As folks get rolling out to the U.S. National Parks and the rest of the great outdoors for Summer, here are three things to know plus one bonus idea.
1. Watch for the AM radio sign for the latest updates and tune in!
- This is usually posted as a road sign as you’re driving in toward a national park
- Sometimes the park’s official website will also note it
- In one case, this was invaluable to listen to heading into Utah’s Zion National Parks last Spring, as droves of people were coming in and it informed us of scarce parking and the existence of a shuttle ahead of time. At Moab, it gave us early warning of all the internal campsite closures due to road construction so we knew to look outside the park perimeter.
2. Pack an atlas
..for offline usage.
- I am always forgetting the [serene] lack of cell phone reception in a park until I’m there. Thus far, the debate continues on whether or not to install more cell phone towers in the national parks, so count on it being unpredictable.
- As a backup, you can download offline maps. But, nothing like an old school map to hold on to for security when you’re debating with your co-pilot if you’re lost. Plus: no batteries required.
3. The campsite you picked is the best one!
…because that’s the one you have in front of you. Think about it.
Quit FOMO-ing yourself.
Bonus: a new way to check trail conditions when trail reports online are scarce:
Check Instagram live stories for visuals of conditions based on location time (check the date stamps), you can even try messaging the folks who posted to find out more. I found this handy prepping for snow camping at Crater Lake recently, not many people had posted trail reports and I wanted conditions as of the week of.