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Get out and stay out this summer at one of these five outstanding LGBTQ+ campgrounds. Feel safe and welcomed while exploring nature, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people. The most difficult decision you'll have to make is which one you're going to first!
Before you head out, make sure you're prepared and have your camping checklist ready to go because you're going to need supplies.
1. Rainbow Ranch, Groesbeck, TX
Camping in TexasPhoto by Pete Alexopoulos on Unsplash
Located in central Texas, the Rainbow Ranch is an LGBTQ+ campground with tent sites, RV sites, cabins, an apartment, and a large house. Gather your queers and head to the Ranch for a weekend of hiking or biking on their 700 acres of land, hanging by the pool, or fishing on Lake Limestone.
Rainbow Ranch hosts special events every other weekend, so be sure to check out their calendar before booking your stay. For a more quiet, peaceful experience, consider booking one of their "off" weekends.
Rainbow Ranch received Dallas Voice's Readers Voice Award for Best Weekend Getaway seven years in a row, so go and see what everyone is raving about!
Address: 1662 LCR 800, Groesbeck, TX 76642
2. Sawmill Camping Resort, Dade City, FL
Camping in FloridaPhoto by Denys Kostyuchenko on Unsplash
Highly regarded as the go-to LGBTQ+ camping resort in the southeast, Sawmill Camping Resort has something for everyone. Take a walk around Ricki Lake, enjoy some pool time, or dance the night away in Woody's Nightclub. With 4 bars, a heated outdoor pool, themed events, a general store, and tons of delicious food options, you'll never want to leave.
Sawmill is a 21+ camping resort, with clothing optional at the pool. You must have a membership to stay at Sawmill, which costs $50 and is valid for an entire year. Spend a couple of weekends here and the membership will pay for itself in no time.
Address: 21710 US Hwy. 98, Dade City, FL 33523
3. Campit Resort, Fennville, MI
Camping in MichiganPhoto by Gary Meulemans on Unsplash
Campit Outdoor Resort is a camping resort that offers a welcoming atmosphere for LGBTQ+ folks and allies. In addition to tent and RV camping, Campit offers a number of lodging choices including cabins, a Bed and Breakfast, and Vintage Trailers. The resort offers a number of scheduled events and activities so that you'll never be bored during your stay.
As if being near the shores of Lake Michigan wasn't enough, the resort offers a clubhouse, rec hall, a game room, heated pool, a volleyball court, horseshoes, and plenty of hiking trails. The general store is stocked with essentials, as well as an extensive collection of Pride merchandise. Campit also has a "toy store" which is stocked with a broad selection of leather goods and novelty items.
Perhaps the best perk of Campit is that they are pet friendly, so pack up your four-legged pals for the weekend.
Address: 6635 118th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408
4. The Woods Campground, Lehighton, PA
Camping in PennsylvaniaPhoto by Ryan Stone on Unsplash
Nestled on 161 private acres, The Woods Campground is a membership-only 18+ camping resort. With hiking trails, streams, and a four-acre lake, the Woods is a paradise for any nature enthusiast. If that isn't your scene, don't worry, the Woods has plenty of amenities to enjoy, including a cafe and dance club. With an outdoor pool and patio, volleyball, and frequent events, there is always something on at the Woods.
You can purchase a single-day membership ($25 per person) or a season membership ($45 per person). This fee is separate from camping fees but is well worth it. The Woods has a variety of campsites for tents, RVs, and trailers, as well as cabin rentals and resort homes.
Address: 3500 Forest Street Lehighton, PA 18235
5. The Highlands Resort, Guernsville, CA
Camping in Northern CaliforniaPhoto by Ruben Mishchuk on Unsplash
A gem in the Northern California, The Highlands Resort is a quiet, peaceful place high in the Redwood Forests of CA, located on the Russian River. Bike, hike, or go wine tasting during the day, and at night, check out local bars and restaurants, or soak in the beauty of your surroundings and the star-filled skies. Guerneville sits in the heart of Sonoma County and is renowned for being LGBTQ+ friendly, with many queer-owned businesses to visit.
With a number of quaint and quirky river villages to explore, along with endless outdoor recreation options, you will have plenty to do during your stay here. Highlands offers a variety of unique cabins and rooms to book for your stay.
Address: 14000 Woodland Dr. Guerneville, CA 9544
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- Sugar Creek Campground Offers All Male Stress-Free Getaways ... ›
- Gay camping in Tennessee offer freedom … from clothes - OutVoices ›
- Sugar Creek Campground, Middle Tennessee's men-only camp ... ›
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Lesbians and queer women assemble! We have put together a list of some of the best women-only and LGBTQ+ friendly campgrounds in the U.S. Trying to find safe and fun places to travel to and stay at shouldn't be a hassle, so we've done most of the work for you. All you have to do is select one of these incredible destinations and get to packing. Enjoy our list of the best lesbian campgrounds around!
