The Best Crab Orchard Lake Camping Experience

If you're looking for the best vacation you can spend with your family and friends; then it's got to be camping.

The summer season is coming, and what better way to make it a memorable experience than to go out of your comfort zones and learn a thing or two about roughing it outdoors in the beautiful nature?

If you're looking for an excellent campsite with all the amenities you need, then Crab Orchard Lake camping is your best bet.

But how can you make your Crab Orchard Lake camping experience enjoyable and memorable? I show you a guide on the many camping activities you can do and how to have fun while staying safe.

Where Is Crab Orchard Lake?

Crab Orchard Lake is located in Williamson County, Illinois. It's a vast 6,965-acre reservoir, one of the three reservoirs in the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. You can also find the Devils Kitchen Lake and the Little Grassy Lake in this reservoir.

It was created as a project to control floods and provide an area for recreation. It was built in the 1940s and now known as one of the best places for summer vacation.

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While many tourists flock to the lake for some water fun, there are many locals from Carbondale and Marion that visit the area as well.

Crab Orchard Lake isn't only known for its water activities, but it has two campgrounds as well with habitats and recreation centers.

How To Have The Best Crab Orchard Lake Camping Experience

You will need to prepare the following to go camping in Crab Orchard Lake:

  • Tent
  • Backpack
  • First aid kit and medicine
  • Food
  • Proper clothing for the weather
  • Survival equipment (Swiss Army knives, compass, GPS devices)
  • Money
  • Cellphone

These are just the essentials. Extras will depend on what you both want and need.

Here are the steps you should follow to have a memorable time in Crab Orchard Lake:

1. Plan Your Trip

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Before anything else, make sure that you have already made your reservations, planned what to do, and packed all your items. Prepare for the just-in-cases and organize your trip according to what you and your family or friends what to do. Consider the time and weather you will be traveling in.

After that, get the directions and a GPS device to help lead the way if you'll be driving.

2. Finding The Ideal Campsite

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Once you reach the grounds and have already checked in, look for good campsites where the ground isn't too wet and is near the restrooms and other activities you'll want to partake in.

Begin setting up your tent and unpacking for your stay. That way, you won't worry about anything once it's time for lights out.

3. Preparing For The Activities

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Now that everything is set, it's time to implement your plan and begin the fun! There are many things you'll be able to do in Crab Orchard Lake. Start off with fishing or boating, or you can go around the trails for hunting and wildlife viewing.

You can also join photography walks and learn more about the environment from authorities in the visitor center.

4. Meal Times

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There are grills and areas where you can cook in Crab Orchard Lake. But remember that once you have finished cooking and eating, clean up after yourself.

Also, be aware that you are NOT allowed to cut or remove wood from the nature to make a campfire. Respect the area and eat in peace after all your activities.

5. Lights Out

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We know that some of you may not be sleepy during lights out, and while you can stay awake, you shouldn't be a disturbance to other people! It's best to remain in the campsite during lights out to avoid getting lost or creating noise that may disturb other neighbors.

Tips When Camping

Before you begin your Crab Orchard Lake camping adventure, there are some things you'll need to take note of. Here are tips you can follow to have an enjoyable and safe camping trip in Crab Orchard Lake Campground:

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• Make sure that you make your reservations and list your name down, especially during peak seasons when they may not accept walk-ins.

• Choose a campsite with shade and dry ground. Try to avoid campsites near bushes or any area susceptible to small animals and insects.

• Assemble your tent while there is still light out. Have everything fixed and set up before it reaches night or else you won't be able to see anything!

• Make leeway for any change of plans. While it may be infuriating, it may be inevitable. Simply enjoy and find solutions if ever any is needed. Follow the flow of you and your loved ones and don't be too rigid on your schedule.

• When camping with children, make sure that you keep an eye on them at all times, especially when by the lakes.

• Keep a contact number of the refuge visitor center and local authorities in case anything happens. Also, prepare a survival or first aid kit for any just-in-cases while on the trail.


If you're planning to go camping, then you'll want to make sure that you do it right to encourage your loved ones to have the epic adventure for the best summer memories!

When getting the ultimate Crab Orchard Lake camping experience, you don't need to spend tons of money or effort in planning. All you need to do is to go with the flow, follow your plans, and allow some fun and enjoyment your loved ones will remember.

I hope that this article on how to get the best Crab Orchard Lake Camping experience helped you become more knowledgeable on how to plan your vacation. So what are you waiting for? Begin planning for Crab Orchard Lake camping today!

If you have any questions or would like to share your Crab Orchard Lake camping experience, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

Deann Rebello Administrator
I’m just a little lady who loves camping out and always eager to share my thrilling experience to the world. My favorite quote is “It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.” – Dave Barry
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