Top 5 Things To Know Before Camping on Florida’s Sports Coast

If you’re searching for a bit of personal serenity or looking to spend some tech-free quality time with your family, camping on Florida’s Sport’s coast offers both locals and tourists the chance to have an outdoor adventure. And whether you’re a camping novice or seasoned camper, the secret to getting the most out of your escape from the concrete jungle is planning. Now, sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are the top 5 things to know before camping on Florida’s Sport’s Coast.

WHEN TO GO ON YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

Planning your camping trip for the right time of year is critical to enjoying all the benefits that come with mother nature’s zen. Florida locals will tell you there are two seasons for the weather- the wet and dry seasons. In general, October marks the start of camping. Then, cooler temps start to make up the days and nights and continue through the end of the season in April.

 

WHERE TO CAMP ON YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

A family enjoying their camping outdoor adventure in the forest.

Once you’ve scheduled your getaway, the next step is to make your campsite reservation. Before booking, decide if you want to rent a cabin or be camping in a tent or RV, as this will help the campsite determine the reservation that best suits your needs. 

At 113 acres, Crews Lake Wilderness Park is the smallest of the three main wilderness parks, but it’s packed to the brim with fun amenities. Located near the Suncoast Trail and Central Pasco, and Gulf Railroad. This park offers visitors the chance to bike local trails, ride the train for free on the 2nd Saturday of each month, fish, canoe, enjoy the botanical gardens, visit the observatory, and more. 

The Withlacoochee River Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife on its 406 acres and is best for visitors looking for a tranquil excursion into nature. Enjoy fishing, kayaking, hiking, and birdwatching from this wilderness park.

 Finally, our largest wilderness park, Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, covers a massive 8,300 acres of land and offers a 10-mile equestrian trail and 13 miles of hiking trails. This park is perfect for folks who enjoy long walks and trail rides.

 

MAKE A PLAN 

Planning is crucial to an enjoyable camping trip, and it’s best to come prepared for any number of scenarios, including rain, heat, encounters with wildlife, and more. If you’re tent camping, be sure you’ve selected the correct type and size of waterproof tent according to your party size. Depending on the park you’ve chosen, you will also likely have your eye on enjoying any number of fun activities available like hiking, biking on the trail, kayaking or swimming.

While it’s essential to remain flexible, creating an itinerary of what activities you plan to partake in will help you prepare for your trip. Equally necessary to plan with your itinerary is making a meal plan of what you plan to eat and when. Meal prepping ahead will help campers to organize their trip for maximum fun and relaxation without getting hangry.

 

WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

Women eating smores on her camping trip.

Knowing what campsite essentials to pack will help nature lovers and adventure seekers get the most relaxation from their vacation. Do your research ahead of time to ensure that you have prepared yourself for the type of camping trip you’re planning.

Some of the essential items to pack for your trip are:

  • camping chairs
  •  flashlights
  •  toilet paper
  •  food and potable water
  •  bedding for cabins or sleeping bags
  • sensible footwear
  •  sunscreen
  •  bug repellent
  • a first aid kit
  • firewood and fire starters
  • a cooler
  • trash bags
  • emergency cash in small bills
  • variety of clothing to layer
  • a map  of the area

Finally, if you’re planning any activity that requires a permit, such as fishing, be sure to secure any needed permits ahead of time.

 

THINGS TO AVOID ON YOUR OUTDOOR  ADVENTURE

While planning your trip, it’s essential to review the park’s rules and know the type of wildlife to expect in advance. Knowing what to do will keep you and your loved ones safe and your trip from turning into a possible nightmare scenario if you encounter the local wildlife. For example, while camping on Florida’s Sport’s Coast, you might run into various snakes such as Water Moccasin, Rattlesnakes, Coral Snakes. You could also run into larger animals such as Bob Cats and Alligators or Black Bears. Park rules are there to keep all guests safe, protect the environment, and ensure everyone can enjoy camping in the great outdoors.

Things like collecting firewood, ATVs, golf carts, homemade tents, audio systems, and alcohol are strictly prohibited while camping in Florida’s public parks. Also, when considering bringing your best four-legged friend, keep in mind that no pets are allowed camping in the park other than Withlacoochee River Park. Suppose you do decide to bring your pup with you to Withlacoochee River Park. In that case, it is critical to double-check the policies while planning, as dogs are only allowed in some regions of the park and are not allowed to go near freshwater, unattended, or left tied to any object.

 

Ready to Camp?

There are so many ways to enjoy Florida’s Sport’s Coast, and we hope that camping becomes one of them! With a bit of planning, you will be ready to get outdoors, relax, and enjoy all the activities available on your perfect camping vacation.