Windover Women's Resort, Owendale, MI
Go canoeingPhoto by Michael Niessl on Unsplash
Founded in the 1980s, Windover Women's Resort was created to provide all women with a safe outdoor camping experience. Located in Owendale, Michigan, the resort offers many amenities and activities to women over the age of 18. With an in-ground heated swimming pool, clubhouse, camp store, and multi sports-court, you will never be bored during your stay here.
Sugarloaf Women's Village, Sugarloaf Key, FL
Florida CampingPhoto by Jorge Vasconez on Unsplash
In 1976 Barbara Deming and her partner Jane Verlaine moved to the Florida Keys, where they created the oasis now known as Sugarloaf Women's Village. The lush acreage on Sugarloaf Key boasts four houses, two guest cottages, and a campground for RV and tent campers. Women are welcome to camp here for a few days up to several weeks, or they may submit an application for residency if they wish to stay for an extended period of time. Though only lesbians are permitted to live full-time here, any woman is welcome to camp or visit. Sugarloaf fosters a sense of community among the women who stay there and is an idyllic escape for anyone wishing to spend time in the Keys.
The Woods Camping Resort, Lehighton, PA
Pocono Mountain campingPhoto by photo nic on Unsplash
Nestled in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, The Woods is a membership-only LGBTQ+ camping resort for the 18+ crowd. Book one of their campsites for tent camping or RV camping, or get cozy in one of their on-site cabins. The Woods offers many amenities, whether you stay for the weekend or the month. Hang in the clubhouse with friends, join in group activities on the lake, or check out the dance club when the sun goes down. The Woods is a great place to escape with friends or lovers or to meet new people.
El Morro, Ramah, NM
Camping in New MexicoPhoto by Julia Karnavusha on Unsplash
High in the mountains of New Mexico beneath a sacred mesa, El Morro is home to an RV park, campground, cabins, and highly rated cafe. Visit this campground to experience the healing energy of the land and connect to the past. Explore lava flows, prehistoric ruins, Native American arts and crafts, and red rock mesas. Bike, hike, paddle, eat, or just relax and soak in the splendors of nature. A popular destination for rock climbing, caving, and viewing wildlife, there are countless pastimes to keep you busy during your stay here. While not LGBTQ+ exclusive, El Morro is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive space for everyone, specifically members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Coastal Acres Campground, Provincetown, MA
Visiting Cape CodPhoto by Abel Y Costa on Unsplash
If you are looking for the best in nature and in LGBTQ+ nightlife, check out Coastal Acres Campground in Provincetown, Maine. P-town has long been a popular LGBTQ+ destination, with rainbow-flag-lined streets, many queer-owned businesses, and plenty of themed nights and weekends. Within walking or biking distance to downtown Provincetown, Coastal Acres Campground offers tent and RV camping for the whole family, including your four-legged friends. Enjoy the beaches of Cape Cod and the culture of P-town during your stay here and take advantage of all of the campground amenities while you are at it.
It’s that time of year again, folks! The nights are getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and the idea of spending a weekend in the wild is beginning to sound like fun. Maybe you’ve already begun sorting through your camping gear and are planning your first getaway of the year. We have put together a checklist of camping essentials to ensure you don’t forget any of the items that are going to make your trip relaxing and enjoyable. We have divided all of the essentials into larger categories to help keep you ultra-organized. Be sure to print a copy before your next adventure!
Items You Need for Shelter
Tenting in the woodsPhoto by Triston Dunn on Unsplash
- Tent or hammock
- Tent poles
- Tent footprint or tarp to place under the tent.
- Tent repair kit
Items You Need in Order to Sleep While Camping
Sleeping under the starsPhoto by Felix M. Dorn on Unsplash
- Sleeping bag or quilt
- Sleeping pad or air mattress
- Air pump if required
- Extra blankets to make the tent extra cozy
Pro Tip: if using a down sleeping bag, don’t place blankets over the top of it. The blankets will compress the down, causing the bag to lose its insulation properties.
Kitchen Equipment and Food You Need While Camping
Outdoor cookingPhoto by andrew welch on Unsplash
- Stove and fuel
- Lighter or matches
- Food containers
- Pots and pans
- Plates, bowls, cups
- Cutting board
- Eating utensils
- Cooking utensils
- Bottle and can opener
- Cooler and ice
- Food and beverages
- Water bottles
- Biodegradeable soap and sponge
- Camp table and chairs (if no picnic table at the site)
- Trash bags
- Wash bin
Pro Tip: When packing kitchen items, place them in a large plastic bin or box. The bin can be used to wash items at the campsite if there is no designated sink for dishwashing at the campground. Be sure to follow each campground's guidelines and policies. If in an area where bears are present, be sure to store food, dishes, soap, and anything that has an odor in a bear box if there is one provided. If facilities are primitive, be prepared to pack out all of your trash and practice Leave No Trace principles.
Toiletries You Will Need While Camping
List of toiletries you needPhoto by david Griffiths on Unsplash
- Soap (face and body)
- Hand sanitizer
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toilet paper
- First aid kit
- Tampons/pads (if applicable)
- Bath towels
- Shoes to shower in
- Bug spray
The number of toiletries you bring may depend on the type of campsite you will be staying at. Many campgrounds have shower and bathroom facilities, but other campgrounds are more primitive, and may only have pit toilets. Be sure to research ahead of time so that you can be fully prepared. Place all scented toiletries in a bear-proof container with your food and other items if you will be in a bear-populated area.
