So you, like me, are an avid camper. My family and I try and go on at least four camping trips during the year. Here in New Jersey, at least for me anyway, the best times to go are March through the end of May, and September through middle of October.
For me the summer months in New Jersey can get too humid, bringing out a plethora of bugs and mosquitoes, which quite frankly I do not find too pleasant of an atmosphere. I try to limit my time during the cooler months for that reason and for comfort. There is nothing more enjoyable about camping then sitting around the camp fire on a crisp cool evening. Something that I don`t feel you can enjoy during the dog days of summer.
Now that is not to say that camping isn’t enjoyable here in New Jersey during the summer months. It is, as you will find many, if not all of the campgrounds, private and public are booked solid. The main reasons being, kids are out of school and the days are longer. New Jersey provides a wonderful selection of campgrounds throughout the state. You can hit the mountains in Northern New Jersey, the Jersey shore campgrounds down in Cape May. Whichever you choose, be prepared for the terrain.
If you go camping in Northern New Jersey, expect very rocky ground. If you are tent camping, which is something that I absolutely love to do, bring a good hammer with you to bang those tent stakes in. In fact, you probably should bring some heavy duty tent stakes with you. If you just use the ones that come with your tent, chances are they will bend on you.
A hammer is not needed central to south Jersey for camping as the soil is more soft without much rock to break through.
If you are a novice to camping I would recommend not so much “roughing” it on your first try. What I mean by that is, look for a campground that has water hookups near your site. It will make it easier on you when you need water for cooking, cleaning etc. Also choose a campground that has bathroom facilities. Not all of them have them, most do, but keep that on your checklist. I recommend the more new you are to camping, the closer your site should be to the facilities. It doesn’t make the trip enjoyable when you have to go in the middle of the night and have to walk a half mile to get to the bathroom. Once you get accustomed to the camping lifestyle, trust me, it really is not that big of a deal.
Regardless of where you camp, what time of year, or who you go with, the key to a fun, safe and rewarding camping trip is in the planning. Sit down and write a list of everything you will need to make the trip comfortable. Separate your list into categories, such as food supplies, cooking and eating utensils, sleeping gear and so on. After you write your list, double check it against the list others you are going with might have made up. Maybe you forgot some things that they have, and vice-versa. The more time you spend in the planning process, the more easy your trip will be and the more fun you will have. There is nothing worse, then when you are about to cook those steaks over an open fire and you forgot the utensils to cook, or the seasoning or even worse, the steaks themselves.
Camping is a fun and enjoyable activity for the entire family. Proper planning, and not trying to extend beyond your comfort level, will make it even that more special.
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