Camping is one of the best ways to truly see the natural world in all of its glory. Camping in some of the most gorgeous areas in the world will give you a new perspective about what is surrounding us in regular life.
But what about in your own “backyard?” What are the best camping spots in the U.S.?
Through all 50 states, there are certainly many amazing areas to explore. Although we cannot get to all 50 in this article, we’ll cover some awesome camping opportunities for you to consider below.
So, without further adieu, let’s cover the best camping locations in the U.S. right now!
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park boasts not only majestic mountain views, but 13 campgrounds as well.
Located in a gorgeous part of Montana, Glacier National Park is one of the most underrated camping destinations in the country. With incredible mountain landscapes and other natural features, you will be surrounded by beauty.
Over the course of the huge national park, there are 13 campgrounds and hundreds of individual sites to enjoy. So, there is plenty of room for everyone. If you like hiking, there are over 700 miles of hiking trails stretching through many areas and ecosystems.
Overall, this is a quiet, serene location to camp in the United States that has so much opportunity for fun.
Arches National Park, in Utah, is famous for its beautiful natural rock structures and great hiking.
Due to the natural rock structures and mountainous areas, Arches National Park is a site to behold. This is one of the more exclusive camping opportunities as there are only 50 campsites at the Devils Garden campground.
However, Moad, Utah is known for its other camping opportunities, but they will be off the main property. The park gets its name from the natural rock arches that are all over the property. This is a great place to hike and explore while taking in this area’s natural beauty.
The Grand Canyon National Park is an absolute must-see location, but be sure to plan ahead!
No list of the best camping locations in America is complete without mentioning one of the natural wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon is certainly one of the most impressive places in the entire world.
Camping in Grand Canyon National Park can happen in four developed campgrounds. If you would rather rough it, you can enter the backcountry on a permit if you are able to secure one.
Now, all of these opportunities fill up quickly, so the earlier the better in terms of planning.
Joshua Tree National Park has over 100 individual campsites.
Joshua Tree National Park is a great camping destination for a number of reasons. The biggest of which is the location. Located in California, this park is a few hours drive from cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.
When you can get away from the big cities easily and access natural beauty like this, it is a game changer.
In terms of parking at the actual park, there is plenty of room. There are over 100 individual sites with a few off-site places offering spots as well.
Temperatures in this part of the country get insanely high in the summer, so plan your trip in the other three seasons to get the best experience possible.
Looking for an island with wild horses… Assateague Island is the place to see! (photo credit: National Park Service)
Located off the coast of Maryland sits Assateague Island. This is a natural paradise with nearly 40 miles of coastline and plenty of beach camping available.
Assateague Island is a place not too many people away from the east coast know about, so it is a bit of a hidden gem, at least on the national level.
A super unique factor of Assateague Island is the population of wild horses that inhabit it. These are gorgeous horses that roam the island and frequent the various campgrounds on the beach. This is a really unique experience that does not happen much in the United States, especially on the east coast.
The Florida Keys may not be the firstthing that comes to mind when considering camping locations, but they are home to the beautiful Biscayne National Park (photo credit: Biscayne National Park Institute)
One of the focal points along the way is Biscayne National Park. There are not many areas where you can see a large city and also have the natural features such as this park. With downtown Miami off in the distance, you can pitch a tent and enjoy southern Florida life all in one location.
There are two campgrounds in the park, but both are on individual keys and have to be accessed by boats.
Badlands National Park is a great location for backpacking and seeing incredible views like this.
In order to make the Top U.S. Camping Spots list complete, we need an entry or two in the midwest. One of the most impressive of which is Badlands National Park in South Dakota. This is a large park that harbors incredible views and hiking opportunities.
In terms of camping, there are two campgrounds on the property and one of them is only accessible through the backcountry. So, if you would like to do some backpacking, you are covered in areas that cannot be reached by RV travellers and others.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has three drive-in campgrounds. (photo credit: Tim Trombley)
Michigan is a very underrated destination when it comes to natural beauty. However, it’s home to the beautiful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Here, there are three picture-esque campgrounds that are actually drive-in sites. This means that you pull your vehicle into a spot and enjoy the park.
Between the three campgrounds, there are a total of 65 sites and each one requires a reservation to secure the spot. The gorgeous pictured rocks are a short paddle or boat ride away.
One of the best ways to experience nature in a unique way backpacking. Packing up your gear and hitting the backcountry will put you in places that you could only imagine and that pictures just won’t do justice!
