Are you interested in going camping but are struggling to pick a time of year to do so? If so, this article is for you.
While there are many times of year that you can go camping, some are distinctly better than others. In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about how to pick the best time to go camping.
Choosing the Best time to Camp
There is a lot to consider when planning a camping trip. One of the most important of those considerations is when your trip will take place.
Overall, our pick for the best time to go camping in late summer to early fall. Later, we will discuss the reasons why we choose this time of year. But for now, let’s explore some general thoughts on when to go camping.
Know When Camping Season Begins
Before making any other evaluations, you should have a firm understanding of when the camping season begins. This will establish a framework for selecting the best camping time for you.
In most areas of the country, there are distinct on and off seasons for camping. This is primarily due to the extreme cold temperatures that occur in winter.
For liability reasons, campsites are often not willing to permit campers on the premises during the winter months. This precaution reduces the odds that a camper will experience a cold-related ailment such as hypothermia.
In most places, the camping season starts in early spring. A day in March typically serves as the opening date. After opening, the season will usually run until late fall, when the temperature begins to dip again. This period from spring to fall serves as your window for planning a camping trip.
Understand What it is Like to Camp in Different Seasons
Now that you understand the basics behind a standard season for camping let’s take a closer look at what it is like to camp during different parts of that season. In the next four sections, we’ll give you an idea of what it is like to camp in winter, spring, summer, and fall.
It is hard to argue against the idea that winter is the worst time of year to go camping. As you may have noticed earlier, many areas do not even include winter as a part of their camping season.
The reasons for this are obvious. In many regions, winter brings unpleasant weather in the form of cold temperatures and snow accumulations. These extreme settings can be harmful and, at times, deadly to campers.
However, that does not mean that camping in winter is a complete impossibility. For instance, if you live in a climate that is warm year-round, winter camping should be no issue. But camping in areas with cold winters is possible as well.
Camping in an RV is one of the most viable options for winter camping as your RV will protect you from the elements. If you don’t have an RV, you will need to stock up on some cold weather camping gear before you can ever consider camping in winter.
Springtime is not our top choice when it comes to camping seasons, but it is up there in the rankings. During spring, the weather is just getting warm enough to be enjoyable.
If you plan to camp in spring, you should remain prepared for the cold. A late-season temperature drop is always possible, and if you are not prepared for that, your trip could become a disaster.
Still, spring is a generally pleasant time of year for doing outdoor activities, including camping. Unlike during winter, you won’t likely spend a lot of time in freezing temperatures. And compared to the heat of summer, spring temperatures are often more moderate.
Along with that fair weather, spring has another advantage for campers. In spring, you won’t experience the same large camping crowds that you can expect during summer. That will make your camping trip a more peaceful experience.
Summer is typically the most popular time for people to plan a camping trip. As the large crowds gather in campgrounds around the country, there are several factors that motivate them to do so.
First, the summer months have the warmest weather, meaning that you won’t need to face the danger of cold temperatures. That weather is also conducive to hiking, fishing, and other types of camping activities. Just make sure you bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Another reason why camping in summer is the most popular option is that children are on school vacation at that time. That break from school gives families the chance to get together for a camping trip. It also means that reservations at these sites can be hard to come by.
Summer camping is a fantastic option for you. But planning a trip at this time of year will take some preemptive thought. You’ll need to be ready to deal with large crowds as well as high heat and mosquitoes. But beyond that, summer will be a great time for you to enjoy camping in the outdoors.
Fall is another fantastic time of year to go camping. This season is similar to spring in that it is a transitional season with mild temperatures. But compared to spring, fall camping may be even more enjoyable as you won’t need to deal with the wetness that can come from large snow melts.
Fall also has an advantage over summer. After kids return to school in late summer, campgrounds will become far less crowded. That makes fall an excellent time to enjoy the solitude of nature.
During fall, you’ll also enjoy two other great benefits. First, the annoying summer bugs will likely be gone. Also, campsite operators usually lower their prices after labor day, meaning you will pay less to camp at the same location.
The last reason to camp in the fall is the scenery. As the seasons move closer to winter, the leaves in many areas will take on some impressive hues. That colorful foliage will serve as the perfect background for your trip.
The Ideal Time to Camp
We just described the main pros and cons of each camping season. Now, we’d like to narrow our selection and decide on the ideal time of year for camping.
Our choice for the best time to go camping in late September to early October. That time of year is when you can experience all the advantages fall camping has to offer.
At that time, the pre-labor day crowds will be gone. The weather will be cool enough to enjoy during all parts of the day. And the foliage will often appear as a dazzling array of red, yellow, and orange.
Camping can be fun at any time of year, but if you want to maximize the quality of your experience, camping in the fall is your best bet. Aiming for the weeks that cover late September and early October will make your trip that much better.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that there is a lot that goes into planning a great camping trip. So, we’ve decided to conclude this article by answering a few of the most common questions people have about planning a camping trip. Read on to add to your knowledge of when to plan a camping trip.
How Much Does it Cost to Camp in a National Park?
When it comes to planning a trip, pricing can be equally important as timing. If you plan to camp at one of the 419 National Parks in the United States, you can expect to pay a fee. This fee will vary depending on the park but will often be around $20 per night.
Why the Summer is the Best Time to Go RV Camping
Parking an RV is one of the most popular ways to camp. And there are several reasons why summer is the best season to go RV camping.
Summer is the time of year when you can spend the most time outdoors. The daytime hours are the longest of the year, and the weather is often very agreeable. This permits you to spend plenty of time hiking or swimming.
There are a few downsides to summer camping. At times it can get too hot, and the presence of mosquitoes can be annoying. Thankfully, an RV gives you a place to avoid those nuisances.
Are Campgrounds Open in the Winter?
There are many campgrounds that close during the winter. They do this to protect campers from extremely cold temperatures. These campgrounds often end their season in mid to late October.
However, you can find some campgrounds that are open all year long. RV campgrounds and campgrounds located in warm regions are the knees that are most likely to remain open every day of the year.