How to Have a Killer Camping Trip in California This Summer

Outdoor Camping Hammock

Some people head to baseball games during the summer. Others go to Florida or an amusement park. Others stay indoors to “Netflix and chill”. Growing up, our family spent a lot of time at campgrounds. Camping was fun, inexpensive, and convenient. Best of all, we could eat s’mores all day and stay up all night. If you live in California or are taking a trip to the Golden State and thinking about camping out, we’ve shared a list of tips for landing a killer spot, courtesy of Tom Stienstra for Have fun!



Get off the grid

Stienstra says there are about 400 lakes, 175 major rivers and streams, and 20 million acres of national forest in California. Across the state, he says, there are about 1,450 campgrounds, including about 800 in national forests. You have options for your camping experience.


Time your trip

Stienstra says that most camping trips are three or four days. By booking a Sunday night through Thursday trip you can often have your pick of campsites at prime locations near lakes, he says. Obviously more people will want to camp during the busy weekend days, so, try to avoid those.


Avoid the 95 Percent Club

Stienstra recommends staying away from marquee destinations on weekends where everything is sold out and camping turns into a party by the lake and not “a launch site to hike, boat, fish, climb a mountain, take photographs, or have other adventures.”

Pop-Up Camper Rentals

Use smaller RVs

Because big recreational vehicles are often restricted to private RV parks or campgrounds, Stienstra recommends a smaller RV, cab-over van and pickup trucks, pop-up tents, trailers, or a smaller 5th wheeler. These smaller vehicles can easily fit into campsites at state parks and national forests which “opens up the world,” Stienstra says.

Find Camping Gear and Outdoor Equipment Rentals

Looking to unplug this weekend and enjoy some time bonding with Mother Nature?  The most comprehensive rental resource online, Rent It Today can connect you with providers of rental camping equipment including tents, backpacks, and other camping essentials in your area or near your destination. To browse a list of available rental camping equipment, please click here.

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