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  4. Camping Adventures Safely at National Parks Activities, Information, and Resources

Parks offer a wide variety of fun things to do in different settings and with levels of difficulty. When you plan your trip, match the interests and physical fitness of your group with the activities you choose. You do not want to push yourself or your group members to hike, climb, or explore beyond their physical abilities—that's when injuries are more likely to occur.

Once you know the limits of your group and their experience level, pick the park you want to visit, explore your camping options, and select your campsite. Some sites may be reserved either by calling the campground or through online reservation systems including Recreation.gov, while other sites within a campground may be available by a first-come, first-served system.

Read More: Camping Website

Leave No Trace camping trip camping trip

A Youth Educator’s Guide to Leave No Trace Activities, Games, and Experiential Curriculum

pdfLeave No Trace Activity Playbook

pdfLeave No Trace - Short Answer Questions Glacier National Park Activity

pdfA National Park Service Index 2012-2016

pdfTrip Planning Guide National Park Service


The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The Center accomplishes this mission by delivering cutting-edge education and research to millions of people every year.

Read More: LNT.org

Cook Fun Things

Kids love to be involved cooking their own food that can be cooked at the end of a stick. Introduce your kids to the camping tradition of roasting marshmallows and cooking hot dogs over a fire. Cooking in Camp for more tips, tricks and recipes for meals.

Camping Trip Safety Series

  • Know Your Limits
  • Plan Your Trip
  • Park Requirements and Regulations
  • In Case of Emergency
  • Prepare – Gear Up!

Keep Your Pet Safe Too

If camping with your pet, be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Always keep your pet restrained.
  • Check your pet for ticks.
  • Do not leave your pet in a closed vehicle.
  • If you are camping in bear country, camping with dogs can be more dangerous than elsewhere. Dogs can attract curious bears, and the interaction often leads to conflict, which can put your pet and you in danger.

Read More: Camping with Pets

Respect Wildlife

Follow these basic guidelines to ensure the safety of you and animals in the park with respect to wildlife:

  • Do NOT feed wildlife under any circumstances. Feeding wildlife creates an expectation that they can receive food from you (and other campers) in the future. This can make them persistent and sometimes violent, and may attract wildlife to your site.
  • Avoid contact with wildlife. While it is certainly tempting to approach wildlife, this can be very dangerous.
  • Keep safe viewing distances. When watching wildlife, make sure to keep a safe distance. Your park may or may not have recommended viewing distances regarding certain wildlife.

Avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite with the following methods:

  • Keep food secured in airtight containers. Not only will it be fresher, it will attract less unwanted attention from wildlife.
  • Keep your food out of reach of wildlife. Generally, food can be stored in your car, but certain campgrounds may require the use of food storage lockers or other means of keeping food out of reach of wildlife.
  • Keep your campsite clean. Collect any food packaging and food scraps in a waste bag and dispose of the waste in the campground's receptacle before you leave the camp or turn in for the night.
  • Do not feed wildlife. Not only will they become more aggressive toward you, they will be more likely to be a nuisance for campers who use the site after you.
  • Do not take food inside your tent. While it's tempting to have that midnight snack on hand, it will attract wildlife.

How to Get a Campsite in a National Park

Step-by-step instructions on how to claim a campsite in a national park. (This video is specifically tailored to Norris Campground in Yellowstone, but the basics are the same at all U.S. National Parks.)

Now that you have found a place to camp, set up your tent, and started roasting marshmallows, what else can you and your companions do? Browse through a list of ideas suited for everyone.

Read More: Camp Activities

Download the trip planning guide and checklist. Make your fun adventure a safe one too! No one plans to get hurt while out exploring in a National Park. However, nature is unpredictable, structures are historical, and your equipment can unexpectedly fail. Planning can be the key to a fun and safe adventure. Remember, safety starts with you!

National Park Finder App

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National Park Finder App

Adventure Activity Resources

All downloads in this category include any Junior Ranger activity books available in each state park. Explore additional subcategories with activities to download for special exhibits, events and National Park Service programs. Be sure to check out other articles in this section for links to resources, information and videos.

 Public Downloads

All items are free to view, share, and download.

Public Downloads - Español (Spanish)

When available, we provide all our content with a Spanish version in our public download section. You can find additional material from sources listed in all our articles.

 Playlist: National Park

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The Brown Bears of Katmai National Park, Alaska

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http://www.explore.org - Learn more about the hunting behaviors and movements of Brown Bears as Ranger Roy of ...