Camping in Wisconsin: What to Know Before You Go

Wisconsin’s rich and diverse landscape offers acres of amazing camping opportunities. Whether you cabin, tent or RV camp in remote areas, near shorelines or on bluffs– being prepared for your camping adventure is the best way to ensure a fun, safe and memorable trip. And cue this blog!

Scouting the Campsite

Chart out your camping route ahead of time and think about bringing an actual map or GPS, since cellphones don’t always get reception in remote areas. Rules and regulations vary from state parks to privately owned campgrounds so it’s best to research things ahead such as quiet hours, campsite fees and trail passes. A vehicle admission sticker is required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks and recreation areas; we recommend investing in the annual pass to get the most bang for your buck. Not sure where to camp? Here are a few resources to help you decide:

What to Bring

You never know what Mother Nature has in store, so packing the right gear can be the difference between a soggy weekend and one you’ll remember for years. It’s also easy to forget the camping essentials such as matches, extra rope or bug spray. We found this comprehensive checklist from outdoor experts, REI that includes all of the above and more. Check it out and be prepared! 

Food Storage When Camping

Our four-legged woodland friends (large and small) are always on the look out for a free meal, and you’d be surprised how dexterous some of them can be! If possible, food should be stored downwind of your site and always properly secured before you go to bed or venture out for the day. We recommend a metal food locker or scent-proof and hard-to-open canister. Anything aromatic (including lotions or bug spray) should be stored similar to food. Some campers opt to tie up their food (and garbage, too) in a tree, a little ways away from the site, to help to avoid extra dinner guests.

Firewood Rules

Let’s face it, campfires make the experience. Wisconsin law has strict rules in place regarding the transportation of firewood in order to protect our forests from pest infestation (such as emerald ash borer) and disease – keeping trees strong and healthy for generations to come. Check with the Wisconsin DNR for the latest rules and regulations. Of course, the safest bet is just to buy firewood onsite.

Respecting Mother Nature

Camping courtesy is a must in Wisconsin. So, try to leave the campsite as you found it – take your litter and food with you, but be sure not to take the forest creatures home with you – they really don’t make very good pets.

This entry was posted in Camping, Outdoor Fun, Natural Attractions and Parks, State Parks & Forests