So, let’s cover the best backpacking tents in the game right now. Investing in a quality backpacking tent will transform your experience and put you in the best possible position for backpacking success.
Here are the best backpacking tents right now!
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 – Best 2-person Backpacking Tent
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 weighs just over 1 lb and can sleep two people comfortably.
No list of the best backpacking tents is complete without the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 making an appearance.
It’s acclaim and reputation is why it landed in the top spot on our list. Weighing just over a pound and being able to fit two people comfortably, it is hard to go wrong with this one.
This tent compacts down super well and is one of the best backpacking tents for two people. It covers pretty much any situation in which you would need to bear the conditions and hold up for a night.
There are doors on both sides with vestibules created by the rain fly to provide ease of use for everyone.
Pros of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2:
Plenty of space for two people
Lots of built-in storage
Lightweight despite the size
Cons of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2:
Small foot taper
Can be considered pricey to more budget-conscious backpackers
REI Co-op Passage 2- Best Backpacking Tent on a Budget
The REI Co-Op Passage 2 is great for the budget-conscious backpacker and is very user-friendly.
REI is one of the leading outdoor retailers in the game, and over time, they have developed a great deal of their own equipment. The REI Co-op Passage 2 is one of the best backpacking tents on a budget.
Coming in at 5 pounds 7 ounces, this is a steady option for those who cannot spend a ton of money on a tent that is lighter and pricier. If you fall into the middle of the road in terms of wants, needs, and budget, this is an excellent option.
There are just two poles and two doors that open all the way up. Overall, the user experience with the Passage 2 is incredibly consistent and user friendly.
Pros of REI Co-Op Passage 2:
Roomy enough for two people, with doors on both sides
Cons of REI Co-Op Passage 2
Does have cheaper, more mass-released materials
Has a heavier weight than some backpacking options
The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is perfect for the backpackers who are looking to shave every ounce possible off the weight, yet have a high ceiling.
As one of the best lightweight backpacking tents, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is an awesome option for those who really want to trim the fat on the pack’s weight.
Once again, Big Agnes makes its appearance on the list as the product is of extremely good quality.
Coming in at just 2 pounds, 9 ounces, this is the best lightweight backpacking tent listed today. Outfitted with a tall ceiling and a very compact size when packed down, this tent is a great option for the hardcore backpackers who fret over every ounce.
The Nemo Dragonfly 2 is lightweight, comfortable and durable.
One of the most balanced and well-rounded options is the NEMO Dragonfly 2. With a light weight, high comfort and great durability, you really have it all. Now, this will come at a higher price, so keep that in mind.
This is the tent that probably has the best vestibule setup. When you get the rain fly affixed correctly, you will have a good amount of covered room to get ready before hitting the elements outside. The pole design also is there to provide a ton of durability in high wind.
Pros of the NEMO Dragonfly 2:
Very well-rounded and covers all the bases
Super durable to withstand many situations
Build creates for the maximum water and weather resistance
MSR Hubba Hubba NX1 – Best 1-Person Backpacking Tent
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 1 weighs just under 4 lbs and is spacious and durable.
The best 1-person backpacking tent today is the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 1. Coming in at just under 4 pounds, you are getting a very durable tent that is for those who know they don’t need to waste effort on extra space.
The design is unique in the sense that it is made to maximize the space given. 1-person tents are known to be very tight, but the Hubba Hubba is known to be quite spacious. Plus, there are doors and vestibules on both sides for ultimate ease of use.
Pros of the NSR Hubba Hubba NX1:
Lightweight and spacious
Very durable and outfitted with dual vestibules to escape the elements
Sea to Summit Telos TR3 – Best 3-person Backpacking Tent
The Sea To Summit Telos TR2 has extra headroom and high quality craftsmanship.
Sea to Summit has been a steady brand in the outdoor space for a long time. So, it is only fitting that it makes today’s list of the best backpacking tents.
The Telos TR3 is a fantastic tent that is one of the best backpacking tents for three people. With the extra room and relatively low weight, you really get a good value with this one.
One aspect that makes it a great 3-person backpacking tent is the high ceiling. The pole structure allows for some extra head room, which is a really nice perk. Although the price is high, the space and quality are of a really high caliber
Whether you want to unwind by going off-grid or just get away from civilization for awhile, you should take a survival kit and there are certain things that should be included in it to ensure safety, comfort, and a better chance of survival.
Why You Need A Wilderness Survival Kit
Survival kits are not just for folks who love to explore the wild. It’s also a bit of an insurance policy.
You need to ask yourself, what would I do in a survival situation?
