Winter Camping Guide For Washington DC

December 22, 2012 8:00 AM

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

If you’re a true camper, you know you don’t have to stay indoors just because it’s cold outside. If you didn’t know this, step outside of your comfort zone and give winter camping a try. These resources in the D.C. area promise to meet all your winter camping in needs no matter your skill level.

9801 Rhode Island Ave.
College Park, MD 20740
(301) 982-9681

Price: $45 member/$65 non-member

Learn all the essentials and unique challenges that are associated with winter camping in the DC area with the Introduction to Winter Camping Course courtesy of the REI Outdoor School. Participants will visit a local park and see what it takes to set up a campsite, including finding the perfect location for your kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as how to camp without leaving any trace of your visit behind. Other skills taught during the course include food storage and wildlife safety. The REI Outdoor School also provides courses in navigation, climbing, wilderness survival and outdoor fitness.

Duncan’s Family Campground
5381 Sands Road
Lothian, MD 20711
(410) 741-9558

Price: $33 off-season tent (no hook-ups)/$45 full hook-up

Whether you prefer to set up camp with a tent, enjoy the modern luxuries of an RV or spend the night in a comfy cabin, Duncan’s Family Campground has you covered. Located within driving distance of DC and Maryland, Duncan’s Family Campground features a camp store, playgrounds, bath houses, laundry facilities, hiking trails, game rentals and a huge dog park. Set up your own campsite or book a reservation in a single or double-room cottage or cabin. Duncan’s Family Campground also offers a 30-foot trailer for rent as well. Tent areas include picnic tables, water spigots, electrical services and a fire pit.

Related: Best Campgrounds In The D.C. Area

Casual Adventure
3451 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 650-0321

Before you hit the road, swing by Casual Adventure and stock up on all of your essential winter camping gear and needs. The locally owned and operated shop features all of the latest top brands in camping, hiking and outdoor equipment. Buy a family friendly tent, or upgrade to a state-of-the-art GPS device. Casual Adventure also provides outerwear, backpacks, footwear, sunglasses, sleeping bags, camping tools, first aid kits and other general camping equipment.

American Red Cross National Capital Area
8550 Arlington Blvd.
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 584-8400

Price: $70 to $110 per course

Learn all the important first aid response skills — from what to do if you’ve broken an ankle to how to treat a friend’s burns — when you sign up for a First Aid/CPR/AED course at the American Red Cross National Capital Area Chapter. Other available courses include wilderness and remote first aid, swimming and water safety, and emergency preparedness programs. Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive a certificate that is valid for two years.

Related: Best Dates For The Adventurous Couple In The D.C. Area

Bull Run Regional Park Campground
7700 Bull Run Drive
Centreville, VA 20121
(703) 631-0550

Price: $24 to $26 non-electric site/$37 to $39 full hook-up/30 amp service

For a family friendly camping adventure, Bull Run Regional Park’s year-round campsite features a wide variety of camping and lodging options to choose from, including electric-only and full-service sites as well as rental cabins and group camping areas. Cook dinner on a charcoal grill, or roast marshmallows over a fire ring. The park also features a camp store, dump and water fill stations, two bath houses, laundry facilities, hiking and equestrian trails, mini golf and a shooting center. Come back for a visit in the summer and enjoy a full-service water park.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

Listen Live