The first thing we want to start this article with is a phrase of the “Fun’s” song: “Tonight, we are young!” Indeed, college time is a period for the first serious relationships, breakups, hangovers, and crazy adventures. We are betting that you can afford a new tent, sleeping bag, and a backpack. That is all you need to explore unknown cities and mystery places. Camping allows you to experience different facets of the world, gather around a campfire, and share stories of your adventures.
So, what type of camper are you? Do you like to backpack into a campsite that is miles from any development? Have you already got a tent that is small, modestly colored, and easy to set up? Or do you prefer to camp in a camper or RV? Today, we have gathered for you the list of the best spots for a student to pitch a shelter. It includes national parks, wild forests, and unexpected campsites.
Quick Guide: What to Remember Before You Go Camping
Whether you prefer to pitch a tent or rent an RV for camping, the following tips are like an instruction manual, it has to be read.
- Check the backcountry camping page online or stop by a backcountry office before your trip to make sure whether you need a reservation or it is a campsite on first-come, first-served basis.
- Plan early to get a campsite. Either reserve a site ahead of time or show up early at a first-come, first-served campground. Be sure to have a back-up plan if you do not have a reservation.
- Be aware that due to their locations in prime bear habitat, a lot of national parks allow only hard-sided RV camping. Also, check online or in the app for details on amenities and RV length limitations.
- Check the campground amenities to know the type of camping permitted and the services you can expect. The basic camping services include water, vault toilets, campfire rings, tent pads, picnic tables, a parking space, and food storage boxes. The large campground can have more services, such as laundry facilities, showers, flush toilets, firewood kiosks, recycling bins, and dump stations.
- Bring clothing for any weather. Even in summer, it can be cold and wet.
- Store all food, coolers, and food containers in the metal bear-proof boxed provided and dispose of waste in the approved trash dumpster.
- Be respectful of other campers, so that they can have a memorable experience as well. This includes observing quiet hours.
- Fires are allowed only in designated fire rings. All campfires must be cold to touch before abandoning. Do your part to prevent any human-caused wildfires from starting.
Now, you are ready to set up a tent even in the most unexpected places. And here they are.
1. Joshua Tree National Park, California
We want to start with a quite atmosphere and picturesque landscapes. Having nine different campgrounds that charge just $15 per night, Joshua Tree National Park offers visitors wild desert views, scenic mountain peaks, and a pleasant climate for a price that even a student can afford. We highly recommend you to pitch here a tent at least for a few days to see the Black Rock Canyon, check out the sunset at Keys View, and light a fire on the headland of the Black Rock Canyon.
2. Azores Islands
The things are getting crazier. Now, we are heading to the edge of the world. There you can also find perfect spots to pitch a tent. And we are talking about the Azores Islands. It is nine small patches of land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. To visit the Azores Islands is to hit the jackpot of impressions for the rest of your life. This is the land of mighty volcanoes and bold whalers.
Everyone understands perfectly well that people come here to see whales. Therefore, if you want to sleep outside, there is free camping. It looks quite modest. However, everything you need is there: a kitchen with a barbecue, a place for lunch, a shower with a toilet, and even a small church. Moreover, all of that is located right on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The tent, the first line, the sound of the surf. Which hotel could offer you something more exciting?
3. Ushuaia, Argentina
Believe us, not being in this place will be the biggest mistake you ever make as a traveler. Terra Del Fuego National Park was created for backpackers and camping. It stretches over 630 hectares of thick forest. Hundreds of hiking trails, an innumerable number of birds and animal inhabit an endless variety of rivers, lakes, and valleys. Actually, you can walk to the park from the city, but it will take around four hours. So, the best thing we can offer you is hitchhiking. The fee they charge to enter the National Park is $20. That will get you a map and a place to put down your sleeping mat. Walk to the Park’s very center, only here you can set up your camp.
Terra Del Fuego National Park is one long “wow effect”. You will admire this mighty silence and indissoluble contact with nature. You will breathe in crystal clean air next to a mountain creek. The 21st century is about selfies and electric cars, but this place really takes you back. You feel like a part of something genuine. The park is so huge that it would take you over a week to cross it. If you are limited with time, a must-visit place is Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon).
Here you are thinking, “Ain’t life grand? So soulful.” One more thing – you do not want to miss the sunrise in this place. So, come here in winter to see the sky looking like the strawberry ice cream.
4. Yellowstone National Park, the U.S.
What can you expect from this place? Unadulterated natural beauty and wildlife of all shapes and sizes. In Yellowstone National park, there are more than 2,000 campsites found in the twelve campgrounds scattered throughout the park and 1,000 miles of trails. Yellowstone campsites are in a variety of settings – along streams, near lakes, among stands of conifer trees and in fields of wildflowers. The five largest campgrounds take reservations. The others are strictly first come, first served.
Clear night? Bundle up and peer into the dark sky filled with a seemingly infinite number of stars. Early-riser? Take a stroll to watch the sunrise. Turn off your phone and listen to the local wildlife start their morning. Are you looking for epic landmarks? Old Faithful Geyser and the mighty Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone will make your jaw drop.
5. The Great Wall of China
Yeah, you read it right, camping on the Great Wall of China. This is possible. How? Read on to learn more.
If you are in Beijing, you can get to five sections of the Great Wall of China. The first one is a gorgeous Badaling. It is close to the capital, but there are always a lot of tourists. The second one is Mutianyu. It is even more beautiful than Badaling, and there are fewer tourists. However, not a single brick remained from the original Chinese Wall, everything has been restored. The third section is the Simatai. This is far enough, and an admission ticket costs $30 (quite expensive for a student). The fourth is the Jinshanling. It is even further than Simatai. And the fifth option is Jiankou. It is a section of the Great Wall of China that is lost in the mountains. Perfect option and a real challenge for a true traveler!
So, if you want to go on a non-tourist stretch of the Great Wall of China for camping, be prepared that you will not meet neither lifts nor tiled paths on your way. You will have to get to it through villages and wild forests. To set up a tent on the peak of Jiankou, you will have to climb up the hills for a couple of hours, but the night on the Great Wall is something you will never forget. That nature will conquer you. Just imagine, you walk alone hearing only wind and the sound of stones under your feet. And as a reward, you are going to see a performance with which even the most enchanting show cannot be compared.
Believe us, if you choose to camp on the Great Wall of China, you will feel the whole range of emotions of a Chinese soldier: from a night in the wilderness to the breathtaking views. Just think about it, you are going to spend the night on the Great Wall of China. How many people can boast this?
Sometimes, the best experiences are the unexpected ones.