Inquire, reserve, and prepare
Most campsites are located deep in the forest where roads are narrow. For some, you’ll need 4×4 vehicles to get to a better, more isolated camping site. Always ask the management about the road conditions, especially when it’s the rainy season. Let them know what kind of car you have so they can advice if it’s passable or not.
There are so many campsites opening around the country, particularly in Luzon. There should be a few about two hours from your home. The most visited campsites are in the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Batangas and Laguna. There are campsites located along a lake (in Laguna), beside a beach (Batangas), or deep in the mountains (Rizal province), or near a river.
Some are the most basic back-to-nature campsites offering camp grounds in a forest, where there’s only a defined ground for your car and tents, plus a bonfire pit, toilets, and no electricity.
Campsites charge fees for each person, vehicle, tent set-up, and sometimes even per pet. The fees are charged per day. The fees are from P300-P500 per person, P500-P2,000 per vehicle; P100-P300 per tent pitched; P150 per pet. Fees are higher if there are more amenities in the site.
The usual amenities are an outdoor grill, bonfire pit, and shared toilets. The more developed sites offer hot and cold water in the shower, and even private rooms for those who would like to be sleep in urban comfort and camp only during the day.
Make a list of what you bring and check them as you pack. Not all campsites have a convenience store or a kitchen nearby where you can buy or borrow some cooking oil, salt or an item you forgot to bring along.
You may be in the wilderness but each campsite still has rules. These are restrictions like no loud music. Some have a cut-off time where charges for a day camp arrangement can turn into overnight camping charge. Inquire about these beforehand.
Camping gear can get quite expensive, particularly since they’re made to be more rugged. Don’t fret if you don’t have a rooftop tent, pull-out awning, or portable grille. Start with the basics like a proper tent, sleeping bags, folding chairs and tables, portable stove, and cooler. Give it a try with the basic equipment first. From your first experience, you’ll be able to determine what you really need and what you don’t.