Do you have all it takes to survive? For a survival kit to be effective in a life or death situation, it must include certain things. Aside from essentials like shelter and food, there are other items that could sustain you for months if you use them sufficiently.
What you’ll need in your Survival Kit
So, let’s take a look at some things you should consider includingin your wilderness survival kit:
Water And Water Filtration
In a survival scenario, a stream may be a welcome sight, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily clean water…
Water is a big deal in terms of survival in the wild. In fact, it’s absolutely critical. You have to assume that in a survival situation, it could be difficult to find clean water in the wilderness. Should you find water and be unable to boil it, you will wish you had a water filter.
In addition, you should consider buying water disinfectants. When you find water in the wild, there is always the possibility of parasites and bacteria currently living in it. It’s a good idea to have iodine tablets to ensure the water you will be drinking will be safe.
Having a rifle with you in the wild promotes a better sense of security, and the effectiveness of a rifle shouldn’t be downplayed.
Almost any survival rifle can put down a medium-sized game, and is not large enough to ruin a small game. In addition, you can bag about 50-100, or even 500 rounds of ammo for your rifle in your survival kit without occupying much space, as a larger caliber would.
Having a rifle with you in the wild increases your security, but getting a larger once comes at the expense of space in your survival kit.
The need for shelter in extreme weather conditions makes a tent a must-have survival item.
You should have a tent to sleep in if you’re going to sleeping outdoors and it should be able to fit into your backpack. Understand that an emergency shelter tent may not last long enough in extreme weather conditions, but it will mostly protect you from the rain.
The importance of having a headlamp to illuminate dark and cloudy nights cannot be overstated. A headlamp with an elastic strap, or one that clips to your hat, will allow you to have your hands free to do other tasks that require your attention in a survival situation, such as cooking at night or early morning, or working on a vehicle when light is low.
A headlamp with 550 lumens light is able to light up about 135 meters.
During times of survival, if at all possible, it’s a wise decision to keep in contact with other people.
In a survival scenario, a shortwave radio with solar power can be essential in making urgent calls. These radios are an excellent purchase to include in your survival kit and can often be used as a led light, charger, and radio.
A First Aid Kit may be a no-brainer for a survival kit, but it needs to have the right items in it.
While in the wilderness, you absolutely need to be sure you take a first aid kit with you and be knowledgeable about its contents and prepared to use them, if needed.
First aid is a crucial survival kit item that should be available at all times. You should be sure your first aid kit is stocked with essential items, including pressure dressing, to reduce bleeding, should there be an injury that needs attention.
When venturing out into the wilderness, be sure you have the appropriate clothing items in case you find yourself in a survival situation.
As a survivalist, you should ensure you have the right outdoor clothing. Having a comfortable pair of shoes should help you walk faster and easier. Additionally, sunglasses and a hat will help protect your eyes a from the sun.
Also, waterproof boots will help you more easily navigate through rivers and streams while in the wilderness.
Long sleeves also come in handy in protecting yourself from insects as well as sun. Also, moisture wicking socks will help keep your feet dry. You should also put on gloves to avoid blisters and insects, as well as provide protection from extreme hot and cold weather as well as hot objects.
And, while some may not consider a watch part of your “clothing,” having a durable one like the military G-Shocks watches is a big-time bonus in a survival situation. They’re built to last, and can withstand the elements. Some even have solar power.
In the wild, chances are, you may be required to do some “cutting” chores, so a quality and reliable knife is a must-have item for your survival kit.
You should get yourself a high-quality knife or a multipurpose tool that includes a knife in it. Your survival knife should be capable of skinning wild game, as well as cutting through and sharpening sticks. An excellent survival knife must be sharp and strong to easily cut through these tough materials.
In times of survival, you shouldn’t entirely rely on GPS, because the device you are using may not function properly. So, you should also carry a local map and compass along with you in case you get lost.
Maps and compasses are lightweight items, so they won’t take up much space in your survival kit.
Having a map and compass with you in the wild is a means to an end. Be sure you are familiar with map reading and compass navigation before you set out exploring!
This might seem like a lot of items to be carrying in a survival kit. Of course, it’s not a pleasant thought that you could face a life or death situation while exploring, hiking or camping, But, in terms of your survival in the wild, nothing should be taken for granted.
You should always pack a survival kit with you for your trip. You should also know how to use every item in the kit and be physically and mentally able to use them if needed.
While there are certainly many other items than the ones listed that would be useful in a survival sitution, the ones mentioned above should not be overlooked.