Skip to Content

11 Advantages of Lake Camping

11 Advantages of Lake Camping

Camping at a lake offers a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else. Not only will you get to soak up the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings, but you’ll also get to enjoy a variety of activities, from swimming and fishing to kayaking and hiking. On top of that, camping at a lake offers many other advantages for your physical and mental health. From relieving stress to learning new skills, there are many advantages associated with lake camping.

Here are 11 reasons why you should consider going camping at a lake:

1. Relaxation and Stress Relief

Lake camping can be a great way to relax and relieve stress. Being surrounded by nature and being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can provide a much-needed escape from the pressures of life. Studies have shown that being around greenspace can positively affect stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, the opportunity to unplug from digital devices can positively impact mental health.

Additionally, the simplicity of nature can be an effective way to cope with stress. The rise in oxygen levels and higher levels of serotonin and melatonin can help to reduce stress levels. Moreover, the calming effect of being in nature can make it easier to feel joy and contentment.

Asian man on a camping trip, relaxing on by his tent on a summer evening, sunlit trees behind him.

2. Affordable Vacation Option

Lake camping is an affordable vacation option for families because it eliminates expensive costs associated with other forms of travel. By camping, you can avoid the costly prices of hotels, flights, and rental cars. Additionally, camping offers the opportunity to explore the great outdoors and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Camping also provides a great chance to bond with loved ones and create unforgettable memories. The peaceful camping environment helps reduce stress levels, encourages physical activity, and allows families to spend quality time together. With all these benefits, lake camping offers families an affordable and enjoyable vacation option.

Hand holding coin with pig piggy bank. Saving and financial accounts concept

3. Increased Socialization and Connection

Lake camping provides a unique opportunity to increase socialization and connection with family and friends. Camping with a group is an ideal opportunity to bond and create memories together in a beautiful setting. Being surrounded by nature and away from the distractions of everyday life allow individuals to disconnect from their digital devices and focus on meaningful interactions with each other. Additionally, research shows that socializing can extend one’s lifespan and delay memory problems, making it all the more important for family and friends to spend quality time together and strengthen their relationships.

Friends camping in the forest together

4. Improved Physical Health

Lake camping can be beneficial for physical health in several ways:

  1. Being outdoors and engaging in physical activities such as hiking, swimming, and rock climbing can increase physical activity levels, improving confidence and self-esteem.
  2. Being outdoors and “grounding oneself” with your feet touching the Earth can benefit both physical and mental health.
  3. Exposure to sunshine can increase Vitamin D levels, which is essential for bone growth and improved mood.
  4. Camping can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation levels, encouraging an active lifestyle and reducing exposure to environmental pollutants.
Vatnajokull glacier near Breidarlon lake, Iceland

5. Increased Psychological Health

Camping by a lake has many positive psychological effects:

  1. Physical activity such as hiking, swimming, and rock climbing increases confidence and self-esteem and decreases stress and anxiety.
  2. Being around greenspace can increase happiness, improve sleep, and provide an escape from everyday life and stressors. Unplugging from digital devices also has positive impacts on mental health, as it allows for time to become self-aware and a dose of the outdoors.
  3. Camping provides a stress-free environment where the lack of stress is related to rising oxygen levels, higher levels of serotonin, and managed melatonin levels.
Mature couple sitting in camping chairs, beside tent, holding cups of tea, smiling

6. Scenic Views and Natural Beauty

Lake camping is the perfect way to enjoy the beauty of nature and have a grand time with your friends and family. With lake camping, you can experience the stunning sunsets over the lake, explore the lush greenery of the surrounding area, and take part in activities like boating, fishing, canoeing, paddle boarding, and bird-watching. Not only does lake camping give you the opportunity to relax and unwind, but it also offers the chance to explore the stunning scenery and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Moreover, it’s a great way to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So if you’re looking for an adventure that will give you some unforgettable memories, lake camping is definitely the perfect option.

Camping at lake with view

7. Proximity to Wildlife and Natural Habitats

Proximity to wildlife and natural habitats can greatly enhance lake camping by providing campers with a unique and engaging experience. Being surrounded by nature can provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and mental rejuvenation. Studies have found that being around greenspace can reduce stress and anxiety levels and improve happiness and sleep. Research has also shown that spending time away from phones and other digital devices can positively impact mental health. Campers can experience the beauty of nature firsthand and participate in various outdoor activities such as boating, equestrian and more.


