The only camping bucket list you’ll ever need

April 18, 2015

It’s never too early to begin planning some bucket list camping experiences to scratch off. You’ll want to get an early to start to take full advantage of the seemingly fleeting warm months. Not all bucket list camping experiences need to be of the extreme variety, like a whitewater rafting camping trip or complete primitive camping for a week in the back country. I’m not saying those aren’t awesome goals to add to your camping bucket list, but they don’t all need to be that involved or require so much planning. A lot of people get epic ideas in their heads when they hear the term “bucket list.” Your camping bucket list (or bucket list of any kind) should be filled with the things you want to experience the most. Here are a few ideas to help spark your imagination and that would all make great bucket list camping experiences.


Sleep under the stars. Take an astronomy book along (and hopefully a telescope) and learn a few constellations. Plan to camp in an area as far away from the city lights as possible. This could just be a secluded campsite near your home, but a trip to somewhere truly dark will offer the best night sky viewing. The national parks, from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Glacier National Park, are always a great destination for star gazing. Planning your star gazing camping trip during a meteor shower will only add to the memories. Swim in a natural body of water. Swimming in a pool is great, but there is something special about taking a dip in natural water. This could be a pond or lake, but small creeks and springs are also great options. Just keep an eye on the kids, wear life jackets if necessary, and never go swimming alone. A float trip down a river is a great way to relax during a camping trip. If chilly natural water isn’t your thing, you can plan a trip to some hot springs, such as the Chena Hot Springs in Alaska, or warmer locales like Colorado’s Pagosa Hot Springs to enjoy getting your feet wet.

KOA Campgrounds near Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

KOA Campgrounds near Glacier National Park:

KOA Campgrounds near Pagosa Hot Springs:


Watch the sun rise (and set) on the same day. Sounds simple, but I bet if you think about it you’ll realize you have never done it before. Go camping somewhere elevated or near a great view and get there in time for both the start and end of the day. Spend the time in between enjoying the surrounding area, but make sure you don’t miss either.


Rediscover your kid at heart. Catch fireflies. Chase butterflies. Roll down a hill. Play tag. Fly a kite. The options are endless and you don’t need to have kids to enjoy them. Don’t worry about what other people might think. Enjoying some kid time is something I think we all need occasionally for our mental health and wellbeing. Not everything has to be taken seriously all the time and that is easy to lose track of for all of us.


And if you still want want that epic entry for your bucket list (although I think even the small ideas are memorable), here are a couple quick ideas: Hike on a volcano. Hawaii is the obvious destination for this idea and who wouldn’t want a reason to travel to Hawaii anyways? Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the place to be for the best volcano hiking experience. Or check out Mount St Helens if you’re looking for a volcano in the continental U.S.

KOA Campgrounds near Mount St Helens:



Molten lava not your thing? Then consider Whitewater rafting. Rafting at a destination like the The Grand Canyon National Park is definitely a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime. There are simply too many awesome bucket list camping experiences to be had for me to list everything you might want to do. That’s the best part about bucket lists — they can be whatever you want them to be. As long as you get outside and have at least one bucket list camping experience, then this upcoming summer will have been a success!

KOA Campgrounds near The Grand Canyon National Park:

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