Maroon Bells is one of the most famous settings in the whole state of Colorado. Two 14,000-foot mountains have become the most photographed peaks within North America. This beautiful place has three campgrounds, the Silver Bell, Silver Bar, and the Silver Queen, all which give you access to the wondrous wilderness setting. Both tent campers and car campers are welcome. If you need supplies, the campsite is not far from Aspen, which makes going for a food run easy.
Rocky Mountain National Park
This area has five campsites, with the favorite being the Moraine Park. The site offers excellent views with magnificent landscapes. Many of the campers have had the chance to see some passing wildlife. Quite often, moose, black bears, snakes, sheep, elk, and mountain lions can be seen wandering around their natural habitat.
Oh Be Joyful
The Oh Be Joyful campsite is situated close to the Crested Butte. This is a campsite with not just a good name but also a great location. Explore the gateway to the Raggeds Wilderness, which is around 60,000 acres of forest that goes in altitude from 7,0000 to 13,000. There is a place to hike, mountain bike ride, and even fish. The town is not far out, which has lovely meals if you want to venture away from a campfire meal.
Buffalo Pass – near Steamboat Springs
Cottonwood Pass – Buena Vista
Vasquez Ridge – Free camping near Winter Park
Blue Lakes Trail – free camping
Lost Creek Wilderness Loop – near Bailey
Chatfield State Park – Littleton
Cheyenne Mountain State Park Campground – Colorado Springs
Moraine Park Campground – Estes Park
Angel of Shavano Campground – Salida
Piñon Flats Campground – Alamosa
Bear Lake is a very scenic campsite that is well suited for those who love to throw a fishing line in. Plenty of Colorado trout can be found here in the 14-mile-long Indian Creek. The Cuchara River also found here is a good little fishing hole for both the serious fly fishers and the causal fishers who are just seeking out some fun.
Sitting just inside Pike National Forest, is the campsite that is an hour’s drive away from Denver. Sitting at 11,000 feet the campsite is accessible by car and foot, so it suits hikers and those just having a relaxing escape. At nightfall, you get stunning views of the night sky, which is the best way for anyone to wind down after hiking up Mount Bierstadt or fishing at Lake Georgetown.
Colorado boasts plenty of high star motels, but if you love the outdoors, why not spend a night bonding with the stars. From canyons to the capped Rocky Mountains, you can create the most spectacular camping experience that ever existed. If you are a novice at camping, then you will soon find it can be a little daunting.
Find your reason for choosing Colorado as your go to camping spot!
- Colorado is becoming the hotspot for ecotourism. If your dream is to experience the outside wilderness and to see what the remote parts of the country have to offer, then you need to camp out in Colorado.
- Disconnect yourself from the world. Camping gives you an experience to reconnect with nature.
- Colorado has camping sites all around, which allows you to get up close to some of the most beautiful places in existence.
- Disconnect yourself from the world of technology. Our minds and bodies need a break from technology from time to time. Camping in Colorado allows for technology disconnection as most places are out of reach for internet and mobile connections.
- Associating with friends and family is vital. Connect with your loved ones for your wellbeing. Camping is a great way to make the most of being around friends and family without the everyday distractions.
- Clean air and lots of land
- Camping food tastes so much better cooked on a campfire, which brings out the flavour. Fresh air isn’t just good for your lungs but can even make the food tastier.
What to take into consideration before leaving for camp?
Get out the weather radio
In case you don’t get any mobile service, take your weather radio, so you have a backup for bad weather notifications.
Take plenty of fresh water
Make sure you pack plenty of fresh water because you will need it. While it can work well to quench your thirst, it’s also useful for the dog water, cleaning a wound, washing cookware, and brushing your teeth.
Pack Colorado Attire
Ensure you pack for all seasons. It might be really hot, or it could snow. You might even experience different weather seasons all within the same day. If you plan to hike or go out and collect firewood, you will need decent shoes and pack your swimming trunks so you can take a dip to cool off. Take some parkas in case the weather ends up freezing.
