It’s that time of year when the grass gets a little greener, the temperatures start hitting new highs, and the realization that summer is on its way hits you. You’ve got some summer vacation planning to do! What better time than now to consider adding a camping trip to your itinerary? Feeling a bit like a nomad novice instead of a camping connoisseur? We’ve got you covered with our 5 tips & tricks for your first camping adventure.
1. Determine What Kind of “Camper” You Are
A camp-cation can be anything you want it to be and it’s good to figure this out before booking your vacation. Does the idea of pitching a tent under the stars and cooking your meals over an open flame sound enticing? Or does the thought of sleeping under a roof and enjoying coffee from your private porch sound like the perfect getaway? You can even have the best of both worlds when you camp in a trailer, RV, and pop-up camper. Or enjoy #vanlife as a way to experience the outdoors but with some of the comforts of inside! At Jellystone Park™ we have a variety of campsites and cabins for every type of camper.
2. Gear Must-Haves
Whether you’re choosing to rough it or sleep inside, there are some essentials that should be on every camper’s packing list.
- Sleeping Bag – No matter which type of accommodations you choose — whether you need to sleep on the floor, ground, or futon — the extra comfort and warmth that an extra sleeping bag provides is worth the space it may take up in your trunk.
- Flashlight or Lantern – Essential for nighttime bathhouse trips or extra lighting as you play a game of cards at your picnic table, the right lighting on hand can be both for function and for that classic camping ambiance.
- Roasting Sticks – These are a must-have for any camping experience and can be used for the perfect gooey marshmallow or for hot dogs over the fire. The best thing is, if you’ve forgotten yours at home, you’ll likely find nature’s supply nearby in the form of fallen twigs and sticks.
- Coolers – Bring a variety of coolers in different sizes. One larger cooler can serve as a way to transport most of your cold groceries and become home base for your meals at your campsite. Having a few extra smaller coolers, both soft and hard-sided, are useful when you want to pack beverages for the Water Zone or a picnic lunch during a local hike.
3. Camping Fare
Speaking of food, meals while camping can be as easy or as elaborate as you’d like them to be! Prep a casserole ahead of time that just needs to be popped in an oven (if you’re renting a cabin), or fill resealable freezer bags with pre-scrambled raw eggs, diced veggies, and cheese and then submerge them in boiling water to cook “omelettes-in-a-bag“. Psst…these can be made over a campfire, too!
Fire pies (also known as hobo pies or mountain pies) are easy, fun, and can satisfy both your sweet or savory tooth when you fill crescent roll dough or two slices of bread with pizza sauce and cheese….or strawberries and cream cheese. Load them into a pie iron and you’ve got the perfect main course or dessert! And who can forget classic hot dogs, served easily over a fire or on a grill?! All of the campsites and cabins at Jellystone Park™ include a charcoal grill for all your mealtime needs! For those who want a break from the camp stove or fire, visit the Pic-A-Nic Basket or the Ranger Station!
4. What to Wear
The weather forecast will be your best friend when planning and packing for your trip. Pay close attention to the daily lows, as well as the highs, and pack extra socks, long pants, extra dry t-shirts for after a swim, and don’t forget your campfire hoodie! Forget to pack something? We’ve got you covered! Our Camp-Resort has a fully-stocked store on-site that sells t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and more. We’ll help to keep you dry and warm while looking cool…and you get a nice souvenir to take home!
5. Fun Activities
You’ve set up camp. Now what? Jellystone Park™ has a variety of exciting attractions like a huge Water Zone, mini golf, and jumping pillows, to keep you on the go. Is a laid back vacation more your speed? Relax poolside, nap in a cabana, go fishing, or take a stroll around the park. There are many nearby attractions that can help you stay as busy or as relaxed as you’d like to be.
We’re so happy you’re considering a camp trip for your next vacation. It’s one of the easiest types of vacations to plan and one of the safest ways to get away these days — and did we mention it’s fun, too? Adventure is waiting, but you don’t have to! Keep these tips in mind and start planning yours today.