Step by Step Guide to Planning the BEST Camping Trip

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I am definitely getting cabin fever over here… February in Central New York is “oh so cold & wet” and let me tell you, I am ready for Camping Season. 🏕🌲🏔🌞 So Ready, that I planned & booked our first camping trip- Yay! 🙌

I love to plan up-coming trips with fun activities to see & do. I feel as though experiences are the best gifts of all. Follow along, & I can help you with a step-by-step Guide to creating a full filling itinerary of awesome adventures to make a lifetime of memories. 📷

I have grown to love my home state of New York. When people hear New York- they instantly think of NYC, Wall Street, busy traffic, chaos & high priced everything. Yikes! However, I live in the beautiful Valleys of Central NY , at the foothills of the Adirondacks with rolling hills, woods, farms & beautiful natural landscapes. Being in the smack dab middle of the state, within a few hours, I can been to any great adventure that NY has to offer-such as Niagara Falls, The St. Lawrence River, the Finger Lakes Region, the Adirondacks or yes, even NYC.🌊🏔🗽

I mainly focus on traveling my own home state- basically to keep costs low. Traveling fees are cheaper to drive throughout the state, rather than flying to a different state. Most campgrounds charge you for being out of state or have benefits if you are a local. & I am always close to home (only a few hours away) in case there is an emergency.

1. Location

First things first- Where do you want to go?!? 🗺watkinsglen

Usually I hear about somewhere interesting & go from there. For Example- Watkins Glen, NY is absolutely breathtaking. It is a gigantic natural gorge off of Seneca Lake, where you walk through caves, under waterfalls & climb the enormous stone steps. The pictures do not do justice, but it is magnificent & I highly recommend the trip.

2. Time

When do you want to go?

When you are Camping, of course beautiful sun-shining weather is ideal- however… weather is not always predictable. So, you would want to generalize your planning accordingly.

Pick the Season/Month- Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. Which season would you like to camp in? For Example (In NY): Spring- March/April/May, Wet/Rainy/, Warm/50 Degrees     Summer-  June/July/Aug, Sunny/Humid, Hot/70-80 Degrees     Fall- Sept/Oct/Nov, Cloudy/Windy, Cooler/mid 50-60 Degrees   Winter- Dec/Jan, Feb, Cold, 10-30 Degrees

3. How Long

Are you just staying for an overnight, a weekend or a week-long stay?

If I know of an upcoming local event or holiday, I like to plan around that. My fiancé & I recently got a motorcycle & we follow pages via Facebook & Instagram for fun events. When it comes to holidays… I normally try to avoid camping at this time, because the camping fees seem to spike. The normal $14/night turns into $21/night & the spaces are limited.  This helps determine how long we would like to stay. For overnights, try to find early check-ins & late check-outs, so you are able to maximize your camping time.

4. Interests/Activities

Do you like to bird watch, fish or hike?

I love to go to State Parks. Here in NY State, the State Parks are regulated & offer a TON of Great Amenities. I love the access to public bathrooms & showers. I guess you could consider this glamping, but I love some running water in my camping life. Any who- other amenities include: fishing, hiking, bird watching, swimming, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, etc. Create a list of interest/activities available at the campground, so you are able to get the FULL Camping Experience.

5. Stay

From your previous selections, you now have the base of your Camping Trip & can plan on where to Stay/Camp. Combine all four & locate campgrounds in that area.

Location + Time + How Long + Interests = Campground

I am planning an upcoming trip & I followed these steps to create our trip.

#1. LOCATION: We would love to visit Lake Placid, NY (again)- this ADK village hosted the 1932 & 1980 Winter Olympics. Known for the vast Mountains for hiking- such as WhiteFace Mountain & the beautiful trout fishing river- The Ausable River, this is one of our favorite places to visit. ⛸🥌⛷🏔

#2. TIME: April 1st, is opening season for trout fishing. With the snow melting & the waters raging, we pushed out the trip into May, to have some warmer weather & less rainfall.🌞🎣

#3. HOW LONG: We wanted a mini vacation, so we agreed on 6 Days (5 Nights). And we are going the 3rd week in May, to avoid the following week- Memorial Day (the prices will jack up… smh) 🏕

#4. INTERESTS: We are going with my sister & her boyfriend. We love to go fishing, trail walking & my sister & I like to chill on the beach. Just hand me a fruity drink, a sun hat & leave me at the beach. Based off of these interests, I am able to narrow down which campground offers these activities. 🎣🏔🍹👙

Lake Placid, NY + 3rd Week in May + 1 Week + Fishing, Hiking, Beach, NY State Parks w/ Bathrooms/Showers=  All Campgrounds Available: Ausable Point, Buck Pond, Caroga, Cranberry Lake, Golden Beach, Eighth Lake, Fish Creek Pond, Meacham Lake, Moffitt Beach, Nicks Lake, Northhampton Beach, or Putnam Pond.

After some pamphlet reading, I chose Buck Pond Campground, because there is an old abandoned railroad bed that stretches for miles along an “easy to walk” trail. This sounded like a neat little adventure in itself.

Below is a Printable Template- Campground Planning Template:

You know have your destination- Yes! 👊

I have created some additional lists for your experience to be complete:

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