Like many of us, camping can seem like a daunting task, but with the right gear and camp systems, it’s actually quite easy to transform your campsite into an oasis away from home. Our helpful beginners guide to camping in the Hocking Hills will provide some tips and motivation for making the most out of your next camping trip to Hocking.
The Beauty of Camping in the Hocking Hills
Hocking Hills State Park is a 2,356-acre park that has an endless amount of recreational activities and camping opportunities that make visitors feel at one with nature. From hiking and biking trails to playgrounds and swimming pools, these campsites have something for everyone to enjoy and are a wonderful way to get out and explore the beauty of Ohio. Whether you’re in a tent, camper, or RV, Hocking Hills camping is a great place for beginners to connect with nature and sleep under the stars.
Where To Camp in Hocking
Hocking Hills State Park Campground
With 156 electric sites, 13 non-electric sites, and tent-only group camps, the Hocking Hills State Park campground is ideal for a weekend of fun amongst nature. Guests can enjoy the immense beauty of Hocking Hills, including hollows and caves, deep gorges, and breathtaking foliage alongside modern amenities like heated showers, flush toilets, a laundry facility, and a camp store. The kids will love splashing in the swimming pool, exploring playgrounds, and playing games in the volleyball court and horseshoe pit.
Hocking Hills KOA
This family-friendly campground offers everything from primitive camping to full RV hook-ups. Hocking Hills KOA has four camping cabins and three lodges with kitchens, bathrooms, and air conditioning. Guests can enjoy a variety of weekend activities including swimming in the heated pool, playing horseshoes, and watching the kids romp on the playground.
Hocking Hills Adventure Campgrounds
Hocking Hills Adventures has three different camping locations – The Riverside, Canoe Livery, and Fun Center Campgrounds – and each has their own unique characteristics. The Family Fun Center offers electric hook ups for your RV, and the Riverside and Canoe Livery are ideal for those who prefer tent camping in a natural setting. The Riverside Campground is the most popular campground and has 80 spacious sites, many of which overlook the peaceful Hocking River.
What to Bring to the Campsite
Below we have broken down some of the essential items you might need when you visit a Hocking Hills Campsite. This is by no means a completely exhaustive list, as each camping group will have unique needs, but this is a great start to your camping trip.
No matter what your budget, you want to make sure you have a tent that’s going to stand up to the elements and help protect you from wind, rain, and mosquitoes. Ensure that it’s lightweight enough to transport without being a pain, and practice setting it up at home before getting to the campsite where you won’t want to spend hours figuring it out.
A sleeping pad has two functions – to provide cushion from the ground and to provide insulation. Not everyone uses one of these but if you’re someone who gets a sore back after sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad can help soften the strain on your joints for a more comfortable night’s sleep at your campsite.
If your sleeping bag is your primary bed, you’ll want it to be warm and comfortable! The best sleeping bags have soft inner linings that are flannel or otherwise warm to the touch. When shopping for sleeping bags, you’ll notice that they have a temperature rating. The temperature rating of a sleeping bag identifies the lowest temperature at which the bag was designed to keep the average sleeper warm. There are tons of sleeping bag options and you want to make sure that your sleeping bag is warm enough for the area you’ll be camping. Mid range temperature ratings are usually good for the Hocking Hills region, as we don’t usually see many campers in January cold.
Headlamps are essential for getting around the campsite in the dark, reading a book in the tent at night, or if you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. You can usually pick up a fairly low cost headlamp option that fits snug on your head with a spandex band.
What and how much camp cooking gear you bring depends on how much you want to cook your own meals at the campsite. For some campers, a few roasting sticks for hot dogs are enough to keep you satiated for a few days while venturing out to eat in between hikes at the local dining options in Logan. However sometimes you’ll plan for some more involved breakfasts or dinners at the campsite, and so you’ll want to make sure you have a skillet, utensils, and any containers for food.
First Aid Kit
It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on every trip that is fully stocked with essentials. Make sure everyone knows exactly where to find the first aid kit and how to use the items inside. Some good starter options to include are band-aids, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, cold compress, gauze rolls and pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and possibly some anti-itch wipes for exposure to poison ivy or insect bites.
The important thing is you and your crew enjoy your stay at the campsites here in the Hocking Hills, soaking up that fresh air and forest vibe. We advise you to make campsite arrangements well in advance of your trip to ensure you get a spot.
Have fun out there!