Two are ReserveUSA (http://www.reserveusa.com) and The National Park Service Reservation Center ([http://reservations.nps.gov]).

Like booking a good cruise, you’ll need to book at least three months ahead and, for the best spots, possibly as much as a year or more. Rooms at the famous Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, often require booking two years in advance. Pretty extraordinary considering that the cheapest room is $350 per night.

Once you have a confirmed reservation you can prepare your packing list. You could throw everything into the RV and take off. But the odds are high you’ll overlook something essential.

You’ll need a well-stocked first aid kit. You should spend time reviewing the list of most common toxic plants for the location you chose and any wildlife warnings for the area. Bears are common in some areas, wild cats in others.

Make a complete list: tents, sleeping bags, clothing, tools, stove, lighting, … that’s appropriate for the place and time of year. That list will be at least one page of four columns full of things even just to hit the basics.

Investigate any road closures, especially if you’re planning a winter camping trip. Floods, rocks slides, snow avalanches, ice and other problems are still fairly common.

As the trip date gets close, check the weather. Most camping areas are in the mountains or away from urban areas. Those areas tend to have less predictable weather with sudden rain squalls, thunderstorms, etc. But, you can get a good idea of what you’re likely to encounter anyway. Pack accordingly.

Plan ahead carefully and you’ll be in a better position to relax and forget about controlling events during your trip.

Clifty Falls State Park Camping Review

This trip took my family to Clifty Falls Indiana on our last camping trip of the year before school started. Clifty Falls Indiana is located in the town of Madison Indiana, Madison is a small town located in South East Indiana. Madison is known for its historic sites, wineries and of course Clifty Falls State park.

Clifty Falls State park is home to camping, hiking and the Clifty Inn along with much more. If you like to hike then Clifty falls is for you. In this review I will go over what the park has to offer in camping and entrainment.

Camp Ground:

The campground offers 59 primitive, 106 electric, and youth group camp sites. I hate to say this but they do not offer water or full hook up at this park. Water is supplied from a hose at the bath houses, the water is regularly tested and is marked as “safe to drink”. The sewage tanks are located at the front of the park and has easy access to pull in and out on both sides of the tanks.

The camping ground also has some small play areas with slides and swings that are in good shape.

The roads are paved and in good shape, kids can ride bikes, skateboards, etc with no issues. The sites include a gravel pad at all electrical sites. Many of the sites are backed against woods but some are in the open. Sites in the open have very little shade with the sites backed against the woods having some.

The camp ground does have a theater with seating but they did not show any movies while we where there. They did have church service on Sunday morning which is always nice. They also have crafts or another activity almost every day for the kids.

The bath houses are nice, I would suggest the new bath house in the primitive section if you do not mind the trip. It looks brand new.

Check-in is an easy pull up window and since you already have a reservation it goes quickly. The guard at the front gate was very nice, in fact everyone was very nice. A lot of families were camping while we were there and everyone seemed nice. We ended up camping next to about 20 modern Amish. I don’t know if this is a large Amish community but it was nice.

The Clifty Falls camp ground does not have a pool but a quick hike through a trail takes you to one. You can always drive like we did because we had a small guy with us and between the drinks and towels it makes better sense.

The pool cost $2 per person per day and is open to non-campers. This kind of caught us off guard, we thought campers swam free. In any case the $2 is well worth it. The Clifty Falls pool includes a beach style pool with two slides, a diving board and baby pool. My older son and friend spent most of the time on the large water park type slide that ends in 3 feet of water. My younger son liked the big pool in the shallow beach style part with a park supplied life jacket. I should also say that you can not bring in any floating devices for young swimmers. The life guards will supply you with a free life jacket. Okay, so the pool was awesome and well worth the $2 but the life guards are another story. They are all younger kids (17-19) and they seemed kind of snooty and irritated at all the kids. I should not say all but 2-3 were. Not mean but kind of snooty. I wrote this off to kids summer job. So over all you will want to visit the pool.

Camping can be reserved online along with any other state park by visiting the Indiana reservation site.

The Park:

The park also has a lot to offer. 1300 acres, miles of hiking ranging from moderate to rugged trails, private picnic areas, nature center and play areas. Besides the pool you will find a the nature center that is small but fun. You will find live snakes along with some other wildlife from around the park. They do have nature shows, we went to a snake show while there and the boys got to hold a black snake.

There are a lot of trails. One is rated easy but you do not see much. The others are rated moderate to rugged. You will have no trouble taking a 3 year old on the moderate as long as you are holding hands. I would leave the rugged to 7 yeas olds and above but we did take our 3 year old on a rugged because we made a wrong turn, he did well! I will say that you must be careful as you will be along some pretty big cliffs. Always keep children in front of you and make sure they are not running. Always hold the hand of any small children at all times!

Clifty Falls State park is known for hiking, the other stuff is an added bonus. I highly recommend visiting Clifty Falls Indiana State Park for your next camping trip. It is family oriented and you will not be bored. It is just a great park.

