Car camping is an awesome opportunity to the enjoy the outdoors, choosing a campground without needing to step too far out of your comfort zone. It allows people of all ages and abilities to experience the outdoors by letting people explore nature at their own pace.
One of the best parts of car camping is of course, choosing a campground. After all, this is the place that’s going to be your home for as long as you’re on your trip. However, before you “check into” your campground, there are a few things you need to know.
What Kind of Car Are You Taking?
When it comes to choosing a campground, a lot of it depends on the car you’re bringing. If you plan in going in a huge camper where everything is at your disposal, then you might not be so picky about where your campground is. If you’re just throwing a tent in the back seat of your car and you’re hoping for the best, then you’re probably going to want to do more research before heading out. Of course, you want to make sure you’re allowed to park whatever car it is that you have at this campground.
Before Choosing a Campground Understand the Amenities
If your RV has all of the amenities you could ever dream of, then you’re in good shape. But, one thing campers like to look into before choosing a campground are the specific amenities that are available. Some campgrounds come with showers, toilets, drinking water, firewood, and even grills to cook up a barbecue. Some are not so “fancy,” and may just serve as a pit stop in your car camping journey. Most likely, though, when it comes to car camping, you can be pretty confident that the amenities and your campground will be fairly decent.
Be Aware of the Weather and Wildlife in the Area
The weather can be unpredictable, and so can the apperance of wildlife while you are camping. Some campgrounds are located within wilderness areas, which means the chances of coming face to face with a bear aren’t too unfathomable. Likewise, the weather at certain campgrounds can really impact the comfort of your stay. Check the weather as always, and make sure your campground doesn’t close based on the weather conditions.
Choose Your Neighbors Wisely
Part of choosing a campground involves”choosing” your neighbors as well. While you won’t be able to choose who’s at the campground with you at the same time, you can get an idea of what kinds of campgrounds are catered towards whom. For example, a campground with a pond or “family-friendly” hiking trails, would be probably be a good place to take your kids. Keep that in mind when choosing your car camping destination.
Know if You Need a Permit
Not all campgrounds are open to everyone. In many cases, you will need a permit before entering the campground, which will cost a small fee (see below). In order to get a permit, it will require you to register at the park or grounds you’ll be camping at. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this, because you might find yourself disappointed and without a place to sleep. Check at least a few weeks in advance of your camping trip.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and there’s really no such thing as a free campground, either. Okay, there are some cases where you might get lucky and find a free or very cheap campsite. But, more often than not, you will have to pay an admission fee, which can include the cost of anything from a parking fee to how many people are camping with you. Most campgrounds cost somewhere between $20 and $30, and that price will vary based on what’s offered. If a campsite has a lot of activities available for car campers, it will surely cost you more.
Read the Rules
Every campground has rules, and if you’re new at the whole car camping thing, you’ll want to read into these. Rules are in place for your safety and for the safety and protection of the environment. Break the rules, and you could see a pretty little fine with your name on it. Rules may encompass anything from the size of your campfire to loud noises, littering, or interacting inappropriately with wildlife. Be a good car camper, and follow the rules.
Car camping season has officially begun. Are you ready to choose your campground?