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When someone asks you if you want to get back to nature and enjoy camping and the great outdoors, most people would agree that one of the best places to explore is Montana. This is one of the reasons Yellowstone National Park has become one of the top attractions for individuals from all over the world. The beauty, serenity, and tranquility found in the Montana mountains is second to none. Whether you are an experienced camper, or you are just getting your feet wet with nature, there are some things that you will want to know as you plan your journey and set off on your expedition through the hills.

Hiking, Camping, or Traveling in Montana…Mind the Weather

tent camping with sun rays through cloudsAny local will tell you that you can never count on the weather here in Montana. I can’t count the number of times I have heard people say, “Oh it’s nice right now, but give it 5 minutes.” I use to think it was a joke until I experienced all four seasons in one day! That is a true story. This is why you will see most Montanans walking around with a jacket or sweatshirt tied around their waist. That being said, you should ensure that you always pack accordingly. Even if you come in the middle of August, you will want to make sure you have at least one warm outfit in case the sunny weather hides out for a few hours.

If you are one of those people who enjoy sleeping under the stars, or find comfort in a tent, then you will want to make sure that you include the following in your packing list:

  • Tent (you might choose a 3 or 4 season tent)
  • Sleeping Bag (comfort level of 20 degrees Fahrenheit or less)
  • Camping Pillow
  • All Weather Backpack (if you plan on hiking)
  • Tarp
  • Lantern
  • Headlamp

Those of you who prefer a more “glamping” (hey, we’re not judging, we like comfort too) style of camping are welcome as well. There are lots of places you can inexpensively park your RV, camper, or trailer that will also give you access to some of the most beautiful scenery Montana has to offer. Although those of you who own one of these houses on wheels probably have the weatherization covered to stay warm and cozy at night, you will still want to be aware of the type of clothing that you bring in order to enjoy the nature around you. This brings us to our next point.

Planning Your Hiking and Camping Near Yellowstone National Park

camping in the woodsIf you are planning to thoroughly enjoy the Mountains, hills, trails, and hidden waterfalls you will undoubtedly find while scavenging through nature, what you bring and wear will be of the utmost of importance. I know I already mentioned that you will want to bring at least one warm outfit to Montana, no matter what time of year you are visiting. However, this is not the only thing you need to remember.

  • Pack for a range of temperatures.
  • Don’t forget your swimsuit… There are hidden lakes, beautiful waterfalls, inviting rivers, and even the unforgettable hot springs! You would not want to miss the once-in-a-lifetime experience of soaking in geothermal hot springs. There is nothing that compares…
  • Wicking layers for hikes will help keep you comfortable during the day while long underwear will keep you warm after dark.
  • “Plan for the conditions” is going to be a major theme here. If you are planning to go hiking, make sure to bring hiking appropriate footwear. I can tell you from an embarrassing bad experience that wearing sandals may not be the best choice if you are going to be scaling rocks up trails…
  • Bring extra socks… “Yes Mom, I know.” However, you will thank me. Your feet might become wet from walking through creeks, puddles, or just plain sweat. It will be much better for you if you can change your socks whether you are on the trail or just returning to camp. You will want your feet to stay dry and happy. 😊
  • Bring a hat to keep the sun from invading your exciting day. Nothing ruins a relaxing trip like getting a nice toasty sunburn on the first day of your vacation.

Backpacking and Packing for a Wilderness Hike

packing for a backpacking tripA backpack can be like a woman’s purse: full of many “necessary” treasures when you need them. So, what should your backpack hold in store for you on your adventure. You should make sure that you at least have the basic necessities listed here in order to ensure you are prepared for your wilderness encounters.

  • Sunscreen will allow you to enjoy your time hiking, soaking, or just hanging out without worrying about those pesky, possibly harmful, sun rays.
  • Insect repellent is a must if you do not want to become the next meal on the menu for mosquitoes…
  • It is always a good plan to carry a basic first aid kit with you where ever you go. Traveling for an outdoor paradise vacation is no exception. You can pick up a small first aid kit at most stores, or you could be creative and put your own together.
  • Hiking/walking poles are optional, but may provide you with more stability while you’re traveling those winding nature trails.
  • If you are one that likes to memorialize your special moments with photographs, this would be the perfect time to bring your camera. You never know what little critters you may meet, breath taking views that await around the next bend, or the amazing wild life that might greet you. You will want to share those incredible memories with friends and family.
  • Bring a journal with a mapped route of your plans, a compass, a Swiss Army Knife, and a flashlight. You never want to lose your way in the woods right?
  • What is the number one thing that your backpack treasure should contain??? WATER. People will get so into what they are doing, the sights they are taking in, and the friends that they are sharing this special time with, and they will forget to drink water. Dehydration is no fun for anyone. Remember to take plenty of water so you can stay hydrated.

winter pools photo at YHSPlanning your next exciting journey takes a lot of time and energy. But when your full plan comes to fruition and you have the unique opportunity to take in the beauty Montana has to offer, all of your troubles while planning would have been completely worth it.

There is one place that has everything you need and more to enjoy nature, be close enough to town to get anything you may need, and is the most amazing set up for all of you outdoorsy people. To be a part of this perfection and have the experience of a lifetime, come out to Yellowstone Hot Springs. It has an idyllic set up. Did you know that Yellowstone Hot Springs has a campground? We now offer RV/Camper hook-ups for the glamping family, and then there are also tent spaces for those star gazers. And if the location was not stunning enough as it is, you also have the chance to relax in the geothermal hot springs right next to where you will lay your head down at night. What could be more perfect?

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