Spring has arrived! Warm breezes and sunny days are finally here. Dads, you know what that means – time to pack up the family for a weekend camping trip!
But isn’t it still a bit too cold to sleep outdoors?
Provided you are well-prepared, cooler temps make for some very comfortable sleeping weather, as opposed to the summer months when the heat can make sharing a tent almost unbearable. Mild temperatures also make long afternoon hikes more pleasant, help keep bugs at bay and promote snuggling around the campfire at night. Heading out before peak season is also a great way to take advantage of more affordable rates.
How do I prepare for camping on cooler nights?
Preparing for a spring camping trip is really not that much different than planning for an outing in the heat of summer. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
Dress in layers. Let’s face it, spring weather in the Midwest can be fickle. Highs in the 70s during the day may turn to temps that hover close to freezing at night. Dressing in layers is the best way to combat these temperature fluctuations – bundle up for the cooler mornings, shed some layers in the heat of the day and re-layer to face the chill of the evening. Mittens, stocking caps and thick, wool socks will also help ensure your extremities stay nice and warm all night long. Be sure to pack a few wool blankets that you can wrap up in while sitting around the campfire or layer over sleeping bags.
Prepare for rain. Did we mention spring weather is fickle? A rain-soaked tent is the quickest way to spoil a perfectly good camping trip, especially when you add cooler weather to the mix. Be sure to pack rain gear for your family members, but also ensure your tent is able to withstand an unexpected shower. Over time the tent’s factory-applied waterproofing can wear off. To learn more about how to waterproof your tent, visit: http://boyslife.org/outdoors/ask-the-gear-guy/8198/waterproof-my-inexpensive-tent/
Indiana is chock-full of fabulous campsites. Here are a few of our favorites for spring camping.
Turkey Run State Park
Located in Marshall, IN, Turkey Run features some of the most ruggedly beautiful hiking trails in the state. Highlights include beautiful sandstone gorges, a suspension bridge and an abundance of wildlife. Campsites feature electrical hookup and modern restroom facilities.
A bit closer to home, Summit Lake is located northeast of New Castle and southeast of Muncie. The park features scenic bike and hiking trails perfect for taking in the budding spring foliage. There is also an excellent bird watching and wildlife observation area. All campsites have electric and water hookups with modern comfort stations.
Shakamak State Park
A bit further away, but well worth the drive, Shakamak State Park is located just outside Terre Haute. Roughly two-thirds of the campsites are in a wooded area, making this a great campground to immerse your family in the beauty of spring. Both primitive and modern campsites are available.
With the right clothes and gear, the mild temperatures of spring can provide the perfect setting for a memorable family camping trip!