Depending on where you camp, if you are out in the wilderness, there isn’t going to be lights when you go to the bathroom or to have a shower. You don’t want to be tripping over rocks and sticks in the dark. You only need a small flashlight that can slip into your pocket, so you have light when you need it.
There is no point packing the weather radio and the flashlights if the batteries run out of power. If the kids have battery-powered games, then you are going to want to make sure you have plenty to help keep the kids entertained.
Plenty of ice
If you have packed a cooler for your meat and dairy, then you are going to need ice to keep the food at the right temperature. You can buy bags of ice or consider filling containers with water, and then as it thaws, you have some cold water to cool off or use for the dog to enjoy.
The essentials you should never forget:
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Cookers and firewood
- Cooking equipment
- Clean water
- Hygiene items
- Clothing for the season
- First aid kit
- Entertainment: board games, cards, etc
- Sun protection
- Fishing/swimming gear
- Rubbish bin/bags
- Toilet items
You may have other things that you want to add to the essential list; this is just a basic guide of the essentials that should not be forgotten.
What food is perfect for camping
A big part of camping is having good food. You don’t want to be on a trip where the kids are hungry. Camping is not like being at home. You might not have packed a never-ending supply of food where everyone can graze all day. Ensure you have some big, filling meal ideas to ensure that everyone stays fuller for longer. If you have people with special dietary requirements or fussy kids, then remember to take this into consideration. Plan ahead and prep some food early if you can so you can spend more time relaxing and enjoy the trip rather than working out and prepping the next meal.
Consider using zip lock bags for cut up food and bring jars of dry ingredients for a recipe like a jar of muffin or cake mix, so you have everything in one jar, you just need to add an egg. This will save space from bringing all these packets of individual ingredients and trying to pack and sort them.
Health and safety tips for camping out
While camping is fun, exciting, and relaxing, it’s still important that you keep safe and follow the right guidelines to ensure the wellbeing of yourself and everyone around you.
It can be a good idea to get vaccinated when you are out camping as it’s another layer of protection from many conditions and certain diseases that you can get while camping. Visiting your local doctor and explaining the areas in which you want to travel will help to determine the best vaccination for you.
Be careful of carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless and can cause death in both pets and humans. Carbon monoxide poisoning can build up if you are using gas stoves, lanterns, heaters, or charcoal grills inside an enclosed area.
Avoid the wild animals
Many wild animals can carry diseases that are dangerous to us and our furry pets. If you see wild animals, avoid feeding and touching them. Encourage children to watch from afar and to enjoy seeing the animals in their natural habitat. Keep food in sealed containers and out of reach of animals that can eat the food and infect it with diseases. Check over everyone for ticks, including your pets and ensure they are removed as soon as they are spotted.
Be prepared before you go
Before you go, prepare for the unexpected. Check the weather reports for the area and track any fires or flooding nearby and ensure you tell friends and family where you are going. If something happens, friends and family can tell authorities where to start searching. Ensure you pack the first aid kit, compass, map, GPS, batteries, and medications. Ensure you get in contact with the camp authorities to report your arrival and to report any issues that may arise.
Preparation of safe water and food
Make sure that you bring safe water and food when going camping. Eating food or water that is contaminated can increase your risk of developing some infectious diseases that are caused by germs. You can end up with gastro, which is very unpleasant to deal with when you are away camping.
Ensure you take these steps to ensure water and food is safe:
- Chill foods promptly
- Cook foods to the right temperature and check with a food thermometer
- Separate the cooked and raw foods
- Wash your surfaces and your hands often. A sanitizer will work if you don’t have any water.
- Keep your foods in waterproof and tight packaging or airtight containers
- Keep food you aren’t eating in a cooler
- Don’t drink the local water, stick to bottled.
Are you a coffee lover?
If you are new to the camping scene, you might not think of taking coffee. There is nothing better than waking up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee. You can keep it simple by using a cooker kettle, some pour-over filters, or a French press.