8. A Chance to Unplug from Technology

Unplugging from technology while camping allows us to benefit from improved physical health, enhanced mental clarity, and increased mindfulness. Physically, camping provides a respite from blue light, notifications, and other technology-related disruptions of our circadian rhythms and sleep. Moreover, it encourages physical activity and improves overall health. Mentally, camping allows us to step away from distractions, work stressors, and daily pressures and to gain perspective on life and priorities. In addition, unplugging technology helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and can improve sleep and happiness. Finally, camping gives us a chance to connect with nature, experience the beauty and tranquility of the outdoors, and develop a stimulating and peaceful hobby that has the potential to improve our overall health and well-being.

Male traveler standing by lake admiring view

9. Quality Time with Family and Friends

Camping at a lake provides quality time with family and friends. Socializing can extend one’s lifespan and delay memory problems, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, and with the right company, a camping trip can be a joyous and unforgettable experience. Additionally, being in the great outdoors can reduce stress and anxiety and help better prioritize life while providing the opportunity to explore and be creative.

Camping provides an ideal atmosphere to escape the stress and routine of everyday life. With the beauty of nature everywhere, it’s easy to take time to enjoy the peace and serenity of the lake and its surroundings. Being outdoors can bring perspective to life and its priorities, whether it’s a solo camping trip or with loved ones.

Young friends sitting beside campfire preparing food

10. An Eco-Friendly Vacation Option

Lake camping is an ideal eco-friendly vacation option. Not only will you enjoy the beauty of nature, but you will also be able to reduce your environmental footprint. When camping at a lake, you can enjoy all the outdoor activities that camping provides while also taking advantage of all the natural resources that come with it. This includes the lake itself, which provides a great place to swim, fish, and even just enjoy the scenery. Additionally, lake camping reduces your carbon footprint as you won’t have to rely on electricity and gas to power your appliances or your RV. Instead, you can use the natural resources of the lake and the surrounding environment to power your camping needs.

Children enjoy campfire

11. Camping Skills and Survival Training

Camping can be a great way to improve your camping skills and survival training. It can help you become more self-reliant and give you the confidence to handle any situation that might arise while outdoors. Through camping, you can understand the environment around you, learn how to build a fire in any situation, and gain skills in navigation and wilderness survival. You’ll also learn to read the terrain and the local weather patterns. By developing these skills while camping, you will be better prepared to handle emergencies, such as a severe weather event or a wild animal encounter.

Father and sons trying to start camp fire using magnifying glass and sun, Purros, Kaokoland, Namibia

What to consider when planning a lake camping trip?

When planning a lake camping trip, there are a few things to consider to make sure you have a great time.

1. Make sure your camping spot is close to a lake, as this will give you plenty of activities to do, such as swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing, or stand-up paddle boarding.

2. Be sure to pack the essentials for your trip. This includes food, water, blankets or sleeping bags, cookware, tents or RVs, bug spray, and other items you might need.

3. Think about the type of activities you and your family want. Some campgrounds offer seasonal events and activities, like nature walks or ranger talks. Others might have games or swimming pools. Consider the options available and pick a campground that best suits your needs.

4. Make sure you’re aware of the safety protocols in place at the campground. Many campgrounds have rules and regulations in place to protect the campers and ensure their safety. Take time to familiarize yourself with the rules and follow them to ensure your lake camping experience is enjoyable and safe.


What kind of amenities is available at lake campsites?

At lake campsites, you will find amenities to suit everyone, from Class A sites with water, sewer, and electricity, to Class B sites with water and electricity and Class C (primitive) sites. Popular waterfront campsites offer plenty of recreational activities such as fishing, boating, kayaking, biking, and swimming. Depending on the campground, there may be amenities such as horseshoe pits, a basketball court, a volleyball area, a playground, courtesy boat ramps, reservable boat moorages, and a fishing dock. In addition, some campgrounds have a Visitor Center with information on the park and local attractions, gifts, ice, soft drinks, firewood, souvenirs, and educational toys for sale.

What activities can you do while camping at a lake?

