The USA is one of the world’s greatest countries for camping.
We can all agree on that, can’t we? With a wealth of stunning national parks, incredible wildlife, and areas rich with cultural value, the States offers an amazing range of camping options.
While many of us prefer to go beyond our own borders for our vacations, the great American camping trip is a tradition millions of families enjoy every year. Whether you’re looking to try it with your loved one, your kids, or solo, join us for a look at some of our most beautiful campsites!
Acadia National Park (Maine)
Acadia National Park is based on Mount Desert Island, and provides visitors with three fantastic campsites. Blackwoods is placed within comfortable range of Bar Harbor, the island’s center). Meanwhile, Seawall is the site of choice for visitors craving a more authentically-rustic camping experience.
Last but not least, Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Woods is close to the peninsula, offering all the picturesque views you’d expect.
Green Mountain National Forest (Vermont)
The mere mention of Vermont is enough to get plenty of hearts racing, and its Green Mountain National Forest is truly breathtaking.
There are multiple different campsites throughout, but you’ll have to go without your mod cons: there’s no electricity to charge your phones and tablets. Each of these is developed though, and you’re surrounded by plenty of impressive views.
During the day, you can take part in hiking, canoeing, and other activities. You may need to book a space, depending on the campsite you have in mind, so do inquire to avoid disappointment.
White Mountain National Forest (New Hampshire)
New Hampshire’s home to a wealth of unforgettable sights, and you’ll find many of them in its White Mountain National Forest. Visit in the fall to see some astounding colors and enjoy crisp, clear air.
There are around 800 different campsites spread across 24 drive-in zones, but some of the strongest are in the northern part. If you’re looking to stay in one of the more modern, developed sites, you’ll have to make a reservation.
Fancy going a little more old-school? Tent camping outside of specific campsites is permitted, but there are some absolute no-camping spots, so be careful not to pitch-up in a forbidden zone.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Pennsylvania)
Pine Grove Furnace State Park has a range of 70 campsites, for tents and trailers, but it’s recommended to book ahead of time (you can do this almost a full year in advance, to guarantee a spot). You can even take advantage of electricity and water for a more luxurious experience.
What can you do during the day? Well, the legendary Appalachian Trail runs throughout the park’s forest, but only the most dedicated and hardy manage to walk the full 2,000 mile-plus hike. So, don’t feel too downhearted if you only do a mile or two instead!
No hiking overnight is allowed, though, so limit your walking-time to daylight hours only.
So, that’s it! We hope we’ve given you some useful inspiration and ideas for your next camping trip. There’s lots to enjoy in our most beautiful parks, and roughing it in the great outdoors is an unforgettable experience for year-round vacations.
Booked your first ski vacation?
You may well feel daunted by the prospect of heading up into the mountains, surrounded by people who have more experience skiing than you.
You shouldn’t let this overwhelm you, though. Everyone is a beginner at one time or another. Your first ski vacation should be an unforgettable experience you’ll want to repeat again and again.
There are certain things you should do on your first skiing trip to make it all it can be – let’s take a look …
Don’t be Afraid to Actually Ski
Some people might like the idea of a skiing vacation, but feel too intimidated or afraid to actually ski.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with this. You can absolutely spend time relaxing at the lodge, walking through the beautiful surroundings, maybe even head down to the local town.
However, if you go all that way and let fear keep you off those skis, you may regret it. Consider taking lessons with an instructor, and let a trusted friend or family-member help you – you may just be surprised by how much you like it.
In some resorts, you may be able to hire a pair of snowshoes and go exploring.
This is a terrific way to explore your alpine environment, get some exercise, and do something a little different.
Snowshoeing takes some getting used to, and can leave you feeling tired faster than you expect, but it’s an experience everyone visiting a ski resort should try.
Step onto a Snowboard Instead
You may be able to try snowboarding at your alpine resort. If you get the chance to, do it!
This is a totally different discipline to skiing. First of all, you have no poles to help, and need a strong sense of balance to stay upright. You’ll also develop your core control as you twist and turn to guide yourself along the slopes.
