The Lone Star State, home of big food and big dreams. But it’s also a great place for camping! With a myriad of established and dispersed campgrounds, and many Texas campsites, there’s no limit to the possibilities in the southern state. There are a few choices ranging from state parks to hill country camping, to free camping in the wilderness. This blog should cover all the basics for camping in Texas.

Where to camp in Texas

As previously mentioned, there is great choice for traditional tent camping in Texas. There are several Texas state parks to choose from in all corners, North Texas, East Texas, South Texas and West Texas. A few worth mentioning are Colorado Bend state park, Davis Mountains state park, Guadalupe River state park, Caddo Lake state park, Caprock Canyon state park and Inks Lake state park. There are some vast areas of water that have some amazing campgrounds, Lake Travis, Inks Lake and Lake Somerville are some of the more popular choices. For the more outlandish campers, there are areas of land that are beautiful and bountiful enough to warrant some wilderness camping. The Texas Hill country is favourable for backcountry camping, with some selection of dispersed campgrounds. This is a great place to practice primitive camping and bushcraft skills.

What to pack for camping in Texas

Your list of items will vary depending on the type of camping you wish to experience and the location you have chosen to camp. There is some basic equipment however that are the same for everyone.
To be more specific, if you are a hiker or backpacker and plan to carry sleeping gear with you for a quick 1 nighter in different locations, you’d require more lightweight sheltering. For those who don’t wish to sleep but instead rest up while on your travels, a Tentsile T-Mini Double Camping Hammock is the perfect product for you. A quick set-up taking less than 10 minutes for the ability to lay down and relax, suspended in the trees. For those who wish to sleep, the Tentsile UNA 1-Person Tree Tent is an incredibly good choice for a lightweight camp. Quick set-up and light carry weight, it’s one of the best choices we can suggest. If you are a couple who fancy spending the night close together, you cannot go wrong with the Tentsile Flite 2-Person Tree Tent. Equally as light, and just as quick to set-up.
For those who are backcountry camping, out in the sticks, spending a lot of time in one place and potentially battling against strong weather, you’d require something more heavy duty. A little heavier, but worth the carry, Tentsile's Safari range are made with the most durable materials and are an excellent hub for a basecamp. The Safari Connect 2-Person Tree Tent is fantastic for wilderness camping and can be set up with only one person if needs be. Each of Tentsile’s Tree Tents are built with the patented anti-roll technology developed by the creator, allowing a comfortable night’s sleep.
As mentioned before, there is a set of equipment that carries across all campers - necessities. A sleeping bag is one, as you need to stay warm in those Texas nights. A portable phone charger, as mobile phones have become a GPS system as well as a device that can be used to call for help if needed. Sunglasses are 100% necessary in Texas, you need to protect your eyes if you want to enjoy your trip without issues. First Aid Kits are just as necessary as a sleeping bag. And it goes without saying, but plenty of food and water for your trip.

What to consider before camping in Texas

There are a few things to think about and they vary in severity. There legalities to consider, such as maximum stays, fires, ‘Leave No Trace’ guidance. You need to ensure that you do your research on your area of choice to ensure you don’t run into any trouble. Texas recently passed legislation making it illegal and punishable by a fine of up to $500 to camp in public spaces without permission, so ensure that the area of forest or beach or hill you plan to camp on aren’t included under this act or check if permission is obtainable.
Ensure that you maintain your safety, in line with the fire legalities, if a fire is a llowed ensure it doesn’t get over fuelled and keep it contained. Pack appropriately for animals that could be of threat, and if you plan on staying in a public campgrounds keep your valuables well hidden or on your person at all times.
At the end of it all, make sure you enjoy yourself. Check local amenities for washing facilities for personal hygiene and for your clothes, check where the garbage cans are to keep your environment clean.

Texas camping tips

Get familiar with the rules of the location of where you’re travelling, like I mentioned in the previous section. Make your bookings far in advance, and research the available amenities so everything is covered. Consider the time of year and the deals that are on at certain campgrounds, this will vary the crowd size depending on what you would prefer. Pack in preparation for various weather conditions, especially if rain looks likely, keep a close eye on the weather forecasts leading up to your trip to inform your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you camp in Texas?

There are numerous campgrounds and campsites throughout Texas, your best bet is to google the area you wish to visit (North or South etc) and do your research.

Where is best to camp in Texas?

One of the most popular locations is Big Bend National Park.

When does the camping season start in Texas?

Mid-June to July is the start of summer when most campgrounds start to roll out higher pricings and deals.

How much is camping in Texas?

The lowest prices are $18 per night but will increase closer to the start of high season.

Where can you go primitive camping in Texas?

Here are some popular sites for primitive camping you can look up: Sand Branch, Roadrunner Flat, North Prong, South Prong, Lone Star Hiking Trail (There are a few along this trail), Hill Country Wilderness Camp Area and Colorado Bend.

Can you camp overnight in Texas State Park?

all visitors are required to pre-purchase and print day-use and overnight camping permits through the Texas State Parks Reservation System before traveling to a park. All reservations can be made online at or by calling 512-389-8900.

Jack Thomson