A basic guide to camping this summer 



Tent camping allows visitors to enjoy the outdoors next to lakes in California national parks.

Anooshik Tahmasian, Staff Writer

As summer approaches, plans start rolling in and the excitement for adventure begins. In our local areas like Glendale and La Crescenta, there are many opportunities to hangout with the people we enjoy spending time with. However, summer is the time to get away from city life and go exploring. As natural wonders of the state, California’s National Parks are a great way to do this.  

One advantage that Californians have is access to a great variety of beach and forest parks. Some are Yosemite and Sequoia national parks and Carpinteria and Big Sur state beaches. These parks feature waterfalls, rivers, lakes and hiking scenes with assorted wildlife. 

Various recreational activities are available for families to participate in. When visiting a national park, time spent in nature can consist of  fishing, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing and hiking. There are main attraction spots that can be toured with a tour guide. There are also various ways to spend the night in these parks. Such as camping in a tent or RV, or indoor lodging. 

How and where you choose to spend the night in these parks is up to you. If you feel wary about staying the night in a tent, an alternative is RV camping. RV’s, also known as recreational vehicles, are motorhomes with basic human necessities such as beds, a kitchenette, and bathroom which vary in sizes for the amount of people. 

Nicholas Doom is among the many who have gone RV camping. He suggests that to go camping with an RV, planning ahead about your trip is key if you don’t want to be driving all day.Doom shared that dealing with an RV is more easy than tent camping, as settling down and packing up are not necessary. He recommends finding campgrounds that are large enough and allow RV’s, and reservations need to be made months in advance.

 Furthermore, those driving should have a significant amount of RV driving experience. One advantage to lodging is that the costs are 75% less and much easier to clean up, since you just drive away.  “My advice is to relax, watch sunsets, listen to the animals, birds and the wind rustling leaves because nature is the best medicine for the soul,” said Doom. 

Tent camping on the other hand, allows for a much more “outdoor” experience. Most campgrounds are built for tent camping and provide necessities like a fireplace, a picnic table, and a locker. Narine Tatevosian shares her experience while camping. “The best part is when you wake up to the sound of a river or people slowly waking up and making their coffee outside of the tents,” said Narine Tatevosian. “There just isn’t anything like that first cup of coffee when you’re camping,” she added. 

Tent camping requires you to separately arrange your sleeping situation, clothes storage, and to pack everything in a neat and easy to manage manner. There are different tents that can accommodate different amounts of people. It is recommended to get a tent that allows more individuals than the number in your group. This will provide comfort and “breathing space” to the campers in the tent. With tent camping,  you get to make your own meal in the fireplace which allows for outdoor barbeque and a taste that’s irreplaceable compared to stove cooking. 

A third alternative to outdoor camping is lodging, where you get to stay inside different sized buildings which can include a kitchen, bathroom, and beds. Lodging places are buildings with renting rooms or single cabins in or around the national parks. Lodging rentals fill up very quickly, which requires making reservations a year in advance, done so online. There are two types of lodging, wooden cabins and big hotels known as lodges. Wooden cabins are separate big rooms like structures. Hotels on the other hand, are more similar to actual homes.  

Lodging prices vary from park to park, but generally, they range from $123 to $560 per night. If you decide to bring pets, also check if certain cabins allow pets. They vary in sizes but usually consist of one big room with space for beds and storage only. Cabins are not completely isolated but placed next to other cabins. Cabins are generally within walking distance of certain attractions that are popular. So, you can reach the park’s enjoyable locations in a few minutes, while also keeping your belongings near.

Clark student junior Elen Movsisyan is someone who has gone cabin camping. She recommends that while visiting, campers should completely turn off their phones and stay away from social media, which can be a distraction while trying to spend time outdoors. “Wherever you go camping, be sure to stay away from wild animals and surround yourself with smart people, to avoid trouble while also having fun,” she said.

No matter what you choose to camp with, California’s national parks are irresistible and will never disappoint. Whether you decide to rough it out in the wilderness or spend the night at a cabin, what’s more important is experiencing nature in a national park. Their natural wonders are miraculous works of art that should be appreciated. These are just two ways you can spend time outdoors, but the real experience starts as soon as you step out and explore.