The Sunshine State. You know us for our beaches, great theme parks and amazing food. Now let’s talk about what you don’t know. Here are some tips and you need to read before you come camping in the wild lands of Florida.
1. RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY
Let’s talk tip numero uno. Okay, so you know we’re the Sunshine State, we covered that. But did you also know Florida has a wet season and a dry season? It’s true! You might think summer is a great time to visit (and it totally can be), but it’s also the wet season. Most days are above 80 degrees, and with the heat index it can feel like a whooping 100 or more. It rains most afternoons, sometimes raining all day. Plus, the hot and wet weather is bad for you, good for mosquitoes (so again bad for you). Basically what we’re trying to say is, there’s a reason people LOVE winter in Florida. It hardly ever rains between December and May, but the weather is usually mild and sunny. Now that is paradise!
2. LIONS, TIGERS & BEARS
Florida has some pretty exciting wildlife, in fact, we are known for two out of the three animals listed above. True, you won’t see any tigers (unless you visit the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa), but there are plenty of other native animals you might encounter when camping. If you encounter a bear,
remember to use slow movements and never make eye contact. Most importantly, secure your food and never feed the animals. Sometimes animals can get very comfortable around people, especially if they are used to being served dinner. Don’t let them decide you’d make a good dinner.
3. ALL THINGS BUG
Let’s say you do try to brave Florida’s summer. You’re still in for a treat because we have lots of neat stuff to do, BUT you will have to contend with the bugs. Remember to bring lots of bug spray and citronella candles. A good tip to remember is to use the spray on your clothing and not your skin. Also wrap up some dried sage to toss on your campfire. It helps act as a natural bug repellant that will help keep your skin bite free! Don’t forget the cortisone incase any bugs get past your barriers.
4. YOU’RE FIRED
This probably goes for most states, but Florida has some strict laws about open fires, especially in the dry season. You’ll get good weather, but double check with your campground before lighting those s’mores! Many campgrounds require special permits or containers for fires. This is because the dry season sees a lot of brush fire, so it’s one way to keep our forests, animals and campers safe. You can totally tell ghost stories around the fire, just make sure to do it legally.
5. WATER BOY
Florida is hot. You know this, but unless you’re from Florida you might not understand how hot it truly gets. Even in the winter the temperature can climb into the high 80’s. Whether you are tent camping or RV camping, make sure you have enough water. You definitely don’t want to find yourself dehydrated in the woods. Don’t underestimate how much water you’ll need, especially when it’s hot out. Stay hydrated and cool throughout the day. Remember, Florida is fun, but we do have some ground rules. Now go enjoy the great outdoors!