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Plan ahead for a fun Memorial weekend getaway

Memorial Day weekend, the official kick-off to summer camping season, is nearly here, and those hoping to snag a perfect camping spot still have a plenty of options.

While many prime reservation-only spots already have been reserved, many more sites are available first-come, first-served at state parks across Nebraska. Those open to camping a bit further from the lake or a bit further from home can find a serene setting or a fun opportunity for adventure.

Nebraska Game and Parks encourages you to have fun in the outdoors and always keep safety top of mind.

Follow these tips for a successful holiday weekend camping trip:

  • Reserve a spot online. Several state parks still have sites available for booking. Find at spot at ReserveAmerica.com.
  • Travel further from urban centers. More remote campgrounds offer the opportunity the perfect place to stretch out for a weekend. To find a just-right campground, visit org/maps then choose state park and recreation areas. This interactive map provides a summary of each park area with location, park amenities and contact information if you have questions.
  • Arrive early. Consider arriving Tuesday or Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend to claim a first-come, first-served site that meet your needs.
  • Practice campfire safety. Guests should call park areas before arrival to determine whether a burn ban is in effect. Where campfires are allowed, use designated fire rings, never leave a fire unattended, keep water nearby, and extinguish completely before leaving.
  • Wear life jackets when boating or swimming.
  • Check the weather forecast and stay aware of changing conditions.
  • Plan ahead for what you may need — especially if your preferred site is already taken. Consider packing a shower caddy to get to and from the shower houses and bottled water or a water cooler. Don’t forget traditional supplies, as well, such as lawn chairs, bug spray and sunscreen.
  • Be patient. Memorial Day weekend is a historically busy one in state parks. Practice patience and understanding with fellow campers and park staff.
  • Pack a fishing pole! Fishing is fun for all ages. Youth ages 16 and under don’t need a permit to fish. Adults can buy a one-day or annual fishing permit online.
  • Have fun! Remember to bring camp games and plenty of good food — the perfect recipe for a fun weekend camping trip.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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