Camping 101: Tips & Tricks for Your Next Camping Trip to Devils Lake -- or Anywhere
With the Virus situation affecting families, summer vacations and fishing plans, many new campers are showing up at North Dakota State Parks and Campgrounds. One of the busiest State Parks is located on the shores of Devils Lake, Grahams Island State Park. There are also dozens of private campgrounds in the state and the Devils Lake area.
“We have seen so many new camping families this year,” said Suzie Kenner, Devils Lake Tourism Director. “That’s great. Many are new to our area. With the Canadian border closed, lots of people are booking guide trips for a place they’ve had on their ‘Bucket Lists’ for years. Many of those not lodging with their guide services are camping at the State Park and other local campgrounds.”
Here are some tips and tricks to make camping pleasurable for first-timers, and a reminder for those with decades of camping.
First and foremost, you are living among neighbors. Some very close. The Golden Rule applies. You will get to know those neighbors; expect many new friendships to be created.
A few obvious camping tips are that courtesy and helping those nearby is an expected attitude in campgrounds. This applies for motorhomes, tow-behind trailers, tents and any other camping “homes-away-from-home.”
Quiet after dark is also expected. Talking around a campfire late into the night is common. Playing loud music after dark is not.
Pets are welcome. Leashes are required. Barking is not cool. What is cool is picking up doggie do-do as it occurs.
If your vehicle is locked at night, be careful at 5:30 am when headed to the launch ramp that the alarm horn does NOT blare. This is also a great time to keep voices low.
The Boy Scout moto is the same as the camper’s motto: Be Prepared.
Make camp reservations early. Make meal plans ahead of time. Bring clothes and raingear for all conditions, especially if staying for a week or more. Check out area bike and hiking trails, things to do and see like historical sites and museums, buy fishing licenses online in advance as well as the Aquatic Nuisance Species sticker if you are bringing your own watercraft.
Bring an extra light or two. And, a book. Camp chairs. Area maps. A tote for firewood. A canopy to shelter the picnic table. Plenty of liquid refreshments (heavy on water). Trash bags.
Whether in a tent or a camper, plan on a meal or two of fresh walleye fillets. If your Devils Lake guide offers to clean northern pike, you will love these fillets, also. Bring appropriate kitchen-ware for fish cooking. Table cloth and clamps. It seems campers never bring enough paper towels. Bring a super cooler (Yeti) with plenty of ice.
Keep your campsite area clean, neat and organized. It’s amazing how tarps, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, firewood, lawn chairs, fishing rods, toys, and “stuff” seems to wander around on its own. Maybe the night-time elves are busy. This will make camp life easier for you and all your new campground friends, also.
In the first-aid kit, include the standard issue items, but add sunscreen, insect repellent, and don’t forget prescriptions.
Tourism director Kenner advises campers, “Call ahead and book now. For all the obvious reasons and great fishing, Devils Lake is open for business and our new camping friends.”
Devils Lake weekly fishing reports are featured on devilslakend.com. Also, find updates about lake conditions, guide services and packages, Devils Lake State Park (701-766-4015), details about the community, lodging, camping, restaurants, casino and so much more. Fishing is open year-round. For Devils Lake questions, call and talk with a knowledgeable local resident at 701-662-4903.