How to Make the Most of a Southern Colorado Camping Trip
Southern Colorado’s breathtaking beauty and easy access to natural wonders like lakes, reservoirs, and state parks make it an ideal destination for those who want to escape civilization for a while.
And what could be better than a night or a weekend of camping?
While camping is one of the Centennial State’s most popular outdoor activities, especially during the summer months when the weather warms up, there are some important things to keep in mind for have a safe and enjoyable camping experience.
Choose the right shelter and the right site
There are over 4000 campgrounds across Colorado, from highly isolated backcountry sites to full hook-up sites for RVs with individual water, sewer and pressurized electricity hookups, so it’s important that people consider their needs when choosing a shelter type and location.
Campers should consider their age, physical limitations, and medical needs before choosing a campsite, as well as the limitations of all members of their party.
Some Colorado campsites require a park pass or permit, so campers should plan ahead by reading potential campsites online and looking for information posted at campground entrances. Campers must always obey all signs and notices posted at campgrounds and trail entrances.
And since Colorado campgrounds often fill up well in advance, it’s always best to make a reservation as early as possible.
Make sure you prepare
Campers should bring several items on any camping excursion, many of which can be hired for those who are not ready to invest in camping supplies.
Aspiring campers will need a tent with a quality rain cover and sleeping bag to stay warm at night, as temperatures in many parts of Colorado can drop below freezing even during the summer months. summer, especially at high altitudes. A pillow and sleeping pad are also recommended to make the experience more comfortable.
Campers should bring enough food and water for the duration of their trip and avoid dehydration by drinking water regularly.
In case of cold weather, bring several layers of clothing including a water resistant coat, wool socks and long underwear.
Those looking to cook at their campsite should bring a camping stove or matches to light the campsite fire pit, as well as camp kitchen items like a can opener, aluminum foil, paper plates, mugs, utensils, a utility knife, garbage bags and paper. towels.
Make sure you have a flashlight, lantern, or headlamp when the sun goes down and always bring an emergency first aid kit.
Also, be prepared for insects like mosquitoes and ticks by bringing bug spray, especially those that don’t easily dissolve in water. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are also recommended when hiking in natural areas to avoid direct contact with insects.
Pay attention to the weather
Always keep an eye on the weather forecast before you go camping. Because Colorado weather is notoriously unpredictable, packing for inclement weather such as rain, snow, or high heat is essential.
Even when the forecast calls for one type of weather, it tends to change quickly, even during the summer months. To stay comfortable, bring and wear layered clothing.
Also, don’t forget to bring sun protection like hats, sunglasses, and most importantly, sunscreen. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can burn a person’s skin, causing uncomfortable sunburns or worse. Bring and use a broad spectrum sunscreen and lip screen with at least SPF 15.
Store food safely and apply wildlife tag
Leaving food in the camp, on picnic tables, or anywhere that food is not secure can increase an individual’s chances of attracting wildlife. To avoid and prevent unwanted confrontations with an animal, food should be packaged in airtight, leak-proof containers and stored in an insulated cooler or can also be stored in a locked vehicle or food storage locker.
To prevent foodborne illness – which affects one in six Americans each year – campers should wash their hands before preparing food and separate raw foods from cooked meals.
Due to Colorado’s vast array of animal species, campers should expect to encounter wildlife in one form or another during their trip and be familiar with the good wildlife encounters etiquette, including ethical wildlife observation.
Be sure to avoid touching and feeding animals, but if any of them come in contact with an animal, they should wash their hands with soap and water or use a disinfectant for them. hands containing at least 60% alcohol.
Chief Journalist Zach Hillstrom can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ZachHillstrom