Camping at the Jersey Shore

South Jersey has a lot of camping areas, if you’d rather stay a little closer to nature.  Whether you bring tents and sleeping bags or rent an RV, here are some tips to make your camping vacation a little smoother.

General Tips

  • Make sure everybody knows the campsite rules and quiet hours.
  • If you’re going to be there a while, bring a large trash can with a lid.
  • Keep drinks, snacks, and a flashlight on hand when hiking.
  • Always hike/explore with a friend — never alone!
  • Bring duct tape for emergency repairs.
  • Bring dental floss not only for your teeth — it makes a great temporary shoelace and can be used as thread to repair torn clothing.
  • Keep a shower bag — a plastic bag filled with all your bathing supplies to bring to the shower facilities.
  • Plan your shower during off times — the line will be longest first thing in the morning.

Renting an RV

  • Do your research!  Find out what the RV has and doesn’t have before you commit.
  • Rent from a reputable dealer.
  • Read and understand the contract before you sign — are you going to pay extra for mileage?  Do you need to fill the gas tank before you return it?
  • Find out about insurance.  Will your current insurance cover it, or will you need a supplemental policy from the rental agency?

Packing Tips

  • Bring extra clothes.  The nights may be cooler than you expect.  The kids may get dirtier than you expect!
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug repellant!
  • Rain gear, especially if you’ll be walking to the nearest restroom.
  • Flashlights
  • Familiar bedtime items for the kids — maybe a favorite pillow or stuffed animal, to make them feel more comfortable.
  • Travel toys and games to have something to do.  You can always pick up cheap toys at the dollar store and toss them if they break or get too dirty.

Cooking Tips

  • Pack heavy duty aluminum foil — there are a lot of ways to use it while you’re camping.
  • You can prepare soups and stews ahead of time and freeze.  Reheat when you’re ready to eat!
  • Cover your pots when cooking — the food will heat faster AND you’ll keep bugs and dirt out.
  • Keep gas canisters upright at all times.  Store in well-ventilated areas.
  • Turn off gas and put out fires when you don’t need them.
  • Pack all your foodstuff in sealed bags or watertight containers.
  • Keep food stored off the ground to help keep unwanted visitors out.
  • Put a pan of water on the fire while you cook — it will be ready for use in cleaning up when you’re all done.
  • Freeze water or juice in bottles and put them in your cooler — it works as well as ice and you’ll end up with a drink as it melts.
  • Keep your food cold at all times to prevent spoilage, which can cause food poisoning.
  • On your last day, use all your leftovers to make omelets — you won’t have to carry home the leftovers and just about anything works in an omelet.
  • You can pre-chop veggies and other ingredients for cooking at home, then pack in Ziploc bags.
  • Pre-measure and store ingredients for meals in Ziploc bags.
  • Cooking over coals gives you more even heat — your food won’t be raw in the middle and burned on the edges!
  • Pack lots of snacks you don’t have to cook like granola bars, dried fruit, jerky, and trail mix.

Leave No Trace

  • Whatever you bring in, bring out.
  • Leave natural objects and historical objects as you found them.
  • Keep fires small and make sure they are out when you are done.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Never feed wild animals!
  • Respect other campers.