Spring is a fantastic time to go camping. Nature is waking up and transforming the bleak winter scenery into a lush and colorful landscape filled with gorgeous flowers, leafy trees, and active wildlife. In addition, daytime temperatures are typically mild and comfortable at this time of year, and the insect population is nowhere near summertime levels yet. Plus, this is still considered the off-season at most campgrounds, which means lower fees and fewer people to contend with.
As great as spring camping can be, you shouldn’t just load up the car, pile in the family members, and head out to your favorite spot without taking some preliminary steps first. So review some of these basic camping tips along with our partial gear checklist before you leave:
- Inspect all tents and sleeping bags for rips, tears, and holes. Make sure all zippers and closures work as intended. Repair, patch, or add a touch of WD-40 where necessary.
- Check that lanterns and flashlights are in working order. Replace batteries as needed.
- Test your stove and other cooking equipment to confirm that fuel sources and igniters are fully operational.
- Spray jackets, boots, and tents with a waterproofing product to help protect against unexpected rain and inclement weather.
Partial gear checklist
- Sleeping bags rated for temperatures as low as 40ºF to keep you warm during the cool/cold spring nights.
- Foam pads to place under sleeping bags and provide an extra barrier between your body and the cold ground.
- Waterproof tents and tarps or pop-up shelters to cover them in case of rain.
- Base, middle, and outer layers of clothing that can easily be added to or removed in response to sudden changes in temperature and weather. You might also consider bringing some battery-heated apparel for spring hiking excursions to guarantee warmth even at higher elevations.
- Flashlights, lanterns, and other forms of lighting.
- Cooking equipment, including adequate fuel and enough utensils for the entire family.
- A fully stocked first-aid kit, along with an emergency radio and a paper map of the area.
Remember, these lists aren’t meant to be all-inclusive; your needs will vary depending on factors such as family size, camping style (e.g. minimalist or “glamping”), and the kind of equipment you own. But you can still use our tips as a starting point to help ensure your spring camping trip is safe and fun for all involved.