What Type of Clothing and Footwear You Need for Camping
What to wear campingPhoto by Clay Banks on Unsplash
- Moisture-wicking shirts
- Moisture-wicking pants
- Long sleeve shirt
- Down or fleece jacket
- Rain jacket
- Rain pants
- Hiking boots or sneakers
- Sandals or flip flops
What Personal Items Do You Really Need While Camping?
Your Camping list of personal itemsPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
- Phone and phone charger
- Wallet with ID and credit/debit cards
- Campsite reservation information
- Eyeglasses and sunglasses
Additional Items You Will Need While Camping
More things you'll need for campingPhoto by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash
- Extra batteries
- Portable charging bank or solar charger
- Firewood and fire starter (If fires are permitted at your campsite)
- Books and/or games
- Dog gear if bringing your four-legged pals
- Dry bags or plastic bins to store items
- Backpack or hiking pack
- Bear canister (if no bear box at the campsite and you are in an area with bears)
Time to Get Packing
Everyone’s camping checklist will be different depending on the time of year it is, where they’ll be camping, how many people will be going, what type of campsite they’re going to, and many other factors. This list is a great starting point for anyone trying to stay more organized while packing for their next camping trip. Remember to research your campsite before packing to expertly tailor your list. Happy camping!
Campgrounds for LGBTQ men aren’t a new concept—Middle Tennesseans have, in recent years, had two nearby options, the clothing-optional Timberfell Lodge and Whispering Oaks. These have enjoyed popularity over the years, and in fact, the Conductors recently held their annual run at Whispering Oaks. On June 15–16, 2018, Sugar Creek Campground, located in Only, Tennessee, held its soft launch, and its grand opening is slated for July 6–7, 2018.
With its beautiful location and brand-new amenities, the new camp is sure to be a hit with those whose idea of a nice weekend away involves a tent and a drag show! Plus, located just an hour west of Nashville, Sugar Creek brings gay camping even closer to town.
Sugar Creek Campground, Middle Tennessee’s men-only camp outvoices.us
“It's just a beautiful piece of property,” said proprietor, Bill Johnson. “It has a cave with a spring on it, it's right on a creek that's crystal clear with blue holes, where you can swim... As far as amenities, we start work on the pools on July 1, and they should be finished by August 1. We are going to have a hot sauna, dry sauna, we have the creek, we have volleyball and horseshoes, cornhole boards. We have a diamond for kickball and baseball.”
“We don't have cabins yet,” Johnson said, “but we are going to build cabins this winter. We do have a building with five studio units in it, and we have 37 campsites with RV hookups, and then we have about 20 tent sites with electric.”
“And we have a club—an old restaurant we turned into a nightclub,” Johnson added. “We have a stage and we can probably seat about 100 people. We will have drag shows on Saturday nights; Friday nights will be game nights with a bingo drag queen.”
Sugar Creek’s drag will be—pardon the pun—campy. “We've got Chyna, I know, a little bit,” Johnson said, “and Marlene-Twitty-Fargo and others like that. We don't want to do a lot of serious drag, we want it to be kind of fun and camp-style drag.”
“The campground will be men only and membership-based,” Johnson explained, “but the night club on the weekends we do plan on letting people in for that, because everyone wants to see the drag show. We'll let the visitors in at the beginning of the night, but after a certain point it'll again be closed to members only. Access to the show will have a fee, but anyone who buys a day pass will also get access to the club.”
“The nightclub will mostly serve bar food, and we have a beer license,” he added. “We don't have a liquor license, but you can bring your own bottle.” The nightclub will be open Friday, Saturday, and during the day Sunday. The camp will be open all week.
Why another campground, though? The owners visited other campsites and wanted to do something updated. “We went to all the other camps, and this is going to be top-of-the-line. Our shower house is beautiful, it's clean. Everything's nice and all the electrical, plumbing, and septic is brand new. The creek is so beautifully clean, and we have this cave that has about 5,000 gallons a minute feeding into the creek.”
“It's very private. We aren't advertising it as clothing optional,” Johnson added, “but we aren't really saying anything, as long as people aren't bothering anybody else.
And, again, they wanted to build something convenient. “It's right off the interstate and centrally located for people between Nashville and Memphis,” he added. “And there's a lot of gay people that live west of Nashville as well, so it’s very convenient.
So far, Johnson says, the local response has been mostly positive. “Most of the neighbors that are close are gay or, if not, they are related to gay,” he explained. “I've owned Mirandas for 22 years there at that exit and we've never had any problems with the county whatever...”
So if you want to pack up your tent and head out to Sugar Creek, follow them at Facebook.com/sugarcreekcamp, and look for their website, coming soon. For more on gay campgrounds in Tennessee, see Gay campgrounds in Tennessee offer freedom … from clothes!