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 five tips and tricks for your first camping adventure.
1. WHAT’S YOUR CAMPING STYLE?
A camp-cation can be anything you want it to be. 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, or a pop-up camper as a way to experience the outdoors but with some of the comforts of inside. At Jellystone Park™ we have a variety of campsites, as well as cabin types 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 having extra sleeping bags on hand gives 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 sizes of coolers for the various daily excursions you may take. One larger cooler can serve as a way to transport most of your cold groceries and become home base for your meals. Having a few extra smaller coolers, both soft and hard-sided, are useful when you want to have a picnic lunch during a local hike or hydrate by the pool.
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, 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“.
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. Most sites and cabins at Jellystone Park™ include a fire pit for all your mealtime needs! For those who want a break from the camp stove or fire, visit the Cartoon Café, River Rock and Pub Pizzeria, or 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-Resorts feature stores on-site that sell 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 mini golf, waterslides, and swimming pools to keep you on the go. Is a laid back vacation more your speed? Take a dip in the pool, nap in a cabana, go fishing on the Guadalupe River, 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 camping 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.