There’s no better way to spend a weekend than camping by the lake. The fresh air and spectacular views do wonders for your peace of mind, and you can explore nature at your own pace. Would you love to pitch a tent by the lake or drive up in your RV to go fishing? Whichever you choose, you’re bound to have a great time outdoors. Use this guide to prepare for today’s ultimate camping experience at a lake near me.
Run a search for “lake near me” for your next camping trip, and you’ll quickly discover one thing: lakeside camping is quite different from any other outdoor camping experience. Camping can be a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. But for many people, the idea of camping can seem daunting or overwhelming. One of the best ways to ease into the camping experience is to start out with lake camping and enjoy swimming and the scenic views.
Lake camping on lakeside camping grounds like South Lake Tahoe or any nearby lake offers some wonderful opportunities that you won’t find at other types of campgrounds. And it is not just your typical picnic tables in any picnic areas. From breathtaking views, to swimming, jet skiing, wildlife viewing and fishing opportunities, and other recreational activities, lake camping is a great way to get your feet wet (not just in swimming) in the world of outdoor recreation. That large body of water on the site presents new and interesting challenges, so here are some tips to keep in mind.
Lake campsites are just as varied as any other type of campground. Depending on where you go, you may find yourself in a secluded area surrounded by lush forests and tranquil waters or in an area that’s close to civilization and activities such as mountain biking, zip-lining and horseback riding. Choosing where you will camp, lakeside or not. Wether it be national park like Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Eldorado National Forest or simply an old school lakeside campgrounds, will depend largely on your preferences and what kind of amenities are available in that area.
It’s important to check with local regulations before setting up camp at any lake site or rv parks or picnic area . Wether it be Lake Isabella, Silver Lake or June Lake. Be sure to read what kinds of permits are needed for campfires or fishing/boating activities, direct access, water skiing, and other water sports. It’s also important to respect wildlife by removing all trash from your area at check-out so that no animals are injured by carelessness or during outdoor recreational opportunities.
No matter how pristine the lake looks, it can still harbor bacteria or other contaminants that could make you ill. Keep a portable water filter with you and fight the urge to drink straight from the lake. A long intake hose will reach deeper into the lake for fresher water. Otherwise, wade as deep into the water as possible to fill your filter bottle.
The beauty of camping at a lake near me is the cool, fresh air blowing over the water. However, this often means stronger winds and temperatures dropping suddenly at night, even in the hottest summers.
Find a camping spot that offers shelter from the wind if you’re pitching a tent on the lake campground. If camping in an RV, note where the doors are facing. Wether it be located south or north. You want good airflow but not sudden gusts blowing into your vehicle.
Like it or not, lakes tend to attract insects and bugs because of standing water. You can camp as close to the shore as your campsite allows, but have enough bug repellent to keep mosquitoes away. The best option is to camp away from the lake shore to avoid mosquitoes but close enough to enjoy the lake views.
Camping by the lake means there’s a higher chance of your gear getting wet, even if you’re not fishing. Strong winds can blow items into the water, or children can accidentally (or on purpose) knock or throw objects into the lake. Your safest bet is to pack your gear in plastic tubs or wrap them in plastic bags. Also, use pegs or weights to keep items from blowing away or tipping over.
Now that you understand the primary lakes camping precautions, let’s look at ten essential things to pack for your lake camping trip.
Carry what you need to prepare food at lake campsites. Your camping mess kit should include the following:
· Camp stove and fuel
· A lighter or waterproof matches
· Knife and cutting board
· A frying pan and pots
· A portable water filter
· Can and bottle opener
· Eating utensils like cups, spoons, forks, plates, and straws
· A cooler for drinks and perishables
· Paper towels, napkins, and wet wipes
· All-purpose liquid soap for cleanup
· Trash bags for food waste
Of course, there are ways to make your camping mess kit more eco-friendly and reduce waste. For example, opt for reusable utensils over disposable ones, and use a biodegradable soap for cleaning. Also, use a sturdy trash bin with a lid to keep insects out, and pick up your food waste after each meal to keep your campsite clean.
You can rent a cabin at lake campsites, sleep in your vehicle, or set up a tent on the turf. But in each case, you’ll need good quality sleeping gear for your trip. If camping in a tent, you’ll need a ground cover tarp and a sleeping bag. Add items like pillows and camping blankets, depending on how much weight you can carry when pounding the hiking trails.
An air mattress can improve your sleep quality if you’re sleeping in your car. And if you want a luxurious camping experience, better known as glamping, rent a fully furnished cabin with a TV, WiFi, a kitchenette, and comfy beds for your holiday. In this case, you’ll only need your favorite linens and extra throw pillows to sleep like royalty.
Every camper should carry a first aid kit no matter where they’re going. Using a first aid kit keeps you safe until you receive proper medical care. Choose one that contains what you need to survive an accident or injury.
If you’re hiking around a lake near me, your first aid kit should have the following:
· Aloe vera to soothe sunburn
· Antihistamines for allergies
· Antiseptics for scratches and wounds
· Calamine lotion for insect bites
· Burn gel
· Sterile water
Search online for compact kits that fit in a backpack or fanny pack, or build your kit with these essential items.
