Camping in Mexico for Beginners
Doesn't it sound great to go camping under the stars in Mexico? Maybe you just want to save money on lodging or maybe you've always dreamed of pitching a tent on a white sandy beach. Whether you're trying to meet your budget or just an adventurous traveler, camping out in Mexico is a must and is easy to do for any beginner.
What Camping Gear to Bring
Mexico is a country of diverse terrains, including humid jungles and dry deserts. This means that you should arrive prepared for the type of terrain you plan on camping in, though there are some camping basics you should have no matter where you plan to set up camp. Here is a shortlist of basic gear you may need:
- tent (with spare tent stakes)
- sleeping bags and sleeping pads
- a light source (headlamp, flashlights or lantern; don't forget batteries)
- basic toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit, toilet paper)
- trash bags
- a stove if you plan to cook
- cook ware including utensils, cups, plates
- bug spray if you are in the jungle
- sun screen if you are on the beach
- First Aid kit
Aside from these basic items, you will also need some specific items since you will be traveling abroad, such as your identification documents, passport or other visa documentation. Find a camping checklist here.
Where to Camp
If you're looking for something off the beaten path, make sure you look for established campgrounds. Pitching tents on private property can get you in trouble. You don't want to pitch your tent in the wrong place and run afoul with locals or animals. Consider these questions before deciding on a campground:
- How close do I need to be from a grocery store or town?
- Will I bring my own food or will I need to be close to a restaurant?
- Do I have access to running water at the campsite (which will most likely need to be filtered)?
- Will we need to do a lot of hiking?
- Do I know emergency contact information and have a working cell phone?
- Will the camping site be easily accessible from the parking area?
- Do I want activities nearby?
- Do I need a bathroom and shower at the campground?
- What will the weather be like?
Make sure you are aware of where you are going first because planning means everything on a camping trip.
What to prepare for
Sometimes unexpected things happen while camping. Here's a few and how you can prepare...
1. Wind - wind is common near the ocean and desert. Be sure you use tent stakes to tie your tent down and maybe even put rocks on top of them if wind is a concern.
2. Rain - rain is common in some areas of Mexico and the rainy season takes place from summer through fall. Be sure you have a rain fly for your tent and a rain jacket...just in case.
3. Critters - in some places, the animals have figured out that campers bring food. The best way to deal with this is to store your food in plastic containers that are not easy to break into. Sometimes hanging the food in trees works too (depending on what type of varmint you are dealing with). Be sure your trash is out of reach, as well. Remove food from your tent, as I have found holes in mine due to these sneaky creatures.
Traveling by road and sleeping in nature are memorable experiences you won't soon forget. Have fun camping in Mexico!