Tips for Fall and Winter Camping in Florida
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I’m from Florida. As much as I enjoy the nice year round weather, I absolutely love when the temperatures start to drop. After the blistering hot summer, cooler months are wonderful.
Camping at Florida beaches in the summer is great, but camping anywhere in Florida in fall and winter is fantastic. There’s a reason we have “snowbirds” coming to Florida to get out of the cold.
Many Florida campgrounds, private and public, are packed during the summer months with families. Come fall, the campgrounds tend to be a lot quieter. It’s a great time to explore Florida’s wilderness during this time.
Most people think Florida is just beaches and theme parks, but a lot of Florida is natural woods or wetlands with cities sprinkled in between.
All of Florida state parks show the natural side of Florida so you feel transported back in time. During the Fall, this leads to great hiking opportunities with the cooler weather and sitting around the campfire at night. You’ll never be bug free in Florida, but the bugs are definitely fewer during the fall and winter.
With over 57 Florida state park campgrounds and almost 400 private RV campgrounds, there’s plenty of places to stay in Florida during the fall and winter. While state campgrounds don’t change their prices, many private campgrounds offer discounts during this time and many offer weekly and monthly discounts for people staying longer.
The biggest obstacle for fall camping in Florida is hurricane season. Technically hurricane season starts June 1 and doesn’t end until November 30th. Most hurricanes don’t form till mid August through later in the season.
Watch the weather if you have camping reservations or already in a campground. Luckily hurricanes are not like tornados and you have plenty of time to prepare either to cancel your reservation (state campgrounds give refunds) or pack up and leave. If a hurricane is forecast for Florida, most, if not all, campgrounds will be ordered to evacuate.
People believe Florida is hot year round but it’s not. Yes, it’s not as cold as most places, but our fall and winter nights can get cold, so pack warm clothes. On the other end of that, we could still have 90 degree weather in fall months, so pack accordingly. Florida’s weather is unpredictable and could be sunny one moment and a torrential rain downpour the next.
A fan is a must for Florida camping, pretty much year round to help keep the bugs away. If it’s really cold, then it’s not needed.
In state campgrounds, you can’t forage for firewood, so bring your own. Many grocery stores, like Publix will carry firewood cheaper than at the campgrounds.