Avoid Popular Parks
Yes, we just shared our list of Virginia's prided state parks, but chances are most of them will be nearly booked for Memorial Day Weekend. It's a long weekend, and the first warm long weekend of the year, meaning many other campers have long been looking forward to this weekend as well. If you’re booking last-minute, you may find many of the popular state, and national parks are booked, so look into smaller, local parks for an available tent site.
Be sure to call your local park and ask if they still have some slots left. Regional and municipal parks don't fill as quickly as the larger parks, so you have better chances of securing a spot with them.
If you’ve got a day or two to spare, why not file those vacay days and head out early. This way, you'll be able to secure your spot for Memorial Day and get settled in long before the weekenders arrive.
If you can't get out of the city a few days before the weekend, head out early in the morning to score a spot. We prefer to do this when we camp no matter the weekend! When I say "early," I don’t mean 8 AM; I mean 3 or 4 AM. You miss all the traffic, arrive at the campsite just as the sun has risen, and pitch your tent, set up your supplies, start your fire, and crack open your first beer before everyone else has even arrived.
Check the Weather
Make it a habit to check the weather for updates, to pack the necessary rain gear. Short but sweet, this tip.
Don’t Procrastinate (Even More Than You Already Have)
Grocery stores (and all stores, really) offer steep discounts on favorite summer and barbeque food items in the days leading up to holidays such as Memorial Day. Take advantage of these sales to stock up before going camping!
Pack your Car
Be sure that your car is in tip-top shape (check the oil, coolant, lights, tire pressure, etc.) and ready for long drives. Fuel up before hitting the highway.
Don’t forget to double check your car’s first aid kit!
Plan Something Unique
Even if on the road to the campsite, plan an activity that will set this camping trip apart from the others. Perhaps this is the weekend you try kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, yoga in the woods, to make a fire without matches, archery, or to cook up a masterful campfire concoction. We love doing something unique every time we camp to remember it as the trip we spent all weekend fishing, or slept in hammocks under the stars, or paddled by crocodiles.
If you have any tips for last-minute campers, share them below!