Tent camping...in September...tips?

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by Artygal90, May 3, 2018.

  1. Artygal90

    Artygal90 Earning My Ears

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    Hey everyone!

    So this idea occurred to me when I was flying to the beach on Sunday and I can't get it out of my head.

    DH and I just went to Disney/Universal for the first time in mid-March with my family. It was an awesome time but we only had 3 park days so it was go-go-go the whole time. At the end DH was stressed and exhausted and we still didn't get to do everything. I'm planning a May 2020 trip for my birthday, which will be very focused on seeing Galaxy's Edge and Universal, so it won't be terribly relaxing either. And I don't want to wait two years to go to Disney again....so then I got thinking about doing a super-relaxing week camping at Fort Wilderness, just focused on Disney stuff, while also taking time to go to the pool, explore other resorts, go to Disney Springs, etc.

    Looking at our calendars and the rack rate for the campsites, it seems like sometime in September 2019 will work best for us because of the rock-bottom prices + the Halloween party. I know that Orlando will be very warm, very humid, and very prone to hurricanes while we are there. We live in a swamp (love ya Houston) so we are aware of how miserable heat and humidity can make things and we're not scared of hurricanes. I also plan on purchasing trip insurance!

    Because this would be a budget trip, we'd plan to borrow as much special gear as possible or buy it used. We'd plan to pack everything within the 2-free-bag allowance on Southwest and not worry about bringing cooking equipment, just shelf-stable snacks like granola bars and PB for sandwiches. Also, I'd like to do a couple test runs in our state parks in similarly hot and humid conditions before flying to WDW to try it out, which is where your lovely advice comes in.

    My questions:

    1) Has anyone else flown in and tent-camped at FW in September?
    2) What gear do we need? Currently I've got access to a Coleman Sundome 5 person tent, some tarps, and everyday stuff like extension cords, flashlights, rope, etc. Was planning to definitely purchase an air mattress/cot combo and bring sheets, pillows, and a light blanket from home for bedding, and either pack a few fans or buy a few when we arrive in Orlando.
    3) If you fly in, how do you keep foodstuffs out of the hands of critters if you don't have a hard-sided cooler or a car to store your snacks in?
    4) What's the best way to protect my tent from rain while still maintaining ventilation and without going out and buying a special rain shelter?

    DH was a Boy Scout so I know he knows how to do a lot of this. BUT he gets stressed when I start planning trips more than a week in advance, so I'm talking to you about it! :)
     
  2. bama_ed

    bama_ed It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney

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    Artygal90,

    My initial reaction after seeing your thread title was, "My tip? Don't DO it! " :sad2:

    < jk >












    < kinda > :teeth:

    We've had people fly in and tent camp and we've had people drive in during the hot summer months and tent camp (with portable air conditioners) but flying in during the hot summer months and tent camping is a combo I don't recall seeing (assuming no AC in your carry-on) too often. September is still a hot, wet, humid time as you say with daily rain quite common then still (you can almost set your watch by them). If you search on the key words "tent" and "fly" on the Camping Board, you will get some past threads. Here is one:

    https://www.disboards.com/threads/back-from-fly-in-tent-camping-trip-to-fw.3605324/

    A good tent should have a rain fly. You will need to move some air with a fan to manage ventilation any night whether it's raining/wet or not.

    If you have a jar of peanut butter that's been opened, it will be hard to keep the squirrels out of it. Especially if you are gone in the parks for hours and they have time to get their buddies and canoodle a strategy. I would not mess with trying to bring food with you IMO. That would be one concession made to travelling at a cheap time of year (higher dining expenses). A "budget trip" means I guess you aren't renting a vehicle you could stash stuff in but relying on MDE and Disney transportation.

    You might luck up on the weather and late in the month is better (which is more like October) than early in the month (which is more like August). So if you are set on going, go as late in the month as you can. Better yet, October is really nice once the daily rain stops.

    Good luck.

    Bama Ed
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    Artygal90 likes this.
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  4. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    Last September there was the hurricane, the Fort was closed. When it reopened it was stinking humid and hot, the mosquitoes were out of hand. We slept well, but having a RV and two AC units running made that easy. Having been in the military and having "camped" in the heat. No way.
    I was hot and sweaty touring the parks, it was nice to come back and relax in a temperature controlled environment.
     
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  5. Artygal90

    Artygal90 Earning My Ears

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    On further thought, it sounds like we should hold off on a camping adventure at the Fort. Or at least, try out our setup in our hometown this summer first, since it's almost a humid and hot as Orlando is in September. We may end up saving the same amount of money packing light, using a CM discount at an All-Star, and flying Spirit than paying full price for a campsite and flying SW. Thanks for the input everyone!
     
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  6. hoop4321

    hoop4321 Mouseketeer

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    Something to remember for the future......September is the hottest most brutal month in Florida......especially inland like lake buena vista is. The breezes are too few, and too far in between......and you still have the afternoon lightning storms. I think you made a good call.
     
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  7. Lmans77

    Lmans77 Mouseketeer

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    Fellow Houstonian here - I would only attempt that if I were driving and could bring gear for comfort - portable ac, cots, ice chest, etc. I think there is no way to do it with flying SW and 2 free bags. Plus SW from Houston to MCO is pricey!!! You could drive for the same or less (depending on your MPG naturally). We camped once locally when the kids were little in August because DD was pestering us to take her. We brought a little window unit and redneck engineered it to blow it into our tent. It's the only way we survived.
     
  8. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    If you still want to try camping, some have shipped larger items to the Fort and then shipped them back home at the end. This would cut down the items for the flight to personal/essential things. Others have rented a car for the day or used Uber/Lyft to make a WalMart run and picked up items that they can't ship or will make "disposable". I've heard of a few people even buying a tent or awning at WalMart and then throwing it away when they leave. Not very cost effective, but an option to have larger things.

    j
     
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  9. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    I have seen many a camper when I was working for a state park, buy a large tent, ez up, grill, etc. Use it once and throw it out, because they were from the big city and had no storage space in the apartment for such items.
     
  10. Random Ninja

    Random Ninja DIS Veteran

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    We went camping at the Fort last September right after it reopened from Irma. Figured that we'd be fine since we're both experienced campers and Floridians...I swore by the second day that I would never camp in September again. It was so much worse than June/July, which I've done before. We didn't have an AC but did have a ceiling fan running. Love the Fort but won't do that again; Nov-April is so much better.
     

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