If you are anything like me, you are eager to get out camping for that first trip of the year. In most parts of the country, that means camping when the weather is decidedly cooler than when camping in summer. It can also be some of the best camping of the year as the crowds are smaller and you may very well have the campground or RV park to yourself.  So, don’t be afraid to venture out in less desirable weather.

And there are some simple things you can do to ensure your comfort during these times:

1)     Layers—Dressing in layers is your best hedge against cold. If you start with a base layer of some moisture-wicking fabric, then top that with a mid weight layer, you should be warm in most places with a light jacket.

The moisture-wicking component is important in the event you become too warm. This type of fabric is designed to wick moisture away from your body. Cotton, on the other hand, formerly my first choice for a first layer, holds the moisture next to your body, causing you to get cold as it cools. Your new base layer will keep you warm and dry. And when the weather warms up, you simply remove a layer to keep yourself comfortable.

2)     Fleece—Take along an extra fleece zip or T-neck top. Then in the event the weather turns cooler, you can add this to your ensemble and be snuggly warm. We generally keep an extra fleece for each of us permanently packed in our camper in the event we forget to pack one before we leave.

3)     Choose Your Destinations Carefully—As much as you can, save the cooler destinations for mid-summer camping. For your first trips out in spring, look for destinations that have milder temperatures.

For example, while living in the Midwest, we made the mistake one Memorial Day weekend to drive from our home in the middle of Wisconsin up to the northern part of the state for our first camping trip of the year.  Our son was only about six months old at the time. The weather dropped below 32 degrees and he slept in his snowsuit in my sleeping bag, while the weather down state had held at a balmier 50 degrees throughout the weekend. A bit of smart planning would have led to a more pleasant weekend.

Speaking of pleasant weekends, why not head to some of the best campgrounds this Spring? Our top-rated RV park and campground finder will help you choose the best destination for your first camping trip this year.

So, you needn’t force yourself to wait until mid June to head out on your first trip of the year. Push the season and head out in early spring with just a bit of additional planning and preparation. Happy travels!

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  1. In Florida, spring is one of the best times to camp. It's just starting to warm up, the sun is out all day, the nights are longer and it's not too hot yet. Plus, most of our campers/ out of town visitors are just starting to go back, so like you mentioned, the campgrounds will be pretty empty.