Camping and outdoor activities
-- by Valerie Giles
Camping mixed with outdoor activity is a great way to get ourselves involved with nature. National Parks can provide an excellent backdrop for some of your outdoor activities.
Activities such as hiking, fishing, cycling, horseback riding, white water rafting and kayaking, skiing, rock climbing and mountaineering are just a few of the sports you might want to include on your camping adventure.
Itís important when traveling to bring along the proper clothing. Always include some rain and windwear, a fleece jacket is also a good idea. A first aid kit and plenty of drinking water should always be available. Of course if you are planning on doing any outdoor activities in the winter you will need more clothing etc. Bring along your bicycles and hiking boots if you have them. Usually equipment rentals will be available for activities you donít usually do.
Whatever outdoor activity you decide on pursuing, itís always a
great idea to do a little research. Most of the National Parks
you will be visiting have excellent web sites that you can look
into and see what sort of hiking trails and activities are
available. Information such as popular points of interest in the
parks will also be available in travel books and park brochures.
Depending on where you will be staying you can also research the
area you will be visiting for information on bicycle rentals,
kayak rentals and lessons, and boating. There will be different
outfitters available in the area that may offer excursions and
rentals through the park you are visiting.
One of the most convenient and popular camping activities is
hiking trails. For some people a hike can consist of a simple
walk around the park, while others prefer a much lengthier hike.
Regardless of what sort of hike you will be taking, a little
preparation will go a long way in ensuring a comfortable
journey. Hiking trails offer highly scenic and incredible
views of nature. Hiking is a wonderful way to view nature at
its finest, as the parks really are preserving special pieces
of our wilderness. Depending on what park you will be hiking,
the trails will offer different ranges of difficulty levels.
Many trails will lead to scenic vistas as easy hikes, while
other hikes may be significantly more challenging and too steep
Always be prepared for the weather when hiking, carry a daypack
with some water, a rain/wind jacket, a fleece/wool jacket or
sweater, a first aid kit and some food. Good hiking boots are
essential. On some of your hikes it is quite likely you will
come across wildlife such as moose, black bears and grizzly
bears, big horn sheep and deer. It is a good idea to know what
you should and should not do when coming across animals, parks
often will have signs up if animals have been sighted in the
Fishing is a wonderful way to enjoy the sport and see beautiful
streams, ocean, lakes and rivers all over the United States.
National Parks offer both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Check with the state fishing regulations for exact dates and
detailed fishing information, including proper license
requirements. Some fishing opportunities will require overnight
backcountry use permits. It is always important to respect the
park you are fishing in to maintain the quality waters that
protect the natural fish populations and food sources for bald
eagles, ospreys and otters among others.
Cycling is an excellent and convenient way to explore the
national park or area where you are staying. Bringing along
bicycles allows you to just get up and go wherever you are. It
is important to check beforehand as to where cycling is allowed.
Most National Parks only allow biking on the paved and
backcountry dirt roads throughout the parks. Most hiking trails
do not allow bicycles. Most of your cycling through the parks
will be done on the same roads used for cars, for this reason
special caution should be used; stay alert and be visible using
both head and tail lights along with reflective clothing. Look
into the area you will be camping in, there may be trails
available specifically for cycling.
Horseback riding might be a fun and exciting option while
visiting a national park. Several parks offer gravel roads for
horseback riding, certain parks also have horse rentals and
guided excursions available. A list of stables and outfitters
can be obtained at visitor centers, or checked through travel
guides and brochures.
Whitewater rafting is one of the most unique and invigorating
ways to visit a parks backcountry. Some of the most incredible
National Parks may have river rafting excursions that travel
through the park, the river rafting is usually offered by
various companies and outfitters. If whitewater rafting sounds
a bit too dangerous, perhaps a kayaking excursion through one of
the splendid rivers would seem wiser. Imagine kayaking through
one of the popular National Parks past geysers, hot spring and
mud pots. Kayaking is a wonderful way to explore areas that are
untouched by vehicle or foot traffic.
Cross country skiing is another popular way for the whole family
to visit and see beautiful winter landscapes. Many parks have
several excellent trails available for cross country skiing.
Several National Parks will offer novice, intermediate and
advanced trails for skiing. Cross country skiing is a wonderful
way to experience the parks wilderness during the winter season.
Snowshoeing trails may also be available in parks.
The U.S. National Parks offer some of the most incredible rock
climbing and mountaineering pursuits in the world. Rock climbing
and mountaineering are usually sports reserved for people with
a bit of experience. Rock climbing and mountaineering can offer
wonderful and different perspectives of the landscapes. Both
sports demand having the proper equipment and knowledge for
safety reasons. Many National Parks offer established climbing
routes that will have a wide range of difficulty levels; usually
no permits are needed, unless an overnight stay in backcountry is
involved. It is important to check weather conditions beforehand
and use caution, never climb alone.
What better way to experience some of the most beautiful scenery
in the world than with some fun outdoor activities. The options
for outdoor activities are endless. Whether you decide to visit
any of the amazing National Parks or choose to go camping in a
favorite spot the list is limitless. Many of the activities you
might be interested in will be available in the towns near the
parks. Various outfitters and companies outside some of the
popular National Parks will offer excursions that go into the
parks. Whatever activity you decide to enjoy, it is always wise
to do a little research to know ahead of time what to expect,
always check what the weather conditions will be to avoid any
About the author:
Best Camping Supplies is a resources site owned and operated by
Valerie Giles. It features tents, campers, fishing gear, boats,
kayaks and outerwear, making your camping experience enjoyable.
Everything for camping enthusiasts at reasonable prices!