I had such a great experience camping on an island that I think everyone should try camping on an island. But as you may imagine, camping in the middle of the ocean can add some additional preparations to your to-do list and a few more items on your to-bring list. But don't let that deter you! I've put together my list of tips to make any island camping trip a little easier.
- Check on transportation schedules before making a camping reservation. Make sure the boat you plan to take has trips scheduled on the dates you'd like to reserve before hitting the "confirm reservation" button. Some ferries only operate on certain days of the week or have varying schedules throughout the seasons. It's always a good idea to triple check that your transport reservation mirrors your camping reservation before making anything final!
- Know the water situation on the island. Anacapa is the smallest of the Channel Islands and the least visited, so the camping amenities are extremely standard. No fresh water was available on the island, so we had to make sure we had an adequate amount of water per person for each day we were camping. Should you need to bring your own, a good rule to go by is approximately 2,000 ml per day for each adult.
- Travel light. Be sure you're capable of loading and unloading your gear on the boat, as well as carrying it from the dock to your campsite. It's also worth noting the ferry's policy on bags - many only allow 2-3 "bags" per passenger, which must include tent, bedding, food, water, camping chairs, clothing, and whatever else you may need.
- Be prepared to be off-the-grid. Even out on Anacapa, which is only about an hour boat ride off the coast, cell phone signal is extremely spotty and sometimes nonexistent. Don't bank on having contact with the mainland, and if you're feeling super responsible, bring a two-way radio in case of emergencies!
- Don't fear isolation! In all reality, you'd be further from human contact at a walk-in campsite or backwoods stopover. There's bound to be other campers on the island that would help you when in a bind, or just strike up conversation over a Clif bar and boxed wine. On the other hand, there's always a quiet, secluded place to be found if that's the kind of thing you're looking for.
So get out there! Go camp on an island. Here's a few around the country to get you started: