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tent camping near Yosemite

Tent Camping Guide for Beginners

Bass Lake at Yosemite is home to some of the most amazing views in California, and what better way to immerse yourself into the scene than tent camping near Yosemite! Fall is the perfect season to pitch a tent since the weather in September and October is typically pleasant.  

As the crowds die down and the trails become more isolated, Bass Lake is one of the best spots to relax and unwind. Tent campsites at BLAY start at $44.50 year-round, so you can save money on lodging and spend it on excursions instead. Camping in the great outdoors can be a little intimidating, especially if you are pitching a tent for the first time. Have no fear! Keep reading for a quick guide to tent camping near Yosemite National Park.

Tent Camping Guide

While spontaneity is a formidable trait to possess as a traveler, it never hurts to do a little extra planning for your camping trip, starting with choosing a tent. Start by researching to make sure that the tent you purchase is appropriate for the expected weather conditions.

Ideally, you should practice setting up your tent before you depart for your camping adventure. A trial run will confirm that there are no missing parts and allow you to identify which tools will make it easier to set up your tent once you arrive at your campsite. You’ll also get a better idea of how long it will take to set up camp so you can plan accordingly. If you think putting a tent together for the first time is difficult, wait until you try it in the dark! 

Three seasons tents are reliable from spring to fall and with BLAY’s relatively low elevation of 3,500 feet, fall camping in Bass Lake is typically quite comfortable. 

Although Bass Lake only receives an average rainfall of 34 inches per year, it is wise to add a layer of protection to your tent to avoid soggy sleeping conditions. To waterproof your tent, simply spray your tent with a layer of sealant. This is also something you will want to have done ahead of time!

Choosing a Sleeping Bag

BLAY’s proximity to outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, boating, and horseback riding pretty much guarantees that you’ll be exhausted by the time you tuck in for bed. That’s why one of the most important items to bring along on your next camping adventure is a comfortable sleeping bag (with extra padding). Since Bass Lake is surrounded by mountains, you can expect a rocky terrain beneath your tent. With that being said, you might want to consider packing a mattress pad or cot for added comfort. The REI website has a ton of helpful articles on how to choose the right sleeping bag for your camping trip. 

Camping Essentials 

Even though you don’t have to pack much, there are a few camping items that will increase your safety and enjoyment on your next Yosemite camping trip. Don’t rely on your Iphone to light your path. Instead, consider purchasing a flashlight, lantern, or headlamp for hands-free illumination. You’ll be able to tell stories by the campfire for hours if you pack a comfortable bag chair. Reusable camping cookware is sustainable and prevents you from having to eat every meal with a stick. 

Clothing and footwear are other aspects you will want to think about when choosing what to pack for your camping trip. If you plan to enjoy some of the breathtaking hiking trails near Bass Lake such as Angel’s Fall and Devil’s Slide, you will want some waterproof, durable, and comfortable hiking boots. Quick-drying clothing is a smarter option as opposed to cotton and denim and slip-on bathroom shoes are a lifesaver for public showers and late-night bathroom visits!

Tips on Buying Camping Gear

Whether you’re buying your first tent or a portable stove, it is always smart to purchase your gear from a reputable brand. Companies like REI offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Even so, don’t feel like you have to buy every camping gadget ever made before your first camping trip. Buying gear can get expensive, so focus on the important items first and worry about the rest later. Don’t forget to hit up your local thrift shops for deals. Just be sure to inspect the item thoroughly because thrift stores do not offer refunds or exchanges. You never know what you are going to get with thrifted camping gear. When buying a tent used, it is imperative to set it up beforehand! 

From sunrise to sunset, you won’t want to miss the waterfalls, serene lake, dog-friendly trails, and abundant wildlife in Bass Lake, California. Bass Lake at Yosemite has everything you need for the perfect camping trip in the mountains! 


Bass Lake at Yosemite features full hook-up RV sites, 1 to 3-bedroom cabins, and tent campsites in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. 


cabins Bass Lake


Newly Renovated! Starting at $79.50/winter, $129.50/summer



30 and 50 AMP RV sites starting at $49.50/winter, $79.50/summer.

yosemite RV Resort


Tent campsites starts at $44.50 year-round. Walking distance to Bass Lake!