Many variables make up the best time of year to go camping, but the truth is that you can do it all year round. Each season has its pros and cons… Are you looking for tips on picking the best time of year to go camping? Check out this guide to seasonal camping to help you navigate through the planning process.
What Are Your Preferences?
Do you prefer cold or hot weather? Your season preference is a great place to start because it really dictates the rest of the variables.
If you are the type that enjoys having neighbors at the campground, then the high season (April-September) will be great for you. Campground camaraderie is unique and can be a lot of fun.
However, if you would prefer a desolate campground, then going in the offseason (October-March) would be a better choice for you. Plus, choosing to go in the off-season will give you an easier time making reservations and getting the site of your choice.
Spring In Camping Season
Finally, winter is over, and everything is coming back to life! March 20th is the first spring day and means that most campgrounds are officially open for the season.
From now till late June, the spring campers will start arriving and enjoying the weather before it gets too hot and before the bugs come out.
Summer Time Camping Vibes
Tis the season! Summer is the most popular season for camping because it means swimming and other water sports, plus tan lines and flip-flops.
The kids are out of school during summer, and that is when families go on vacation together. Camping is a great way to get everyone out of the house and teach them life skills like building a fire and reading a compass.
Pack swimsuits and light clothes for the day, but you may want pants and long sleeves for nighttime summer camping.
Foliage Change and Fall Camping
Overall, autumn is the favorite season of many people. It is definitely the best for camping for a lot of reasons.
If you are in an area where fall means that the leaves change color, camping can be a magical experience. The nights are cool enough to get a comfortable sleep, and the late morning-afternoon warms up for some good hiking weather.
In mid-September-Early November, the reservations and rates usually go down at campgrounds, making fall more appealing for camping.
The Challenges of Winter Camping
Even if you are a fan of cold weather and love the snow, you can admit that the cold makes just about everything harder. Another challenge is that a lot of campgrounds are not open in the winter months.
Pitching a tent and securing the stakes when the ground is frozen is next to impossible. Then sleeping on the cold ground can give you frostbite, stiff muscles, and make arthritis flare up.
What about when things freeze over, and you don’t have electricity? For most people, camping in the winter is not an option.
November-March may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, the perks of winter camping are that it is the quietest during those months, no bugs biting you, the snow is gorgeous, and there can be a lot more wildlife seen.
Shoo-Fly, Don’t Bother Me!
Camping leaves you susceptible to everything that nature offers, which is the most beautiful thing and means insects. Bugs can really bug us and ruin a perfectly good camping trip.
Not only are bugs buzzing around our heads and pestering us, but they also bite and get into our food. This may not bother some people or deter them from camping, but it is something to think about.
So, when is the best time to camp without a bunch of bugs joining you in your tent? Honestly, winter in a cold area is the only season when you are pretty much guaranteed to not have insect invaders; autumn is the second runner-up, with spring and summer camping being the worst.
Stay away from stagnant water and use things like tiki torches, bug spray, essential oil, and campfires to keep the bugs away from your campsite.
The location of your destination can be a major dictator of when the best time of year to go is. Will you be camping close to home or traveling out of state for your trip?
If you are close to home, the chances are that you will already be familiar with the variables that can make or break a camping trip. These are things like weather, bugs, and traffic or tourists (no offense to tourists.)
Best Tent Camping Seasons
Tent campers are relatively tough, adaptable, and can make anything work. With that being said, tent campers do not choose that camping style to be put through having a ton of cool extra gadgets to help them enjoy the camping experience.
Check out camping cots for more comfortable sleeping and all sorts of cooking gear to make up for the lack of a proper kitchen. Of course, you do not need a bunch of stuff to make you a happy camper, but it does help to bring creature comforts to the wild outdoors.
Best RV Camping Seasons
Going camping in an RV gives you so many more creature comforts and flexibility when picking a season for camping. It is literally a home on wheels.
If it is hot outside, you can pop on the AC, and if it is cold, just flick on the heat. Plus, if the bugs start swarming or the rain starts falling, you have shelter from the elements.
To recap, here are the variables that you want to think about when planning your upcoming camping trip:
- Tent or RV
- Family availability
Not every camp trip will have the perfect time and place, but that makes the memories last for so long. The important part is to be prepared as possible and enjoy yourself.
Selective Seasonal Camping
Whether this is your first time camping or your fiftieth seasonal camping really depends on you and your preferences for the covered variables. Camping Buffs has a ton of other helpful camping insights for you to check out while you are learning about the art of camping.