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Florida | Wilderness Camping in the Everglades.

The Everglades of Florida offer up some interesting possibilities for outdoor experiences.
Most people however, aren’t aware that you can spend a few days in the wilderness areas of the Everglades here and camp, hike or just enjoy the wildlife.

The best time for camping in the Everglades of course is fall and winter, however some people want to camp in the summertime, which presents a few challenges of its own in the Everglades region of Florida.

Camping in the Everglades is a challenge at any time, but is well worth your time to undertake the trip planning. During the summer time, Everglades National Park might get up to about eighty percent of the rainfall that they get for the entire year. What that means to you is that thunder and lighting can move in quite rapidly and you need to be prepared.
Summer time is also hurricane season, which offers up its own challenges.
Paying close attention to your surroundings, to the weather and the water is going to keep you and your party safe and make your camping experience in the Everglades the best that it can be.

Swamp lily

You will, in the course of your trip come across and may have some interaction with wildlife.
Birds, reptiles and many other species thrive within these wet lands from the Crocodile to the tiny frog and a great many in between.

Additionally there are more than forty kinds of mammals that live their lives out in the Everglades, and make up a great deal of the attractions of Everglades National Park.
White tail deer to tiny frogs will amaze you with their antics, while your hair may stand on end when you see some of the larger reptiles, including the crocodiles and snakes.

The Everglades is no place to be without a camera.

As you traverse the waterways and hiking paths, pay close attention to the plant life as well. You will find orchids that grow no where else on earth, many of them growing on host trees as they have adapted to the environment and live now in this fashion.

Birds are extraordinarily prolific here in the Everglades.The incredible flamingo, to the loon, the booby, the pelican and the magnificent snowy egret all make their home and quite often their nest in the Everglades.

Great Egret

Camping in the Everglades is of course going to require a boat trip of some type. There are many boat rental places in the Everglades, so arranging to rent one isn’t going to be difficult and can be done in advance or the day of your arrival.

Boating the Everglades however isn’t as  simple as just renting a boat and moving out. This type of boating will be different from nearly any other place you’re ever going to boat, or have boated in the past.

Navigation in the Everglades isn’t always as simple and straight forward as it seems, and the passageways can begin to look the same after a time. Lined as they all are with the mangroves and hanging plants, they can, after a time begin to look more like a maze than a waterway to the newcomer to the area.

With the right planning however you can prevent wasted time and avoid getting lost by just looking ahead  planning well for your adventure in the Everglades.

For those who have never boated or camped the Everglades before, it might be a good idea to begin with a day trip of boating or a one night camping experience rather than diving in feet first so to speak and planning a two week trip into the Everglades.

Exploring the Everglades by boat, or for that matter, any wilderness area, is going to take a bit of advance planning and some very careful preparation in order to keep yourself and your party safe.
You’re going to want to plot out and plan two routes before you begin to set out for your trip, in case the one you want is filled to capacity.

The  Parks Service will in fact help you plan your trip to the Everglades, if you stop by or phone the Gulf Coast  or Flamingo Visitor Centers.

The heat, the humidity, the storms and the wide array and vast numbers of mosquitoes make summertime the least favorable time to camp in the Everglades. December through April is going to be far more pleasant an experience so you might want to plan accordingly.

Getting and learning to understand nautical charts and maps is going to be a necessary part of finding your way around the waterways of the Everglades.

The possibilities are virtually unlimited for taking an overnight trip, but be honest with yourself about your experience and your abilities prior to undertaking a seven or eight day trip into the Everglades.

The tides and the wind, as well as many other factors can make a camping or boating trip into the Everglades difficult for even the most experienced boater.
You can ideally plan on 8 or 9 miles a day if you are an experienced paddler, however if you aren’t, or if adverse conditions or winds ensue, you may make as little as a mile a day in your trip.
Plan for any eventuality and know your abilities and your limitations.

The National Parks Service offers up a Trip Planner for your Boating trip to the Everglades which is available for download.

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