Planning to go camping this spring or summer? Think about booking your spot now

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc over the past year, infecting 106.8 million people and killing 2.3 million worldwide – with 27.1 million of those cases and 466,000 of the deaths coming from the United States. By any measure things have been disrupted.

How COVID-19 will ultimately affect 2021 is unknown. But a few things are evident. Corona fatigue is real. People are ready to get out and on the move. And for more than 50 million Americans, that likely means a camping trip.

Camping – be it via a tent in the backcountry or a hard-sided camper parked in full-facility campsite that mirrors many comforts of home – is a relatively pandemic friendly activity.

As is the case with most activities, things will be different at America’s campgrounds this year. If you plan on camping this year, campground and park officials at both the state and national level have some advice. If you take nothing else from this article, let it be this: Plan early and reserve a camping spot as soon as possible, taking advantage of the fact that many federal and state campgrounds accept reservations  – and some even require them.

“Summer holiday weekends are the busiest and we encourage folks to make reservations as soon as possible to secure their spot,” said Scott Simpson, division director for South Dakota state parks and recreation.

Shane Bertsch, the district park supervisor for the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area along the Missouri River near Yankton, South Dakota, and one of the region’s most popular camping destinations, was even more direct.

“Memorial Day weekend reservations are not open until 90 days before arrival which would make Feb. 27 the earliest date you could make reservations for the Friday of Memorial Day weekend,” said Bertsch. 

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