Category Archives: Outings

OUTINGS: Gay Camping

Camping was popular with gay folks long before it became “staycation” chic. Yet again trailblazing, in more ways than one! You can do it in a tent, or in a cabin or even in a trailer. However you do it, camping can be very gay.

GAY ADVENTURE CLUBS

You don’t have to go to a gay place for gay camping. You can just be with gay friends! Being outdoors is so much fun with family you love.


Florida Great Outdoors is “a social, recreational and educational membership organization that offers outings mostly in Florida that are specifically designed for active individuals that are comfortable with same sex relationships.” This group goes camping in places like Canaveral National Seashore (which does actually have a stunning nude beach nearby) as well as Long Pine Key in the Everglades Nat’l Park and Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which features diving and snorkeling trails.

Would you like to canoe down the Suwanee River or through Ichetucknee Springs State Park? Maybe just go for a walk in the Everglades National Park. Or a park near you! You can find activities all over in the Gay Outdoors Calendar and a list of outdoorsy organizations including but not limited to gay in the Open Directory.

CAMP GAY USA

Camp Gay USA also has a list of camping clubs and adventure opportunities.
This site lists all the known gay campgrounds and gay friendly camping facilities in one directory “to make it easier for gays to find campgrounds where they can be comfortable and meet other gay campers. A feeling of safety is offered at gay camping resorts because at these campgrounds gay and lesbian campers can be themselves. This site supports and encourages the growth of gay camping and promotes gay owned, gay operated and gay friendly camping facilities.”

Unlike many of the links to follow, this site is a labor of love and your best resource by far. The webmaster is an avid gay camper, has owned a camping resort since college, has served as past president of a state campground owners association.

The web site includes a directory of gay campgrounds and gay friendly camping resorts, for gay and lesbian campers and a directory of the gay camping clubs across the USA. There is also a directory of gays and lesbians with a suitable site at their home or cottage and would like to host fellow gay and lesbian campers in their travels.

See Gay City Campgrounds for more gay campground guide information, as well as Gay Campground Listing and International Gay Campgrounds.

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Return to Mars

It’s past midnight, Earth time, and the big skylight in the roof of our yurt peers up into the splash of brilliant stars careening through the cold night sky. Far from city lights and surrounded by wildlife, yet snug with a lover in a comfortable bed in a funky round cabin, we have returned to Camp Mars.
Winter weather draws campers even closer, huddled around wood fires to roast foiled s’mores with marshmallow fluff and Ghirardelli chocolate chips. All smiles and sugargoop, oiled by a few brews, stories unfurl like smoke. The young one came from Ft. Lauderdale, where he edits adult web sites. Those two are from Miami, and are celebrating their third (week) anniversary with a Mars safari. The cowboy in the other yurt is fair dinkum, a real southern gentleman with polished boots and a black hat.
It’s Wildlife Weekend, and the daylight action included a scavenger hunt. I seem to have left my pink high heels at home, and the Secret Message from Space also eluded me. But there
were apparently some very well prepared — ahem — Boyscouts at this camp, it seems, for a number of pumps and other surprises materialized on the judging table at the weekly sunset potlatch.
Also on the judging agenda for Wildlife Weekend: birdhouse decorating. This surprisingly amusing contest had campers paint and decorate a variety of houses provided by Camp Mars.

The winner was a rainbow-shingled bungalow with a patio, complete with drinks and umbrella, with a little TV inside and porn on the screen. Truly fit for those penguins in New York when they come to vacation in Florida’s outback!
If all this sounds a bit tame for Wildlife Weekend, it might be. Campers here often rejoice in the mellow mood and are grateful for the quiet after staying at other rowdier gay  campgrounds.
Still, Mars has a naughty “hut” and a nature trail with certain sexy surprises. And I am pretty sure I heard the cowboy holler Yee-Ha in his yurt sometime around two a.m. So it’s definitely not your mom’s preferred getaway.
Then again, Korin has happily weathered hurricanes and honky-tonk parties to be the solitary woman resident at Camp Mars. “There were over a dozen of us cowering on the floor of
the women’s bathroom during the Charlie.” And then there was another horrible storm, and another! But she says, despite losing a few (tree) limbs, nobody got hurt and soon enough all of the residents and camp owner Dale Dunston put things back together better than ever. Two new roads for resident campers reach into the pasture near the pool.
But there is still plenty of nature and countryside all around.  Camp Mars is (hysterically) near Venus, Florida. Go past Arcadia to Highway 27. Ten miles south to the middle of not much, swing right to Venus, left on Goff and straight ahead into another landscape! It’s a two hour drive from Tampa Bay, but meditative Moon River on the far side of Crater Lake is so distant from the mania of 275 that you might as well be on Mars. FMI www.campmars.com

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