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Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

  • 4/15/2015 6:56:00 AM
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Spring camping checklist - get packed and ready to go! | Iowa DNRIt'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!

  • Reserve a campsite.
  • Check the tent and sleeping bags for tears or signs of wear and tent poles for cracks. Make sure all the stakes made it home from the last trip. Go through the cooking equipment, fire starters and matches.
  • Check the first aid kit, shower house bag and the supply of bug repellant and sun screen.
  • Check the batteries in the flashlight and the bottles of propane. Pick up an extra set of lantern mantles, just in case.
  • Make sure the cot still functions and the air mattress holds air.
  • Pack garbage bags and ponchos.
  • Fill a tote with a bottle of dish soap, paper towels, paper plates, foil, cutting board, knife, can opener, and trash bags.
  • Pack wasp/hornet spray to eliminate unwanted tenants under the cover on the electrical post.
  • Toolkit should include basic tools, rope, a tarp, and supplies to address basic electrical issues, caulking and specialty tape to fix rips, tears and punctures.
  • Don't forget playing cards, board games, dice and a surge protector.
  • Get a weather forecast, weather radio and know where to go in case of severe weather.
  • Don’t assume every campsite has a grill or that it will suit your cooking needs. Plan to bring a grate to put over the fire.
  • Purchase a separate set of camping dishes and silverware, dishpan, washrag and towels and soap. Store them in a plastic container that can be pulled out and ready to go for each camping trip.
  • Bookmark the DNR mobile website on your smartphone.
  • Plan to arrive at the campsite early in the day to set up and avoid areas next to stagnant water, which is home to biting insects.
  • Dress in layers - this is Iowa, after all!
  • Be sure to clean up the campsite when you leave.
  • Look for events, activities or local attractions on the information kiosk when checking in.

Reserve a campsite and be sure to check out our Iowa Camping and Iowa State Parks boards on Pinterest.