Useful tips on how to have a great National Park experience

Stef Zisovska
 

Visiting the US national parks can be fun and extremely challenging, but you need to prepare yourself in advance. Spending time in the great outdoors is not a video game and sometimes it can even be dangerous, therefore you better follow these useful tips that will help you have the best experience ever.

Prepare

Research is key

Before visiting any national park, make sure you learn as much as you can about it before going there. Some national parks are open all year round, while others are closed for visitors during some months due to extreme weather conditions. Find the basic info for the park you’re planning to visit. Search for videos, photos, and recommendations. Also, check the camping fees if you want to stay for few days.

Be realistic

If you decide to spend a bunch of money to stay in a historic rustic lodge inside the park, then pay attention to the description and don’t avoid the word rustic. Be realistic about your expectations and keep it simple. In the end, the point is to enjoy the outdoors, not to sleep in the most comfortable bed in the world.

Should you bring your dog or not?

Enjoying nature with your dog

Some national parks allow pets, but the majority don’t. You probably think that’s discrimination and you would do anything possible to get Fluffy inside the park. But, be aware of the fact that there are wild animals roaming freely all over the area and they might get upset by the presence of your dog. If the park’s rules say that you can bring Fluffy with you, then make sure you bring enough food and water for him.

Be ready to get wet

No one can tell you why it always rains out of the blue when you’re finally having a weekend in the wilderness, but it happens all the time. Don’t panic and keep calm because it’s nothing to be scared of. You just need to bring your waterproof jacket, some good hiking shoes, and maybe even an umbrella.

Be aware of your physical shape

Sometimes it’s cool to push yourself while hiking a difficult trail, but you need to know your limits. If you don’t feel comfortable with some outdoor activity, just quit and do something else. Don’t follow the group if the task is too hard for you. Also, be aware of any possible illnesses and fears, and try to control them.

Bring a buddy

Bring a friend

Maybe you enjoy being on your own in national parks, but if you don’t know the area as a native, it might not be a great idea to go alone. Invite a friend or three to join you on your crazy national park adventure for the weekend, and you will feel safer, happier, and protected.

Hydrate

Give your body all the water it needs. No matter what the weather’s like, you need to hydrate your body all the time. While hiking in the outdoors or participating in any physical activity, you sweat a lot, so you need to replace all that water.

Respect the wildlife

Wildlife is just like it sounds: wild. Respect the inhabitants of the national park, don’t leave food leftovers close to your campsite, and if you spot a wild animal try not to scare or hurt it.

Stay positive

Stay positive

Accept the fact that national parks belong to us all. It may happen that you’re not the only one at the campground. If so you must deal with your neighbors cordially. Instead of being annoyed, try to make new friends, invite them to share your campfire and a beer. Good luck!

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