While camping may not be at the top of your mind during the winter, now is the time to make camping reservations for the spring and summer to guarantee your camping plans come to fruition. Take advantage of the accessibility to some of the most scenic spots in the world by starting to plan your Fort Collins and Northern Colorado camping adventures. We’ve put together a concise first-timer’s guide to camping near Fort Collins to help as you plan!
1. Choose Your Campsite and Make Camping Reservations Early
There are many options for camping in and around Fort Collins:
Larimer County (Horsetooth Reservoir, Carter Lake, Flatiron Reservoir, Hermit Park Open Space, Pinewood Reservoir)
Depending on where you’d like to camp, you may be required to purchase a permit or a pass. Remember to check the websites linked above for the most current source of information and to follow all guidelines specific to the campsite.
2. PACK THE ESSENTIALS
Once you select your destination and make your reservations, make sure you have all the gear you need. Some gear you can rent from shops like JAX Outdoor Gear, other items may be smarter to invest in, especially if you plan to camp more than once. Depending on the type of camping you will be doing, you’ll have different needs, but here’s our list of the basics for outdoor tent camping at campsites:
- A sturdy tent with a rainfly
- A sleeping bag rated for cold temperatures as overnight temperatures in Northern Colorado will drop down to very low ranges, a sleeping bag pad, and a pillow
- Potable Water and a mobile water purification system
- First aid kit, sunscreen, and bug repellant
- Shelf-stable foods like protein bars, cereal, crackers, canned foods, tuna/sardines, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, nut butter, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables
- A can opener
- Warm clothing that you can layer as well as a weatherproof coat
- A flashlight with batteries (pack extra batteries just in case!)
- Wet wipes for hygiene
- Trash bags (pack out what you pack in)
- Optional: camp stove and lighter/matches if you’d like to be able to warm your food or enjoy hot cocoa/coffee/tea
3. Prioritize safety and good environmental stewardship
While it is important to physically prepare for camping by making sure your campsite is reserved and you have everything you need to have a good time, it is also equally important to mentally prepare by reviewing trail conditions/closures, outdoor safety basics, and principles of good environmental stewardship. Recreational camping in Northern Colorado is a pleasure that we can all work to conserve and protect.
Below is our recommended list of resources to review prior to camping near Fort Collins: