Camping in Washington State (Summer & Fall)

May 31, 2000

Believe it or not, Washington State is like two completely different countries. On the west side of the cascades you have the high tech world with computer industry and the like. The people are a little more wound up and there are evergreen trees everywhere. On the east side of the mountains however you have desert. Almost as if you ventured to Arizona with out the extreme heat. The people are a little more laid back and most work seasonal jobs and farm.

Camping on both sides of the Cascade Mountains can be equally as different. I have put together a list of the top 5 things not to forget to help you better plan for your outdoor adventure. Please keep in mind that taking out a motor home, camper, or trailer is not considered camping in my book.

Western Washington:
1.) Always check the weather report before leaving for your location. The weather here tends to change frequently and with out warning.
2.) Water around western Washington is fairly easy to find around most camping sites. To lighten up your load I would recommend bringing empty water jugs and a good water filter. You can then get all the distilled water you could ever want wherever you go.
3.) Bring some sort of First Aid kit with stuff that should always be carried like: bee sting kits, band-aids, antiseptic, scissors and a needle.
4.) Depending on how long you are camping, it is a very good idea to bring an extra days worth of dry clothes. You never know, you may end up spending an extra night.
5.) It would not hurt to bring a tarp. It does tend to rain here every one and a while. They also make great wind and sun blockers.

Eastern Washington:
1.) Water is a big concern when camping in most of eastern Washington. First in the Summer & Fall it gets really warm, and you do not want to get dehydrated. Bring plenty with you and get a good water filter to keep your jugs full.
2.) Bring some sort of First Aid kit with stuff that should always be carried like: bee sting kits, snake bite kit, band aids, antiseptic, scissors and a needle. Yes in eastern Washington there are a lot of rattlesnakes.
3.) Sun Block is a must. Without it you can shrivel up like a slab of bacon.
4.) Since most of eastern Washington is desert there is not much to stop the wind from getting at you. When choosing your camping spot keep the fast changing weather in mind.
5.) Eastern Washington has some pretty strict rules about offroading. Up to $5000 dollar fine for driving off maintained roads. I would suggest not doing this because that could really ruin a weekend. Just plan your location plenty in advance and check it out first. Also fires are a very touchy subject in eastern Washington cause everything is so dry. So please be VERY careful when building fires in the dry weather.

Have fun and enjoy Washington State....

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