Imagine pitching a tent in one of Florida’s lush forests. Or camping along the shores of a sparkling lake or taking in the views from a beachfront site. There’s no better way to nourish a child’s sense of outdoor adventure and teach them life skills than camping. And there’s no better place to get off the beaten path and discover nature than Florida.

Getting Started

Want your kids to experience a star-filled night, the smell of a campfire, and the hoot of an owl? You can! To get started, you’ll need basic camping gear such as a tent, sleeping bags, first aid kit, coolers for drinks and food, and cooking supplies for making sandwiches or grilling hotdogs and hamburgers. That’s part of the fun of camping — your excursions can be as basic or elaborate as you want. Down the road, you may want to add gear such as lanterns, camp stoves, cots, and camp chairs.

There are lots of places to camp in the Sunshine State. Florida State Parks offer a range of overnight options from camping to cabins. Federal lands associated with the National Parks Service, US Forest Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers also provide camping opportunities, and you can find those campgrounds at recreation.gov.

Once your campsite is set up, there’s a whole wild world for you to explore. You and your family can enjoy everything from fishing and paddling to hiking, wildlife watching and more.