Florida Camping: Dealing with Thorns, Heat and Rain

Florida Camping:
Thorns, Heat and Rain

And how to deal with them






Florida Everglades


Florida Camping:
Thorns, Heat and Rain

Florida camping has a few potntially unpleasant features that can be easily handled.

 In some parts of Florida, beachside wilderness camping requires that you deal with a very thorny problem: little spiky land mines known as sand spurs. A floored tent will crush the pesky plants, though you may have to pick them out of the flooring when you leave.

But be very careful when staking out a tent with a screen porch. Most screened porches lack a flooring, which provides a clear pathway to the fine mesh for sand spurs. These irritants will attach themselves to the fine mesh like leeches and be just as desirable to remove.

But do remove them before packing the tent away, and do it carefully so that you avoid tearing the mesh and you don't end up with sand spur spikes in your fingers.

One experience like this and you always carry a thick tarp to place under the screen area not only to protect the mesh while you're setting up the tent but to save your feet once you start walking inside the enclosed area.

Obviously, you need to check out the extent of the problem before choosing a camp site. In the wilderness, sand spurs sometimes are part of the price you pay for being an outdoorsman instead of a campground tourist.

Recognizing the problem, take tweezers and rubbing alcohol in case a couple of the suckers get you.


A good idea, particularly in summer, but consider the problems. Some trees, such as pines, may drip sap onto your tent, and occasionally that can be close to impossible to remove. One way to avoid the problem--and also make your tent cooler during the day--is to erect a barrier above the tent, such as a sheet of plastic erected several inches above the top of the tent.


A definite plus during the warm summer months if rain is not a threat. Wind is natural air conditioning, and sometimes you want as much as you can get. Not so in winter, when wind literally is your enemy. Tent camp in an open windswept area, and you might as well sleep in a meat locker; the effect will be the same.

Rain: It happens, no matter what the weather forecast says. And sometimes you want to camp so badly you don't care.

You can reduce the problem of rain waterlogging your tent by both erecting a rain canopy above your tent (the same sheet of plastic several inches above the tent roof recommended to prevent sap problems) and by placing a thick plastic ground cloth beneath the floor of your tent before you stake it out.

You might also want to dig a small drainage field around your tent if a rainstorm turns into a downpour, especially if the ground is already saturated.

Ironically, it's the unknown--and consequently sometimes the least comfortable of circumstances--that make for the best stories...much later.

If you want to keep your family happy and ready to visit the wilderness again, always make it comfortable for them.

To Choosing the Right Tent

To Picking the Right Tent Site 

To What the Ideal Tite Site Should Have

To Florida Ecotourism