First-time Campers: $20 for weekend camping incl. equipment rental


Want to try out some family camping but don’t want to invest in all the gear? First-time campers can stay the weekend at participating PA state parks for just $20, and rental of needed gear is included.

Outdoor supplier Gander Mountain is providing a four-person tent, a tarp, two sleeping pads, two camp chairs, flashlight & lantern, camp stove & four hot dog/marshmallow sticks for use during your inaugural weekend campout.

You’d still need to bring your own food, cooking utensils and bedding, but that’s an awesome deal!

In addition— I think this is cool— park staff will help you to set up camp and provide tips on outdoor living.

Participating parks:

  1. Black Moshannon, Centre County
  2. Caledonia, Franklin County
  3. Colonel Denning, Cumberland County
  4. Gifford Pinchot, York County
  5. Hickory Run, Carbon County
  6. Keystone, Westmoreland County
  7. Laurel Hill, Somerset County
  8. Little Pine, Lycoming County
  9. Locust Lake, Schuylkill County
  10. Ohiopyle, Fayette County
  11. Ole Bull, Potter County
  12. Parker Dam, Clearfield County
  13. Pymatuning, Crawford County
  14. R.B. Winter, Union County

The First-Time Camper Program runs from Memorial Day weekend through the summer. Reservations should be made by calling the park office directly. Those phone numbers can be found on the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources website, along with more details and helpful packing lists.

We’ve only ever camped as a family in our own backyard.

Have you been to any of these PA parks?


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