30Jan2018

Camping Trips Destined For The Stars

Camping

Nothing beats camping out under our canopy of stars. Image: Unsplash

Camping is a great American pastime. The sheer size of the nation gives way to a range of climates, scenery and opportunities – including star gazing.

With many of the best camping spots devoid of any light pollution, and Dark Sky Reserves underway, going out in the wild can be an awesome way to observe the universe’s shifting constellations. 

There’s so much to see, with the Milky Way enveloping 400 billion stars. The question is where to go, what to take, and when.

The Best Stargazing Spots

Luckily for Americans, there are a huge range of high quality areas in which to stargaze. Big Bend in Texas has the lowest light pollution in the lower 48’s national parks, and Pennsylvania boasts similar statistics for the eastern seaboard.

However, you might be best placed to head to Arizona to see the stars. With utterly clear skies and dramatic red-rock backdrops, the deserts and badlands of Arizona are some of the most stunning places to see our galaxy.

Make sure you’re safe in such environments; whilst hot in the day, desert environments get devilishly cold come the evening. Use a proper tent, and prepare the ground with insulation to prevent body heat loss to the ground. Finally, keep yourself appraised of local wildlife indicators.

The Equipment You Need

When you’re looking up at those stunning constellations, you will inevitably want to see a little closer. Consider, then, taking along a portable telescope for the trip. Bigger models may be too bulky to really take advantage of, but there are plenty of good smaller options. Make sure you invest in a good pair of binoculars, too.

If you’re not particularly minded towards the specifics of stargazing, and prefer to look at the vista in a general sense, binoculars will do you well for simply observing nature’s beauty. A decent star and planet chart can’t hurt, either.

When To Go 

When you choose to visit entirely depends on the state your visiting. Desert or semi-arid environments, like in Arizona or Texas, will be minded towards clear skies, making it easier year-round to visit. However, in wetter states you will want to thoroughly investigate weather patterns to make sure you find a clear sky before you make your plans.

This is especially important as climate change makes weather unpredictable – across the world and the USA. 

Stargazing is a time honored tradition and a brilliant hobby. Whether trekking out on your own or with family, it can provide a beautiful backdrop and focus to your holiday. With these tips in hands, will you start planning your space-oriented camping trip today?

Article supplied by our US correspondent: Sally Perkins

 

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