Howdy, all, and welcome back to AllCampgrounds!
Last week, I promised to talk about how you can help your favorite public parks and camp grounds weather the storm as states and the federal government wrangle over spending.
As we learned last week, the National Park Service, which operates 58 national parks around the country, is considered “non-essential” – and if the government shuts down, both tent camping and RV camping opportunities at these sites will shut down, too.
But fear not! Campers can get involved to help keep all campsites humming.
Donate Time or Money to Your National Park: It may not seem like it at the height of camping season, but not all campsites see a lot of visitors throughout the year. Public lands can range thousands of miles, and some welcome the majority of campers in the spring and early summer months. The more people visit throughout the year, the better is the chance that public lands will find a bigger place in the budget – especially if visitors show their commitment by volunteering or pooling donations.
You can learn more about giving to national parks at the National Park Foundation.
Visit Your National Park Camp Grounds Frequently: Many avid campers plan trips to their favorite tent camping grounds every year. Even if you don’t have much time to volunteer, visiting your local park helps build revenue and interest that keeps lands open. Remember to leave your campsite “without a trace” to make sure animals aren’t disturbed and park workers don’t have to spend excess time in clean-up. For more about this, see Keeping Your Camp Grounds Clean and Pristine. Being tidy is one of the easiest ways to reduce maintenance; Mother Nature can tend the forest, but not pick up trash!
Join an Organization: There are all sorts of groups for camping enthusiasts whose trips make a big impact on the camp grounds they choose, both public and private. These clubs are great fun, and many of them can help you save on camp grounds and supplies thanks to long-standing relationships with parks and suppliers. No matter what kind of camping you favor, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. For an introduction to some of these, browse the AllCampgrounds archives for a look at National Organizations Every Tent Camper Should Know and National Organizations for RV Campers.
Spread the Word: Likewise, there are plenty of great campers out there who just don’t know they’re campers yet. If you know someone you’d like to get out into the great outdoors, consider joining them in a trip to a KOA camp ground to get started. Check out the KOA Campground Directory to find the site nearest you and enjoy this famous franchise, famous for being beginner and family-friendly. Trying to ease into things for the reluctant campers in your family? The National Parks: America’s Best Idea makes a great gift, and many camp grounds are found near “conventional” tourist destinations.
Also don’t forget the “Camping for Everyone” series, also on the AllCampgrounds blog, with special tips to make camping a more appealing prospect to folks from all different backgrounds and skill levels. The more we use our parks, the more likely they’ll be there for us in the future, so plan your next camping trip today!