Lake campsites are the perfect places to learn about catch-and-release fishing. This recreational activity is excellent for nature conservation, but you need the right gear. For example, choose a strong tackle, barbless hooks, and a soft mesh or net to protect the fish.
Always handle the fish carefully as you release it from the net and hook, and work quickly to get it back into the water. If you’re camping with kids, use catch-and-release fishing to improve hand-eye coordination and learn patience, perseverance, and respect for nature.
If you plan to swim, fish, canoe, or kayak on the lake, wear a life jacket for your safety. A general boating life jacket works well for adults because it’s lightweight and easy to wear and use. An inflatable belt pack is a more convenient option if you’re a good swimmer.
Choose a vest-type life jacket for fishing and watersports where you expect to get in the water. Kids should also wear life jackets, but ensure they know how to inflate them manually. Check that your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved and fits your size and weight well.
You can still use beach camping gear at a lake near me, whether you get into the water or stick to the shore. You can dip your toes, enjoy the sunshine, eat great food, and spend quality time with your loved ones at the lakeside with beach gear like:
· Beach umbrellas
· Beach bags for personal items (sunscreen, flip flops, towels, water bottles, phone, and snacks)
· Foldable beach chairs with cup holders
· A cooler for your refreshments
· A waterproof Bluetooth speaker for entertainment
· Beach toys for kids
Besides a swimsuit, you need appropriate clothes for camping by the lake. Wear items that you don’t mind getting wet. A wet bag is also handy for separating dry clothes from damp ones. Also, keep a jacket, beanie, gloves, and socks nearby in case temperatures drop overnight. Sneakers and flip-flops are suitable for hanging out around the lake but wear comfy waterproof gear for fishing and sturdy hiking shoes for walking or cycling adventures.
Imagine looking for the bathroom at night at your lakeside campsite. The last thing you need is to fumble for your smartphone torch to find your way around. Instead, use a headlamp to keep your hands free and a lantern to illuminate your camping space. Use rechargeable batteries or solar power to keep your lighting gear juiced throughout your stay.
Unless you spend your entire camping weekend on-site, you’ll want to dive into nature by hiking and biking. Carry high-energy snacks, reusable water bottles, a raincoat, GPS, and a trail map for your hiking adventure.
A multitool is also handy for cutting rope or twine, repairing your fishing gear, and much more. If you’re cycling, carry a bike pump and puncture repair kit on your adventure.
Of course, you want to capture those beautiful moments during your lakeside adventure to share with friends and family. It’s better to have a separate camera for your camping trip and save your smartphone for communication and emergency use.
Carry spare batteries and memory cards for your camera because you’ll soon be overwhelmed by the gorgeous sunrises, sunsets, wildlife, and fun activities with your loved ones. A good pair of binoculars can also help to spot birds and animals around the lake, so you can point your camera in the right direction.
So far, we’ve discussed all your lakes camping essentials to give you the best time out in nature. But if you search “lake near me,” you’ll find lots of lake campsites with different features and prices. How do you choose the best campground for your lakeside getaway? Consider the tips below:
Lake campsites offer spectacular views, clear waters, fresh air, hiking trails, and plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in nature. Choose a thoughtfully designed campground that incorporates the natural environment, such as proximity to the lake shore, sustainable waste disposal and recycling, and a Leave No Trace policy for responsible camping.
As you enjoy Mother Nature, you also want everyday services to make your stay comfortable. Choose a campground with running water, power supplies, sewer lines, and accessible restrooms. These services help hikers and RV campers to clean up, replenish drinking water, dispose of waste items, and charge devices before heading back out on the road or trail.
If you’re looking for lakes camping with friends and family, choose a campground with amenities that keep everyone happy. You can always swim in the lake and enjoy a picnic on the shore, but it’s also great to have an on-site swimming pool or playground, especially if you’re camping with kids. The more activities they can do within the campsite, the better for your peace of mind.
Check your lake campsites for their rules about campfires. Some sites don’t allow open fires, so you can only cook using a gas camping stove. Others allow for campfires but only on designated fire pits or rings. If so, find out where to source your firewood, then book a camping spot close to the fire rings if you love to grill, make s’mores, or enjoy an open fire in the evenings.
Remember to burn only wood in the campfire, so keep a trashcan for bottles, paper, and plastic waste.
The more amenities that a campsite has, the more expensive it is. But don’t let this discourage you from booking a stay at lake campsites. Choose a site that clearly states their prices upfront, such as:
· Regular camping fees (pitching tent)
· Vehicle camping fees (RVs and trailers)
· Cabin rentals
· Entrance fees
· Non-refundable deposits
· Vouchers, etc
Call your preferred campsites ahead of time for a quote, then plan your budget accordingly. There are plenty of ways to save on camping costs, such as cooking your meals on-site, traveling locally, and buying camping supplies in bulk. With some planning, you can keep well within your camping budget and have a great time.
You could be a Louisiana native looking for an affordable spot to get away with family or friends. Or, you could be an out-of-towner looking for a hidden-gem, adventurous vacation that invites you to get well-acquainted with nature and all its splendor.
Either way, with these ten must-see Louisiana campgrounds, you’re bound to find the vacation spot you seek.
Regardless of your choice, you’ll revel in the Louisiana wilderness’s natural beauty, fresh air, and good vibes.