Camping in India offers a plethora of camping experiences - pitch your tents on a frozen river, on fluffy snow, in picturesque meadows, beside gurgling rivers or in dense forests.
Camping has been gaining popularity with urban Indians in recent years. The growth of adventure camps and kids camps is evidence of this. People are slowly becoming aware of the joys of, and the immense benefits it offers, both to children and adults.
Camping in India offers you a wide range of options, thanks to the size and diversity of the country. From the great Himalayas where you can pitch your tent in the snow or in a dense forest, by a stream or in the shadow of a glacier, to the sprawling deserts of Rajasthan that resemble a moonscape, India has it all.
Lakes, beaches and national parks can be found all over and there is an abundance of camping locations that make for amazing trips in India. A few of these campsites are exclusively for camping while some can be combined with other adventure activities for a more wholesome experience.
Uttarakhand allows you to discover the majesty of the lower Himalayas while spending some quality time nestled in nature. Nights are spent in serene surroundings underneath the stars and days are spent in adventure activities or simply relaxing.
Traverse through thick alpine forests, gawk at magnificent waterfalls and spend time amidst nature as you’ve never done before. Uttarakhand, with the Himalayas in the background, is nature at its best where 86% of it is mountainous and 65% blanketed with forests.
Unsurprisingly, it is home to a vast number of national parks and sanctuaries. Hidden within the folds of the Himalayas are some of the state’s, if not the country’s, best hill stations and campsites.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to campsites in Uttarakhand. Choose between sites within meadows or thick forests along snow-covered slopes or roaring cerulean rivers.
Be adventurous and reside in alpine tents or be comfortable and choose swiss tents equipped with electrical amenities. You could also book stunning villas if you wish to have an experience that combines camping with sublime luxury.
Mash camping with other activities in Uttarakhand for an adventurous experience. White-water rafting, skiing, bungee jumping and paragliding are among the activities that are sure to excite the adrenaline junkie within you.
Alternatively, you can choose to hike into the depths of the Himalayas. Most campsites in this wild state offer trekking routes that are sure to leave you craving for more.
Camp in Himachal Pradesh to find yourself in surreal surroundings. With awe-inspiring views and air that fills you with life, this state is camping heaven.
Tiny hamlets near Dharamsala, Shimla and Manali are the most sought after destinations. Himachal offers you an escape from the drudgeries of modern life.
If you are looking for more action and adventure, then fuse the joy of camping with some hiking activity. Walk through pine forests, soothing meadows, gushing rivers and into the folds of the mountains.
Trekking offers the additional benefit of spending nights at new locations huddled around a bonfire surrounded by mountains on the ground and stars in the sky.
From March onwards, as summer makes an appearance, it is a wonderful time to go to Himachal. Winters, commencing in September, can get too chilly to set up camp. If you’re looking for adventure, trek to a few of the hiking camps around.
While Ladakh doesn’t have traditional camps like most places in India, summer trekking is a good option. It is your best bet at discovering this unique cold desert.
Ladakh is world-renowned for its cerulean skies, salty lakes and a landscape that defies description. It is slowly becoming an adventure hub with river rafting, hiking, camping and climbing all on offer.
From the many choices, May-June hikes are the best option for the general populace of India. The treks to consider are the Stok Kangri trek and the one in Markha valley.
The stupendous beauty of the Himalayas is unparalleled and draws tourists from all over the world. Be it your need for tranquillity and introspection or for some adrenaline-inducing adventure activity, the Himalayan region has some of the best camp trips in India.
Camping in the Himalayas is often done alongside other adventure activities such as trekking, hiking, river rafting, paragliding, etc. After a spectacular day of outdoor activity, your team of dedicated porters will set up camp for you in lush green meadows, alpine forests, or on the banks of crystalline lakes and streams while you sit back and enjoy the company of the stars.
A large number of adventure camps are located in Uttarakhand in the Garhwal Himalayas. Nainital, Mussoorie, and Rishikesh are also very popular with campers.
The Nubra Valley in Ladakh and Pangong Tso make for stunningly beautiful campgrounds. In Himachal Pradesh be sure to visit camps at Chandratal Lake, Spiti Valley, Lahaul, Sangla, Solang Valley in Manali and Dharamsala
The stress of living in a big, bustling city with pollution and daily struggles create a deep yearning for nature and fresh air. When city dwellers in Mumbai, Pune and neighbouring hubs are looking for a break, they need not look very far. There are plenty of wonderful adventure camps just a few hours away from Mumbai or Pune.
Maharashtra is rich in topographical diversity and you can choose from camping in the mountains, on plateaus covered in flower blossoms, atop ancient forts or on beaches with mouth-watering seafood cuisine.
If you choose the mountains, be sure to explore some hiking trails as the Western Ghats is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world.
Visit the locals and tribesmen in the interiors of Maharashtra to learn their way of living. Enjoy the sounds of nature and maybe even the roar of tigers as you explore this region of Maharashtra that has so much to offer.
In the south of India, Karnataka is one of the best places to camp. It is the ideal weekend getaway for people from Bangalore and the surrounding cities.
Setting up camp here is the perfect opportunity to discover the gem that is Karnataka. Gorgeous landscapes, the mighty mountains of the Western Ghats, evergreen shola forests and the meadows of Coorg are some of the highlights.
Discover natural as well as man-made magnificence when you camp around ancient temples, time-defying forts amid huge mountains. Combine it with treks that appeal to all levels of hikers.
In Maharashtra, you should try to go in the winter months. During December-February, the weather is pleasant during the day and cool at night. During summer it can be too hot and might get uncomfortable.
Camping in India in the monsoons is possible at some sites if the campsite is built the same. Most regions in the country experience heavy rainfall, so you’ll need tents and plinths that can withstand the deluge. Camping in the monsoon can be a beautiful experience.
In the northern parts of the country, the location will dictate the best season. During the summer, adventure camps along the Ganges, Alaknanda, and Yamuna are popular.
People usually combine camping with rafting trips for a multi-adventure weekend. These are good months to visit the higher Himalayas, where the weather is cool, in both Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
You can also go in the winter, but your packing list will look very different, and you’ll have to make sure your operator provides you with suitable gear.
Camping in India is possible throughout the year in all months and seasons. During summer, it is best to go camping in the north of the country where the weather is pleasing in the day and cool at night.
During the rainy season, only some campsites will be open provided they have been built to withstand the torrential downpour that engulfs most of the country. Camping during rains makes for a challenging but equally rewarding experience.
In winter, you could choose to camp in the southern part of the country where the climate will be more bearable in the day and night. It might be too chilly for most people, not all, to camp in the north.
The best season depends on the location and the time of the year. Camps are running throughout the year in the country during most months. The only exception is the rainy season during which only some camps remain open if they are built to withstand the rains.
You can combine the camp experience with a number of other activities to make it more exciting. Depending on where you are camping, you can choose from guided hikes, rafting and other activities in the day.
At night, you can choose to relax by the bonfire, while you gaze at the stars and listen to live music played by fellow campers.
The inclusions and exclusions depend solely on the package that you have chosen. On a general basis, most of them include accommodation in tents on a sharing basis, meals, sleeping bags and mats. First-aid kits and other equipment is also provided.
Evenings are filled with bonfires and music sessions and these are included in the overall costs.
Anyone can camp in most parts of the country. There’s no need for preparation as such. However, if you plan on trekking trips while you camp, you may be required to have an average fitness as it will require some amount of activity.
I would describe their team as driven, enthusiastic and initiative bearing. Once I reached out to them for a camping trip, I was connected to one of their coordinators, Dheeraj Soni, who gave me multiple options, understood my requirement and timeline and suggested the perfect fit for us. They maintained effective communication with us and camp personal to ensure that we had a wonderful experience. I would certainly reach out to them for any future plans.
Most of the campsites are located at or near major tourist locations like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Manali, etc. These places are well connected to all major Indian cities by airports, railways, and roads including state and privately run bus services.
Some packages also include pick-up and drop-off from your base city to the starting point of the camp, be sure to check out the inclusions of the package you’re looking to know more about the same.
What you need to wear largely depends on the weather during which you plan to camp. Regardless of the weather, it is recommended that you do not wear expensive jewellery or electronics during the camp.
During summer, it is best to carry protection against the sun in the form of sunscreen, glasses and a cap. Wear loose comfortable clothing that allows you to deal with the heat and the humidity during the day
During monsoon, it is imperative that you bring along appropriate rain cover in the form of a poncho, windcheater or other rainwear. Quick-drying clothes are a must.
During winter, you will need to layer up with thermals, sweaters, scarves and anything else that will warm you up during the cold months. Do bring along some moisturizer and creams to help you deal with the prevailing dryness
Footwear should be comfortable and well broken in, especially if you plan on other activities along with camping. Close footwear such as sports shoes is a must for such situations. You can choose open footwear if planning to relax.
For camps, the operators provide most equipment and gear, so there are very few things you need to carry. Bring along a backpack which is sturdy. Fill it with insect repellant, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, your medications, personal essentials and toiletries
Carry appropriate clothes which are suited to the climate. Warm clothes for the winter, loose comfortable clothing for the summer. and rainwear for the monsoons. Footwear should be sturdy and sports shoes are required if you plan to hike.
Do not forget to get water bottles with you as well as some dry snacks, chocolates and anything else you might want to munch on. Carrying a govt. issued ID cards are mandatory.
Almost anyone can go for camping trips in the country. These adventures require a basic level of fitness and thus are suitable for all almost all age groups.
However, if you plan to combine your camp experience with other adventure activities, you may be required to have additional experience and a higher level of fitness. This entirely depends on the nature of the activity you choose.
If you have any pre-existing medical condition, it is best to always consult your physician before embarking on any adventure.
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