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4 things to know before packing a cooler

4 things to know before packing a cooler

  • 8/27/2018 1:50:00 PM
  • View Count 1545
Packing a cooler may seem pretty simple – just throw in ice, right? But it’s a science and an art, one that will help any camping trip go smoother and safer. With a little preparation, packing a cooler is quite simple.
7 things to know before you go tent camping

7 things to know before you go tent camping

  • 8/28/2017 12:51:00 PM
  • View Count 5740
The ability to successfully go tent camping in Iowa is a rite of passage for many. Roughing it without air conditioning or electronics doesn’t need to be hard, though. This list will prepare tent campers young and old, experienced or novice, with the knowledge to have a pleasant and well-prepared for adventure.
North Raccoon Wildlife Area is building a recreation reputation

North Raccoon Wildlife Area is building a recreation reputation

  • 8/1/2017 11:44:00 AM
  • View Count 1453
The North Raccoon Wildlife Area just might be the biggest playground in Greene County. But rather than teeter-totters and swings, this playground offers excellent deer hunting, turkey, dove and rabbit hunting, river access and sandbar camping, bird watching, hiking and more.
Memorial Day weekend is nearly here

Memorial Day weekend is nearly here

  • 5/18/2017 8:36:00 AM
  • View Count 1654
Iowa campers, picnickers and outdoor enthusiasts are gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend and the official start of summer. If weather continues as it has been, Iowa’s state parks will be busting at the seams. 
State parks Camping Kickoff is this weekend

State parks Camping Kickoff is this weekend

  • 5/2/2017 12:17:00 PM
  • View Count 1579
It looks like the cold rainy weather is breaking just in time for the weekend when state park campgrounds will celebrate Camping Kickoff, Saturday, May 6.
Let the camping season begin

Let the camping season begin

  • 4/11/2017 12:28:00 PM
  • View Count 2022
Warming temperatures and other signs of spring have state park staff busy preparing for the start of the 2017 camping season.
Memorial Weekend campsites soon available for reservation

Memorial Weekend campsites soon available for reservation

  • 2/21/2017 4:11:00 PM
  • View Count 4322
The three-month window to reserve a state park campsite for a Friday arrival on Memorial Day weekend opens this Sunday, Feb. 26. More than a few campers will plan their arrival for the weekend before Memorial Day and stay through the holiday, which means their window is open now.
Be bold and try winter camping

Be bold and try winter camping

  • 1/11/2017 9:47:00 AM
  • View Count 7215
Let’s face it—winter camping has some initial challenges, but the rewards are silence, serenity and having big places to yourself. Create active daytimes with hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, then be prepared for winter’s long nights with good lighting gear to illuminate camp. Breaking into winter camping isn’t hard, but you’ll rely on good gear and solid skills. Here’s a  few basics.
Iowa State Parks offer great winter cabin getaways

Iowa State Parks offer great winter cabin getaways

  • 12/7/2016 11:23:00 AM
  • View Count 2206
The quiet solitude that makes a perfect winter getaway is waiting for you in beautiful, comfortable year-round cabins at several Iowa state parks. It’s a great time to take advantage of trails for hiking, skiing, snowmobiling and wildlife watching. And many of the parks have great ice fishing lakes.
6 tips for cool-weather camping

6 tips for cool-weather camping

  • 9/23/2016 1:06:00 PM
  • View Count 9827
Campers don’t have to pack up the tent and park the camper just because the calendar flips to September (or wait for it to hit June, either!). These off-peak seasons can be some of the best times to go, with cooler temperatures and in the fall, gorgeous fall colors at the campground. As the temperature dips, here are some tips to stay cozy at the campground.
5 DIY camping hacks and projects for a smoother trip

5 DIY camping hacks and projects for a smoother trip

  • 9/16/2016 1:16:00 PM
  • View Count 3962
Get that fire started faster - because no one likes waiting for s'mores. Use these tips to make sure your next camping trip goes smoothly (even if something goes wrong).
Sometimes Procrastination Pays Off

Sometimes Procrastination Pays Off

  • 8/23/2016 1:43:00 PM
  • View Count 9278
Have you been intending to get away with summer, but never quite found the time, or didn’t get a reservation far enough in advance? If you can find time this weekend, eight Iowa state parks have cabins available, including the brand new modern cabins at Lake Darling, and popular CCC cabins at Pine Lake and Backbone.
Campfire Cooking: Dutch Baby Pancakes

Campfire Cooking: Dutch Baby Pancakes

  • 8/17/2016 3:29:00 PM
  • View Count 8462
This sweet, hearty breakfast will please young and old alike. And just by chance, if you have a tiny slice left over at the end of the day, a scoop of ice cream alongside, a dollop of whipped cream or a drizzle of chocolate makes a mighty fine dessert. 
12 Comfy and Cozy Camping Hacks

12 Comfy and Cozy Camping Hacks

  • 8/17/2016 3:00:00 PM
  • View Count 12780
Camping is a great way to reconnect with the outdoors, but the enjoyment you get is partially dependent on your planning. Use the following tips to keep your trip hassle-free—it might make you more inclined to go again!
Camping Season is Underway

Camping Season is Underway

  • 5/24/2016 1:27:00 PM
  • View Count 3145
Many Iowa campers have already taken advantage of this spring’s beautiful camping weather, and many more will join them at the end of the week. Anxious campers are going through their equipment and checking supplies, preparing for the Memorial Day weekend and kickoff to summer. Likewise, state park staff is going through the final stages of prep work for its peak camping season. Iowa’s state parks expect to host more than 900,000 overnight stays and nearly 15 million day visits this year.
11 Great Winter Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