Boondocking: How to Camp Without Hookups

You’ve probably heard a lot about boondocking–camping without hookups–and wondered why anyone would want to camp where there were no water, sewage, or electrical connections. All modern RVs have been manufactured to be independent of these appendages that hook them up to land-based resources. All RVs have a holding tank for fresh water, and most of the time two holding tanks for waste, one from the toilet and one from the shower and sinks. They also have a house battery or batteries to supply 12-volt electricity to the RV and a generator to produce electrical power to the 120-volt and 12-volt systems, and to recharge the batteries. Camping without these hookups opens up many more possibilities on the vast natural areas and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Forest Service (FS) for enjoying your RV lifestyle. First, though, you have to get comfortable with camping without hookups, which limits your amount of drinking water, battery electricity, and waste disposal capacity. Here are seven ways to conserve your natural resources and transition from hookups to boondocking.

  1. Start off by boondocking for just one or two nights at a campground that does not have hookups, and won’t tax your onboard systems. But to go longer than that you need to learn some conservation techniques and alter some wasteful habits.
  2. Conserve your fresh water supply by taking Navy showers-rinse down, turnoff water, soap up, rinse off. Wash your hands the same way. Filling your gray water tank is one of the more limiting factors in how long you can boondock, so prevent as much waste water from entering the tank as you can.
  3. When washing dishes, use a small bowl of soapy water. Rinse dishes in a tub of water, rather than under a running faucet. Wipe food off your dishes before washing. Use a small bowl of soapy water to wash and a plastic tub of water for rinsing. With a little practice you will be surprised at how much water you previously wasted.
  4. Carry extra Jerry jugs or gallon containers of water to dump in your tank when your pump starts sucking air.
  5. To conserve electricity so that your house batteries last as long as possible, turn off lights, TV, radio, porch light, computers and any other electrical appliances or tools when they are not being used. Use rechargeable battery operated book lights for reading.
  6. If you need to use a 120-volt appliance like the microwave, blender, or coffee grinder, or your battery-draining water pump, schedule using these in the same block of time while running the generator, which will power them directly without pulling amps out of your batteries.
  7. To find public land boondocking campsites, stop at ranger stations and visitor centers upon entering public lands and ask about “dispersed camping” areas. Find public lands on state maps that show recreational lands. Most roads to these sites will be dirt but were built solidly for logging and cattle trucks and fire-fighting equipment and most should be suitable for RVs.

For more information as well as RVing tips and destinations visit my Healthy RVLifestyle website or check out my eBook, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands, a complete manual on boondocking.

Best 10 Places to Camp in Utah

If you are planning an outing in Utah, here is a list of the best 10 places to go camping. Most of these campgrounds have a variety of activities including hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and more. The sites vary so if you need to use a family cabin tent or want room for a privacy shelter be sure to allow yourself enough space to accommodate for that. Quite a few campsites these days have enough room for the larger 5-6 person tent or even a couple smaller 2-4 person tents or solo tents.

Jordanelle State Park Campground:

The Hailstone Recreation Area is the premier development of Jordanelle State Park. Hailstone is a large developed campground and day-use area located on the west side of the reservoir. Hailstone serves thousands of visitors each year from boaters and campers, to fishermen and special events. Hailstone offers picturesque camping with 223 sites for RV’s, camping tents, picnicking and more. The park is open May-October and has several fun activities for friends and families; these include camping, biking, fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing, playground and more. The park also has amenities available for the comfort of the visitors, which include concessions, cabins, pro shops, dump stations for RV users, modern restrooms, grills, hot showers and boat rentals. The camping fees range from $16 to $20 per night. It is also open for reservation.

Mill Hollow Campground:

Mill Hollow campground is located next to the Mill Hollow Reservoir in the Uinta National forest at an elevation of 8,800 feet. The park has a total of 28 camping sites, camping tents only non-electric 11 and RV non-electric 17. Pets are welcome at all sites. The park has several amenities including vault toilets, drinking water, campfire rings, grills and firewood. The park also offers many activities to the families and groups that visit. These activities include fishing, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing and hiking. The camping fees can be obtained from the self-service pay station. Some sites are first-come, first served while others can be reserved on line. Fees are $16 per night with additional fee for reservation in advance.

Goblin Valley State Park Campground:

Goblin Valley State Park campground is located in Hanksville Utah, 48 miles SW of Green River, Utah via SR24. It gets the name from the strange and colorful landscape filled with bizarre sandstone rock formations called goblins. The park has 24 camping sites, 1 group site and 2 yurts. The activities offered in this park are camping, hiking, wildlife viewing to name a few. The park has several amenities available such as dump stations, fire rings, vault toilets, grills, picnic tables, modern restrooms and hot showers which make life easier and fun for the campers. Reservations are allowed and the park is open year-round. Caution: Extreme desert landscape with little or no shade. The camping fees are $16 per night.

Devils Garden Campground:

Devils Garden campground is located in the Arches National Park in Southeastern Utah. Devils Garden offers 51 camping sites which are available for reservation, this gives the visitors the opportunity to stay overnight and enjoy the scenic environment. There are two group campsites, 35-person and 55-person. Both of these sites are $3 per person with a minimum fee of $33. No trailers or RV’s are allowed at these two sites and reservations are required. The park has several facilities for the visitors comfort; these include flush toilets, amphitheater for ranger talks, drinking water and picnic areas. This campground has breathtaking scenery, abundant hiking trails, guided hiking tours and more. The camping fees are $20 per night, plus $9 for booking reservation between March 1 and Nov 1. Nov 1 through end of Feb sites are available on first-come, first-served basis. No hook-ups, dump stations, electricity or showers.

Green River State Park Campground:

Green River State Park is located on the banks of the green river. It has a total of 42 camping sites and facilities available for the usage of the visitors are modern restrooms, hot showers, group use pavilion, an amphitheater and boat ramps. There are two group campground sites available by reservation. Some of the campground activities include fishing, boating, swimming, numerous species of birds for the bird watchers and nine-hole golf course. Campground amenities include drinking water, dump stations and hook-ups for RV users, showers, picnic tables, grills and more. Reservation is subject to availability. The campground is open year-round. The camping fees are $18 and $25 for hook-ups sites per night.

Snow Canyon State Park Campground:

The Snow Canyon State Park campground is located in the 62,000 acre Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. It is located near St George, in southwestern Utah about 310 miles south of Salt Lake City. It has a total of 14 RV sites with water and electrical hook-ups and 17 multi-use camping sites. The park is open year-round and reservations are encouraged. The park has made available several amenities which include modern restrooms, electricity, hot showers, group use pavilion, hiking/biking/equestrian trails and a dump station. There are several activities that take place in the park such as horseback riding, biking, hiking, rock climbing and junior ranger programs. This scenic park allows people to enjoy nature studies, wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities in abundance. The campground fees range from $16 to $20 per night.

Dead Horse Point State Park Campground:

Dead Horse Point State Park campground is located 25 miles from the city of Moab. The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the overlook provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonlands’ sculpted pinnacles and buttes. The 21 site Kayenta campground features electrical hookups, tent pads, sheltered tables and charcoal grills at each site. It has several amenities available to the visitor; they include comfort stations, concessions, dump stations, restrooms, drinking water, visitor center and more. Also several fun activities take place in the campground; these include summer evening programs, hiking, mountain biking, nature study, wildlife viewing and photography. The park is open year-round and the camping fees are $25 per night. Group rates $25-$75 per night.

Firefighters Campground:

Firefighters campground is located just 3 miles from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This campground serves as a memorial to three firefighters who lost their lives in the 1977 Cart Creek Fire. It has a total of 60 camping sites of which six are wheelchair accessible family sites with each having a picnic table and a campfire ring, some sites have grills. The park has several amenities available to the visitors; these include flush toilets, dump station, amphitheater, grills, and showers 2.5 miles away at Deer Run campground. Some of the other interesting activities that take place in and around the park (within 10 miles) for the enjoyment of the visitors, are birding, biking, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, water skiing and swimming. Also within 10 miles you will find a general store, restaurant, marina and boat ramp. The camping fees range from $18-$20 per night and reservation fee is $9. This park is open May-September.

Watchman Campground:

Watchman campground is located in the Zion National Park which has a total of three campgrounds. Watchman is near the south entrance at Springdale. Some campsites get shade for part of the day, but many get no shade at all and summer temperatures exceed 95 degrees so staying cool can be a challenge. The Virgin River runs along the edge of the campground and there are a few riverside campsites. There are 162 regular sites, 2 wheelchair accessible sites and 7 group sites available. All sites are drive-up with a maximum of two vehicles but only one RV or trailer, overflow parking is available. Not all campsites have electrical hook-ups so if you need power, you will want to make a reservation in advance. The park area offers many recreational opportunities, including, backpacking, biking, hiking, climbing, horseback riding and more. Comfort stations provide flush toilets, cold running drinkable water and trash containers, but no showers or electrical outlets. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit with grill. Springdale is adjacent to Zion Canyon; pay showers, a small market, firewood, Laundromats and restaurants are available. Springdale can be reached from the campgrounds by car, foot, bike, or free shuttle (April through October). Reservations are highly recommended if you want to guarantee a spot at this campground. Tent and electric campsites are available year-round but group sites March through early November and are by reservation only. The camping fees range from $16-$20 per night.

Bryce Canyon North Campground:

North campground is located in close proximity to the visitor center in Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon is really famous for its beautiful rock features. This campground has 13 RV sites available by reservation and 86 RV and tent sites available on first-come, first-served basis. There are no hook-ups in the campground but a fee-for-use dump station is available at the south end of the campground. Amenities include restrooms with flush toilets and drinking water. During summer months coin-operated laundry and shower facilities are available at the general store nearby. Hiking, backpacking, and photography are among the many things to do here. Activities vary during the time of year. The park is open year-round but is subject to temporary road closures during winter snow storms. The camping fees are $15 per night.