What Is The Best Time To Go Camping?

best time to go camping

Camping is one of the most fascinating outdoor activities when we spend time relaxing among nature. Hence, it is crucial to know beforehand about the season you camp in and all factors that might affect your great time. Like other campers (regardless of how experienced they are), you might find yourself searching everywhere for the best time to go camping, the best months for camping or when is the camping season. Which are the correct answers for these questions?

The ‘most suitable camping time for all campers’ does not exist…

The ‘most suitable time for all campers’ does not exist, as it depends on many factors. Some of them are which climates you live in, which climates you want to experience, and also your personal preferences. For example, most people love to camp in warm weather as they can enjoy the outdoor activities under the sunlight. Meanwhile, some of us define an ideal camping as a cool morning with their beloved side by side sipping a warm cup of hot tea or coffee. Also, if you live in a region that is warm year round, you might want to escape to somewhere cool to relax while camping. 

Besides, as camping is an outdoor activity, we need to take into account that there are many natural factors that might affect the trip such as: sunlight, temperature, humidity, wind, rain… To have a perfect camping trip, we need to make sure these factors are in the most suitable condition, or at least are acceptable enough to not affect our time among nature. 

… but the ‘best time to go camping’ does!

However, there’s still a ‘best time to go camping’ that meets most of our requirements.  

In the technical way

The truth is, warm weather is the most suitable weather to go camping as we can move, play and do everything at ease. As the natural factors that might affect our camping time are suitable/acceptable for outdoor activities, most of us choose to camp in warm weather in the summertime. We don’t need to bring along extra clothes in case of getting cold. We don’t need to bring along extra matches or timbers in case of (extra) moisture. We don’t need to bring extra poles to stake our tent to the ground in the fear that harsh winds will blow us up. 

And the actual answer 

If you are not a pro who is able to camp in the wild, campgrounds are always the good choices. The camping season is now the time that the campgrounds open. 

Normally, the campgrounds run from April/May to September/October. Some may open early around April, and close as late in October. However, most of them open in May and close in September. Hence, the best time to go camping is during this period. 

Best time to go camping: What are the most suitable months? 

The most suitable months for camping

As mentioned above, the best time for camping is from May to September. Hence, the most suitable months are May, June, July, August and September. For many people, the summer months from June to August are the best time to go camping while others prefer cool fall weather in September. 

How to pick out the most suitable month for yourself?

No matter summer or fall, there might be tons of people coming to the campgrounds during these periods as the campgrounds only open in 5 out of 12 months in a year. What you should do before planning anything for the trip is to book a slot before it is booked out. Consider the below list, check the weather forecast, pick out a date and reserve the spot.

  • The average high and low temperatures
  • Will it rain during the camping time?
  • Does the campground you choose rank high (in the list)?
  • The facility that the campground supply 
  • Are there bugs and mosquitos? 
  • Any crowds on that day?

Best time to go camping: What are the most suitable seasons?

Why summer months?

The reasons why summer months are so popular for most of us are already explained partly above. As camping is an outdoor activity, its feasibility depends mostly on natural factors. 

The temperature

Summer is always the warmest season of the year. The average temperature is always high, which matches well with going camping. Some camping activities that are only feasible in summer are swimming, sleeping in tents at night… 

The rain patterns 

Unlike many countries, summer in the US is the season when it rains the least.  If you do not want to do everything (such as setting up the tent, preparing the food, and even sleeping in the wet if your tent is not waterproof…), then summer is more suitable for you. 

However, it does not mean that you can 100% avoid rain in the summer. There might be sudden rain during your camping time. Do not let the rain drop you down! If you prepare well and know these amazing tips for camping in the rain beforehand, the rain will never wash away your grace.  

The schedules 

Another reason why many families choose summer for camping is that the kids will be free from school during this period. It is also true for adults who work in the school system. For other industries, summer is also the low season/off season and it is much easier to take off work for some camping days. 

The activities 

It is already said that there are many camping activities that are only feasible in the summer. Many beach-related activities are only suitable to do during summertime, such as swimming, water polo, surfing, sunbathing… If you are the type of person that thinks of camping as beach-related activities, then summer is perfect for you. There will not be anything that is more interesting than diving into the cool water on a hot summer day. 

Why camping in the fall?

The summer has it all, but why is there still a large number of campgrounds that are booked out in autumn?

No more heat

Summer months are the warmest, but also the hottest time for some people. Spending all day long out in sweltering temperatures is not a good prospect, especially when there is nowhere to hide during camping time. For those who camp with an RV or cabin, the AC might cool you down for a while. However, you can not stay there forever. We go camping to have more time outside, not to stay inside. 

Hence, it is understandable that there are more campers drawn to autumn months when the temperature is more pleasant. 

The foliage

Many choose the time to camp based on the preference of seeing things changing. Then autumn is the most suitable time! There is no other season that you can see a forest or wooded area covered in a rich pattern of colors such as green, yellow, orange and red. This will be a splendid view that one once wishes to contemplate in their lifetime. 

The activities

If summer is for beach-related activities, then autumn is definitely suitable for hiking. Hiking is a physical activity that makes us sweat a lot. If you hike in the summer, especially on extremely hot days, you might sweat buckets. When camping, it is not easy to take a shower due to the lack of shower facilities. You either can not let the sweats dry out as it will cause an uncomfortable feeling. 

Summer camping Autumn camping
Temperature Highest temperatures Cooler temperatures 
Rain opportunity Rain the least  Often rain 
Suitable activities Beach-related activities  Hiking, fishing…
Campgrounds crowdedness  High Low
Campgrounds rate Expensive Cheaper
Bugs & mosquitoes More bugs and mosquitoes Less bugs and mosquitoes
Speciality Kids are free from school Splendid view 

Is it possible to camp in the winter?

Winter camping is not highly recommended because of its harsh conditions. However, there are still some people who find camping in winter more interesting as they love the extra challenges. In case you are one of them, be aware of what you might need to conquer when camping in cold weather such as the harsh winds, the cold, the ice and the snow. Do not let these scare the fun out of you! There are still many advantages of camping in winter such as no flies, no mosquitoes and no dangerous animals (bees or bears). It is not to mention the fact that all campgrounds are now quiet, and cheaper, and not crazily occupied. To have a better experience when camping in the winter, you can check out the winter camping tips here and get yourself a good sleeping bag, sleeping pads, or anything that keeps you warm. 

Final words

Each time of the year has its own unique and exciting challenges. If you have the intention to explore nature’s beauty from season to season, make sure that you are fully aware of the pros and cons of each season when it comes to camping. Also, equip yourself with basic survival skills and camping tips and tricks. You will then fully enjoy your time, no matter which season or month you choose to camp.