11 Great Winter Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

  • 12/30/2015 9:26:00 AM
  • View Count 48338
The quiet solitude that makes a perfect winter getaway is waiting for you in beautiful, comfortable year-round cabins at several Iowa state parks. It’s a great time to take advantage of hiking trails (many allow cross-country skiing and snowmobiling), wildlife watching (deer and birds galore), fishing and more.
Nine State Parks Extend Overnight Opportunities

Nine State Parks Extend Overnight Opportunities

  • 11/3/2015 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 2268
Although Iowa’s beautiful fall has lingered longer than usual this year, camping season will come to a close very soon for most people, if it hasn’t already. But don’t let the changing seasons limit your enjoyment of Iowa’s state parks, or the chance to stay overnight, reminds State Park Bureau Chief Todd Coffelt.
8 Camping Hacks to Save Your Weekend

8 Camping Hacks to Save Your Weekend

  • 9/11/2015 12:00:00 PM
  • View Count 20468
No matter how many times you’ve camped, there’s always a new trick or two to try on your next trip. Try these simple hacks yourself to be extra prepared for your next outdoor adventure.
Cool Gadgets to Make Your Camping Trip Easier

Cool Gadgets to Make Your Camping Trip Easier

  • 8/5/2015 11:03:00 AM
  • View Count 12140
While camping in Iowa goes all the way from roughing it to glamping, there’s no denying there are gadgets and gear that are must-haves – and then there are some that are just fun!
4 Before-You–Go Tips for Kayak Camping (and 7 Destinations)

4 Before-You–Go Tips for Kayak Camping (and 7 Destinations)

  • 7/29/2015 8:30:00 AM
  • View Count 20238
Kayaking is a great way to explore the state and get some exercise, but if you intend to stay the night at a paddle-in only campsite, you have to pack thoughtfully. Check out the advice below, approved by DNR paddling expert and instructor Todd Robertson, to help you start camping comfortably with your kayak. And remember, always check water levels before you go.
9 Quick Camping Cabin Getaways

9 Quick Camping Cabin Getaways

  • 7/22/2015 11:03:00 AM
  • View Count 23057
If tent camping isn’t quite your cup of tea or there’s no truck to pull a camper, there’s no need to give up on the idea of camping altogether. If you want a solid roof over your head or a hassle-free weekend camping getaway, rent a basic family cabin, a camping cabin or a yurt at an Iowa state park!
21 Outdoor Experiences Every Iowa Kid Needs to Try

21 Outdoor Experiences Every Iowa Kid Needs to Try

  • 7/1/2015 5:24:00 AM
  • View Count 23592
From something as simple as chasing fireflies or hiking a trail to bigger adventures like camping and skiing, there are lots of ways to get kids outdoors in Iowa. Use this as a checklist through the rest of the year to guide your outdoor explorations! Be sure, too, to help your kids make a connection between the activity and protecting Iowa’s natural resources. For example, explain how clean water helps the fish when you’re angling. Talk about habitat when chasing butterflies or frogs. Creating these connections ...
Leave It As You Found It: 6 Camping Tips

Leave It As You Found It: 6 Camping Tips

  • 6/26/2015 3:47:00 AM
  • View Count 8506
A weekend camping in the woods is a great way to reconnect with the outdoors. Thank your host - Mother Nature - by leaving your campsite as you found it or even better than it was when you set up camp with these tips.
Paddle Up To These Secluded Campsites

Paddle Up To These Secluded Campsites

  • 6/19/2015 11:02:00 AM
  • View Count 43356
The self-reliant can take advantage of several remote paddle-in primitive campsites, get surrounded by nature and leave other humans behind. The locations make for a Boundary Waters-like experience in Iowa.
Three Off-The-Beaten-Path Places to Camp in Iowa

Three Off-The-Beaten-Path Places to Camp in Iowa

  • 6/2/2015 10:14:00 AM
  • View Count 27369
Iowa’s state parks and forests offer many beautiful and relaxing campgrounds, but if you’re looking to feel like you’re escaping civilization for a while, here are some top places to rough it in Iowa.
How to Build a Campfire [Tutorial]

How to Build a Campfire [Tutorial]

  • 5/27/2015 10:39:00 AM
  • View Count 8655
It’s just not a campout without a crackling fire (and the s’mores and hot dogs to roast over it). If building a solid campfire has always eluded you, here are some simple tips to make sure your next campfire keeps blazing bright.
Why We Camp

Why We Camp

  • 5/22/2015 9:11:00 AM
  • View Count 5812
Struggling to set up his fold-down camper, my brother-in-law asks, “Tell me again why we do this?”
8 Surprising Memorial Day Camping Getaways

8 Surprising Memorial Day Camping Getaways

  • 5/1/2015 10:22:00 AM
  • View Count 13132
Not all hope is lost when it comes to finding a place to camp this Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25. For those who like a little more quiet, don’t mind more primitive camping or are willing to take a chance on a first-come, first-served or “walk-in” campsite, here are some nice possibilities. Try kicking off the summer season with one of these lesser-known state parks:
Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

  • 4/15/2015 6:56:00 AM
  • View Count 2608
It's that time of year when it's time to dust off the tents and equipment or pull the camper out of storage. With water being turned on soon in state park campgrounds (parks vary, always call ahead first), it won't be long before camping become a regular activity again. Use our handy checklist to get ready for that first outing of spring!
12 Iowa Camping Hacks and Tricks

12 Iowa Camping Hacks and Tricks

  • 8/25/2014 7:30:00 AM
  • View Count 21509
If you’re just getting started or are looking for some new ideas, try some of these camping tips and tricks.