It’s winter right now, and if you’re a Colorado Girl Camper, you might not be able to dig your camper out of the snow yet. My poor camper is tucked away until the spring thaw, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about all of the great adventures that we are going to have when the time comes! Here’s my list of “Timely Tips” that I’ve prepared for my own camping season. Maybe they will be helpful to you too!

Tips for Camping Early in the Season

Camping season in Colorado can start as early as March, April or May so you need to be prepared for snow, rain and mud. Most likely – all three!

  • Rain poncho to wear over my winter coat
  • Warm winter clothes, warm sox and pajamas
  • Gum Boots that are insulated and water proof
  • Old towels to put inside in front of the door for muddy boots and dog paws
  • Small space heater that’s been safety tested
  • Flannel sheets and extra blankets for the bed
  • Book to read, ukulele and harmonica to practice, watercolor paints & paper, coloring books and games or other things to do if I have to stay inside my cozy camper
  • Small car sized snow shovel in case it really snows a lot!
  • Snowshoes if you’re really winter camping
  • Propane fire pit if hanging out outside is an option

Tips for Camping with Dogs

I love to bring my dogs camping with me. They are great company on the drive to the campground and the best snugglers on a chilly night. And they love exploring new places as much as I do. These are some of my doggy camping essentials that I always make sure I have ready to go.

  • Leash & harness or collar with ID tag and rabies tag attached
  • Food and water dishes, food and treats, favorite toy
  • Vaccination Records – make a copy to leave in the camper this year
  • Check with each campground to see if they have specific rules or regulations about dogs
  • Flea & Tick spray if we’re headed to an area known for those critters
  • Extra poopy bags!

Tips for First Campout of the Season

Be prepared! Before you head out on your first trip of the season it’s a good idea to check all of the things that you keep packed for your camper. I like to do a spring shake down camping trip close to home so I can make sure that everything I need is ready for the season.

  • Check all batteries in flash lights, radio, etc. Carry extra new batteries with you.
  • Do you have a paper map or written directions in case you have no cell service?
  • Make sure you have all of your tools in your tool kit.
  • Refresh your First Aid kit
  • If you’ve left dishes and silverware in your camper over the winter, wash them.
  • Sweep, mop and was camper floor tiles. Waxing will protect your floors all season!
  • Restock matches, paper towels, napkins, toilet paper and other essentials
  • Open the windows and air out the winter feeling… let the sun shine in
  • Check your fire extinguisher and make sure it’s still up to date
  • Do you bring a pocket knife or hatchet for firewood… clean and sharpen them
  • Update your emergency contact list and post it inside cabinet door

Tips for Camping with Kids

Kids love camping! It’s so much fun to take them to places that they’ve never been and introduce them to new things. Plan ahead so that your campouts with kids will be fun for everyone!

  • Plan camping trips with kids ahead of time so that you’re camping somewhere kid friendly
  • Bring glow sticks or other glow in the dark things along. Kids love them, and you can keep track of them if they’re out after dark.
  • For you and the kids – keep binoculars and a bird identification book in your camper
  • Let them keep a camping journal. They can write or draw what they did each day and add to it every time they camp.
  • Teach your camping kids new skills… how to build a campfire/campfire safety, outdoor cooking, how to use a pocket knife, or how to pitch a tent!

Tips to Make your Camping Season Even More Fun

Camping is the highlight of my year and I look forward to it all year long! I make it a point to learn something new or try new things every time I head out. A few of my favorites are listed here.

  • Make it a goal to try a new recipe at every campout
  • Get a Dutch Oven and learn how to use it
  • Bring a small backpack along and take day hikes or day trips everywhere you camp
  • Keep a camping journal and note your favorite campsites and things to do in the area
  • Be comfortable! Treat yourself to a new camping chair that just begs you to sit a little longer
  • Plan campouts where you can try something new like kayaking, paddle boarding, star gazing during a meteor shower, geocaching or learning to paint
  • Try tent camping, dry camping or boon docking
  • If you usually camp with a group, try camping on your own at least once

Ready, Set, Go!

These tips are just things that you can read through to make you think about what you can do when it’s time to camp again! My lists evolve with each campout and each season, and yours will too!

The best part of preparing everything for camping season is the anticipation and excitement of the adventures ahead. Be sure to plan in advance so that each experience is the best it can be.

Happy Trails… Shari Sullivan
Colorado Front Range Girl Camper Guide
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