Camping Ideas to Fit Your Schedule and Budget

With warmer weather now upon us, it is time to make some awesome camping memories! What are your plans to get outdoors this month?  If you can’t decide, here are three ideas that just might help get you camping!

It really comes down to time and money.  Too much of one or too little of the other throws everything off balance.  In an ideal world, we would have enough of both to work when we want and play when we want.  Even with constraints however, here are three ways to get outdoors on any schedule or budget.

1.  BACKCOUNTRY   There’s lots of it around, even if you live in a big city.  Here in San Diego for example, it is only a 2 hour drive to total isolation in the mountains or deserts. As a kid growing up in Ohio near Cleveland, we always found plenty of State Park land that allowed us to get lost for a day or two.  On a budget, tired of crowded campgrounds or long lines?  Grab a map and find your nearest State Park, National Forest, or if you live in the west – BLM lands. All offer the opportunity to explore, escape, and get away from crowds. However, if you plan to backcountry camp, you may need extra time for travel and exploring, therefore proper planning is key.  Without resources nearby, if you forget something, you will most likely have to do without.

2.  LOCAL CAMPGROUNDS   Local areas to camp make sneaking in a quick trip easy on any schedule.  With most campgrounds hosting  a store, you never need to do without. With restroom facilities and other amenities, most campgrounds make camping easy and enjoyable.  And many offer activities such as fishing, bike riding, and hiking trails.  Check before going to make sure they have vacancy, and to scout out the most preferable sites. Whether it is a County, State, or privately owned campground, YELP is a great place to start checking reviews of the campgrounds nearest you.

3.  BACKYARD  When backcountry is not an option, and campgrounds are booked, there is always the backyard.  This is ideal, especially when there are kids involved.  Who says you have to be in the middle of nowhere to enjoy the night sky, or to spend a night sleeping in your tent or camping trailer?  As an old boat owner, I always liked to say that the best sailing I ever did was in the dock.  Same with camping – sometimes the best place to go is nowhere.  Have a longer trip planned for later in the year?  This is also a great way to check and test your gear beforehand.  Turn off the TV, leave the phone on the kitchen counter, and head out.  To your backyard.  No reservation required!