Fall camping in Pennsylvania is great!

Summer and the family camping season has come to a close. Don’t give up on the idea of a fall camping trip. Before putting away your camping gear until next summer, think about another camping trip. Those of us without kids are free to camp during the week, but families shouldn’t miss the opportunity to do some quality camping with their kids on weekends at local parks and campgrounds.

For those of you who are not blessed with children, it’s a good time to start planning a fall camping trip to one of those previously over-crowded, summer destination hot spots. After Labor Day, the visitor traffic to the State Parks, National Parks and National Forests slows down considerably, due primarily to the fact that kids are back in school.  Days aren’t as hot, and nights are just cool enough to cuddle under a blanket for a good sleep. And another blessing to fall campers is the fact that parks are less congested. Autumn colors can be magnificent, and wildlife could be active, offering opportunities to glimpse them as they prepare for winter.

The cooler nights are perfect for sitting around the campfire eating S’mores and banana boats and sharing stories and songs with your family, long time friends, and new acquaintances. When the leaves start changing colors the experience is even more worthwhile. So grab a sweatshirt, your tent, and head on out there to enjoy one of the most favorite seasons of the year!

Fall camping considerations

  • After Labor Day, many campgrounds reduce their fees, so one fall camping advantage is reduced costs.
  • Although daytime temperatures in the fall are still warm, take some heavier clothes and bedding for those cooler evenings.
  • As the seasons change, so to do the weather patterns. Be prepared for severe weather in the fall. If you are camping in hurricane alley, know your evacuation routes. If you are camping in high country, take appropriate snow gear. And, if you are in monsoon country, take necessary rain gear.
  • Make campground reservations. Popular campgrounds will still fill up on weekends, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Most campgrounds don’t require reservations in the fall, but even if you should call and find that you don’t need a reservation, you’ve at least saved yourself the worry.

 

 

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

A lot of time and effort can go into planning an RV, camping trip or even a day trip in the car. You must decide where you want to go, what to do when you get there, what to eat, and how much it will cost.

Speaking of cost. Wouldn’t it be nice if it didn’t cost so much? After food, fuel, and gear, you can still expect extra fees when you reach your destination.

However, in the year of 2012, the National Park Service (NPS) is waiving entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees at over one hundred National Parks in an effort to boost tourism. You may still have to pay for reservations, camping, and use of concessions, but hey, if you’re interested in paying less for your family vacation, read on.

The program began in April with National Park Week, an entire week of free admission to National Parks across the country. But do not worry if you missed this great week of free admissions, mid summer offers Get Outdoors Day and in early September NPS grants free admission for National Public Lands Day. Finally, the NPS offers free dates for Veterans Day Weekend in November.

Mark your calendars for the following fee-free dates later this year:

  • June 9, 2012 – Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29, 2012 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 10-12, 2012 – Veterans Day Weekend

For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

I would like to encourage you to take advantage of this offer as I have in the past.  It is a great way to see some beautiful areas of our great nation at a reduced cost.  Regardless if you are towing your RV or  just taking a day trip by car.  Gas up and go!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

RVing is a great way to Support our National Parks

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It’s about time to start talking about your 2012 RV travel plans. If you plan on staying at some of the more popular national parks, you may want to go ahead and make your reservations now. Please consider adding in some more visits to the national parks in 2012. They could use your patronage now.

Having already grown accustomed to a dwindling budget in recent years, the National Park Service is now facing the prospect of a decade of across-the-board cuts starting at nearly 8 percent in 2013.

What this could mean is shorter seasons at some national parks, staff reductions, deferred infrastructure maintenance, campground closings and reduced amenities.

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) released a report stating that in fiscal year 2011 the National Park Service had funding reduced by $140 million, including $11.5 million for operations. Since 2002, the report states, the agency’s discretionary budget has decreased from $3 billion to $2.6 billion in today’s dollars.

The organization’s report arrives at a time when the nation is mired in debate over how to trim the federal government’s deficit. The Budget Control Act of 2011, enacted in August, calls for cutting the deficit by roughly $900 billion through caps on discretionary spending beginning in 2012 and ending in 2021. Those spending caps will affect the national park system.

So, even though the nation park system is a tiny part of the federal budget, they will almost certainly be affected. Please do what you can to support our national parks. Plan a RV tour of your favorite parks for 2012!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!