Camping at a lake means plenty of activities to keep you busy! You can take a dip in the lake and swim, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try fishing or stand-up paddle boarding. If you’re more of a landlubber, take a stroll through the hiking trails or shoot some hoops at the basketball court and playground next to the lake. Additionally, you can set up a beach party with a beach wagon and beach bag for carrying essentials, sand-free beach towels for lounging, and beach chairs for cooling off. There are plenty of beach games and toys for the kids, plus a cooler to keep your food and drinks chilled. And don’t forget the portable fire pit for a beachside campfire as the sun sets!

What type of gear do you need for lake camping?

If you’re planning a lake camping trip, you’ll need to pack gear for both fishing and beach activities. You’ll need fishing gear like travel rods, a tackle box, lures, and bait to start. My favorite type of travel rod is a telescopic rod, which can be full-size when extended and collapse to fit inside a backpack for easy portability. When it comes to beach gear, it’s important to pack items that will make your lake day feel like a party, like a folding beach wagon, beach bag, sand-free beach towels, portable beach chairs, cooler, umbrella or portable beach shade, waterproof Bluetooth speaker, beach games, beach toys, wine tote, and a portable fire pit. Additionally, you’ll need to bring bug spray to relax outdoors. With the right gear, your lake camping trip will be a blast!

What safety precautions should you take when camping at a lake?

When camping at a lake, it’s essential to take safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Always plan and lather on sunscreen from head to toe with at least SPF 30 before heading out onto the lake. UV rays can penetrate the water, so constantly reapply sunscreen often. Wear outdoor apparel with built-in UPF 50+ sun protective clothing for added protection. Additionally, protect your noggin and peepers by wearing a hat and sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection. To protect yourself from bugs, use bug spray with DEET, treat your clothing with permethrin, use a Thermacell, and set up a screened room. Finally, always check the weather forecast beforehand and be aware of any potential hazards.

What are the disadvantages of lake camping?

Lack of amenities: Most lake campgrounds offer only primitive camping and lack the amenities found at other campgrounds, such as showers, laundry facilities, and playgrounds.

Limited activities: While lake camping offers recreational opportunities, such as fishing, boating, and swimming, many campgrounds lack the variety of activities available at larger parks.

Poor weather conditions: Weather conditions can be unpredictable and can make the camping experience unpleasant. Rain, wind, extreme temperatures and insects can all be a nuisance while camping.

Wildlife: Wildlife can be a danger while camping, especially near water. Bears, raccoons, snakes, and other wild animals can be a threat to human safety.

Crowds: Lake campgrounds can be crowded with other campers, making the experience less enjoyable.

Mosquitoes and other insects: Mosquitoes are often plentiful around lakes and can be a nuisance while camping. Other insects, such as ticks and spiders, can also threaten human health.

How do you find the best lake campsite for your needs?

Finding the best lake campsite for your needs can be daunting, but with the proper preparation, it can also be a breeze. Here are some steps to help you find the best lake campsite for your needs:

Decide on your needs: Consider how many people will be at your party and what amenities you need. Do you want to be close to the lake or prefer a more secluded spot? Are you looking for something more primitive or need electricity and water?

Research the campground options: Take the time to look into the campgrounds in the area. Check reviews and find out what amenities are offered at each campsite. Make sure the campground is clean, safe, and has all the necessary features and activities.

Make a reservation: Once you’ve found the best lake campsite for your needs, be sure to book your spot as far in advance as possible. Lake campsites are very popular and tend to fill up quickly. Don’t forget to check the campground’s cancellation policy in case you need to make changes to your plans.

Arrive prepared: Once you’ve arrived at your lake campsite, ensure you’re prepared for your stay. Bring all the necessary supplies, such as food, water, and camping gear. Don’t forget to bring your fishing gear if you intend to fish!

What are the most famous lake camping destinations?

From the Cascade Mountains of Oregon to the loons of the Northeast, many amazing lake camping destinations exist. Detroit Lake’s campground in Oregon is an excellent pick for the water sports enthusiast, while Great Sand Dunes National Park Campground in Colorado is perfect for the off-road adventurer. For a more remote experience, explore the solitude of Scales Lake Park campgrounds in Arkansas. For those looking for an unforgettable autumn adventure, take a hike along one of the spookiest trails in America. Finally, couples and solo travelers looking for a peaceful getaway should explore the iconic solo hikes at National Forests like the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas. Whichever lake camping destination you choose, you will have a memorable experience!