Without doubt, snowboarding is one of the coolest of all winter sports, and can add a faster, more exhilarating dimension to your first ski vacation. If you’ve never tried it before, take snowboarding lessons and invest in decent gear.
Let Yourself be Pampered
Had enough skiing and/or snowboarding? It’s time to relax at the lodge and enjoy a taste of luxury.
Quality resorts provide spa treatments for their guests, ranging from head-massages and pedicures to more exotic treats, such as hot-stone massages.
This can help you relax and unwind, but also ensures your body gets a little care after being out in the cold for hours on end. You may prefer this if you find yourself falling or picking up more bumps and scrapes than you would like.
Strap on your Skates
Ice skating is available at various ski resorts, and allows you to get away from the mountains for a while. If this is your first time, it’s a fun new skill to learn (along with skiing and snowboarding), and is a great way to meet new people.
No matter which ski resort you head to, don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the alpine environment or the range of activities on offer. Throw yourself into the atmosphere, pack quality accessories and equipment to keep yourself safe, and remember to have a blast!
Did you find yourself stuck for meal ideas on your last camping vacation?
Eating delicious, hot, nourishing food while in America’s backyard can be tricky. After all, you only have limited space in your car, backpack, and tents – can you really pack a hefty selection of gourmet dishes along with the other essentials?
Well, yes. Just because you’re away from the luxuries of everyday life, doesn’t mean you have to survive on junk food or forage for nuts out in the woods. Take a couple of saucepans (one small, one large), a frying pan, as many plates and bowls as you’ll need, as well as a stove and fuel (unless you plan to start your own fires).
With your gear set, here’s a range of ideas to help you eat well when away from home …
Potato cakes are pretty quick and simple to make, and they taste amazing. You can prepare these for any meal, though they probably work best on the side of fried veg for dinner.
All you need to do is boil your potatoes over your stove or campfire, and then mash them. Add a single egg, as well as any seasoning you have with you, and then introduce a little flour to the mix.
Combine it all together, and then shape the potatoes into plump, round shapes. You just need to fry them for a while, until they turn a satisfying golden-brown color, and then serve.
Burning food on a stove or campfire is pretty easy to do, so don’t be too disturbed if you end up with a couple of cakes resembling coal.
Cheesy Nachos and Veg
This may sound like something of a cop-out, but it’s actually a fairly complete meal (thanks mainly to the presence of your preferred vegetables).
Start by cutting your veggies – this may be mushrooms, peppers, chili, jalapeno, onion, courgette, carrots, or anything else you like. Fry these in a pan, and add some salsa. Mix it all up.
If you’ve a casserole dish to hand, put your nachos inside and mix the saucy veggies in with it. Mix it up. Sprinkle some cheese on top, place the lid, and then put hot coals on the top so it heats from the top down, melting the cheese nicely.
No casserole dish? Use a cast iron skillet, or wrap the nachos with sauce up in foil to heat over your fire.
Healthy, Hearty Pasta
Pasta works beautifully on camping vacations. You can cook it in batches, keep it in airtight containers, and dip into it over a few days.
For a delicious lunch or dinner, boil your pasta over your stove or campfire, and then add plenty of chopped vegetables. Tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, asparagus, corn, and anything else you like will bring plenty of flavor and create a healthy dish.
Mix in a can of chopped tomatoes or condensed soup (with a little water or milk). Let it heat for a while, so the veg cooks thoroughly, and then top with some cheese or herbs.
Safety is paramount when cooking on a campsite. Certain spots will have their own facilities, but if you’re looking to go back to basics, cooking at your own space is pretty authentic.
Don’t make fires near the woods or your tent. Don’t leave children unsupervised around the fire. Ensure all knives and sharp utensils are kept out of sight from young kids.
As long as you stay safe, there’s no reason cooking can’t be fun, creative, and help to make your camping trip even better. Make sure you have all the equipment and essentials you need before heading out.