Ensure you are using eco-friendly dish soap, so when you dump the dirty water on the ground, it won’t be harmful. Using a microfiber cloth works well because you can wash it out and hang it up to dry for next time instead of using throw-away cloths.
Pack up your trash each night and store it somewhere secure. This will ensure you don’t have one big mess to clean up all at once, and it will keep the animals away from your campsite at night.
Travel by flight as less as possible
Once you’ve reached the destination country, use trains to travel within the country instead of flights. It might take a little more time, but will reduce your carbon footprint, and you’ll get to see some serene sights too on the way.
Say No to plastic
Don’t buy plastic bottles at all, even if they’re available easily. The demand creates the supply. Once tourists stop buying, the local shop owners will stop stocking them. Use recyclable bottles and keep filling them with locally purified water from the restaurants or your hotel. Even the faucet water is safe to consume after boiling in most countries.
Use Hybrid Cars
Pick hybrid cars as your choice of a ride while taking cabs or self-driven rentals to move around. The lesser fuel you burn, the smaller your carbon footprint becomes. No rocket science there.
Pick hotels that follow sustainable practices
Make this one of your primary criteria before picking a hotel. The hospitality industry needs to understand that if they can’t follow sustainable practices, they’ll start losing customers. At least basics like Solar Energy and Rainwater harvesting should be in place.
Don’t leave any leftovers in the hotel
If you have shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, that you didn’t use completely, instead of leaving it at the hotel, pack it in your bags while leaving. The hotel can’t give used bottles to another customer and will have no choice but to throw it away, further contributing to the plastic waste.
Engage in adventure sports responsibly
Operators will take you to deep waters to engage in activities like Scuba Diving & Snorkeling. Make sure that you don’t litter there as the ecosystem is very fragile. While doing Scuba diving, don’t touch the coral reefs at all. Enjoy the beautiful sights, but don’t do anything that’ll disrupt the ecosystem.
Always carry a bag for waste
Sometimes, finding a dustbin nearby is tough. That doesn’t mean that you can litter. Always carry a bag with you, keep putting all the waste in it, and dispose of it as soon as you spot a dustbin. Do not buy plastic bags. Use recyclable ones. Even for shopping, carry a small backpack or a jute bag to carry the stuff you buy. Refuse to take the plastic bag even if the local shop owner offers it for free.
Animals are not props for your photoshoots
The most annoying touristy thing ever. People think of animals as objects. Do not book elephant rides or snorkeling trips with dolphins. The fragile flora and fauna of the sea and the jungle needs to have human interaction only when it’s a necessity. We should not affect their lives and their routines, as it all contributes to the ecosystem, and altering it means affecting the ecosystem.
Packing the furniture
Don’t forget to pack a table to wash and prepare food. You also need to consider somewhere for everyone to sit and eat. Some campgrounds will have picnic tables, or you can even set up a rug on the ground if you have a large area rug that you can bring along.
Worried you won’t sleep?
People tend to stress over if they will be able to sleep or not. A decent air mattress or sleeping pad is the secret; you need to be comfortable to sleep no matter where you are. Some people prefer to wear earmuffs, so they don’t hear the strange wilderness noises during the night.
Bring toilet paper
Do you know how many people tend to forget the toilet paper? Even if you are camping at a site that advertises full amenities, make sure you bring your own. Each person should bring their own loo paper, hygiene items, medications, and any other personal items they use at home.
When it comes to connecting with nature, there is no better way to do that than sinking into the natural beauty of Colorado’s outdoor destinations. With stunning Rocky Mountains and the breathtaking views, you won’t ever want to leave. You might think it will be hard to leave the electronic world behind, but in fact, once you get a feel of it, it’s something genuinely different.
For your next camping trip, make it a memorable one and venture off to Colorado and see what the state has to offer. You might as well pack everything because there is a chance you won’t want to come home again.