City Cast

How to Camp Like a Colorado Pro

Peyton Garcia
Peyton Garcia
Posted on June 20   |   Updated on July 6
view of the woods and a smoking fire pit from inside an orange tent

Bust out your boots and pack your poles — we’re going camping! (Scott Goodwill / Unsplash)

The rain is slowing down and the temps are heating up — that means it’s camping season! As a lifelong camper myself, I wanted to share some of my own personal tips for Colorado camping:

🌲 How to pick a good spot:

It depends on the kind of experience you’re looking for:

  • Beers, s’mores, and preferably an outhouse: You’re gonna want a designated campground, where you can pull your car right up to the site. There’s usually a pad for your tent, a bathroom, and a grated fire pit, but you’ll need to make a reservation in advance and likely pay a nightly fee. (Check out for reservable campsites.)
  • Something a little more nature-y and private: Dispersed camping is what you want. That means there are no assigned spots, no fees, no bathrooms, and no pre-made fire pits. But you’re likely to be further away from other campers. The best way to find a spot like this is word of mouth. Ask your camping friends for spots they know of, or Google some camping blogs!

🥾 What to pack:

Building a collection of great camp gear is expensive and can take time, so just start with the basics! You don’t need a 10-person tent or the newest camp stove on the market. Making a bed in the back of an SUV with extra pillows and blankets from around the house is just as legit as a tent (and less rocky!).

⛺ Camping etiquette:

If you’re sharing a tight campground with others, they’re trying to enjoy the space too — and they might not want to listen to Taylor Swift on repeat. And leave the space how you found it: Pick up your trash. Pick up your dog poo. Learn how to properly dig and use a cathole. Nature is all of ours, so try to remember you’re sharing it!

⛑️ For the extra-prepared:

If you want some insider info on what should go into your emergency gear bag or how to prepare for a worst-case scenario in the woods, check out this piece I wrote for 303 Magazine a few years ago.

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