Camping Near Mumbai: Discover The Outdoors!
Head out of the city with some fantastic camping options, brought to you by Insider and experienced organizers. Lakeside, trek, eco, screenings, music, beach and many more!
Camping? Near Mumbai?!
Mumbai might have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but its close proximity to several beaches and hills makes it ideally placed to have several fantastic camping experiences. So whether you're looking to relax, discover a new part of the outdoors, or don't mind combining your relaxation with a strenuous (but supremely rewarding!) hike, there's something in it for you!
Camping involves sleeping in a tent at night, in the outdoors - hence freeing up the need to do late-night travel or finding places with accommodation proper. Hence, what this gives you is the ability to stay right beside some stunning lakes, or atop a mountain, or on a beach (not near, but on!), or next to some fireflies, and more. Camping tends to happen throughout the year, each bringing with it, its own attractions. Keep checking this page for what camping experiences are happening over the course of the month!
"Camping provides one with a first-hand experience of fun-outdoorsy things that people think of doing but is usually undermined contemplating hypothetical consequences. Camping provides one moments of solace from the daily grind, helps to learn a tad bit of necessary life skills and provides one with much-needed digital detoxification.", says Carvan Trips, who organize several camping experiences round the year.
THE VARIOUS CAMPING OPTIONS:
Just want to chill? Try Lakeside or Eco Camping
Thanks to the Sahyadri mountain range, there are several gorgeous rivers and lakes near Mumbai. The two most popular are Pawna Lake in Lonavala (which is also popular since there are several easy-to-medium trekking points nearby, such as Dudhiware, Tung, Tikona and Lohagad) and Bhandardhara in Igatpuri. Both lakes are stunning, and provide ideal getaways for people of all ages and abilities. Apart from lakeside, you will also find several nature and eco camps, depending on the season. For instance, towards the end of monsoon, you'll find lots of fireflies-oriented trips, and in the drier months, beach camping becomes very popular.
"For first time Campers, we usually suggest Camping at Pawna Lake or Prabalmachi.", says Carvan Trips, who organize several camping experiences around the year.
Choose lakeside + eco camping if:
- You're not looking to work up a sweat.
- If you have activity-averse elders / youngsters in your group.
- You want an easy, hassle-free getaway.
Don't choose lakeside camping if:
- You're averse to crowds (not that it gets Mumbai station-like, but since these are easy getaways, they do have more crowds than a full tranquil getaway).
- You think that just camping (without a trek to get there) is not your cup of tea.
Love the mountains? Try trekking+camping
Ah, the Sahyadris! Home to some of the best (and most easily accessible) trekking in the country. There are options for every level of trekker (from never-trekked-before to hardcore-been-there-climbed-that), and duration as well (from 2 hours, to 3 days). There are loads of treks happening every weekend (Psst! There's an Insider guide for that), combining it with camping provides a lot of flexibility - allowing you to catch morning sunrises, and indulge in unique night trekking experiences, too!
Choose trekking + camping if:
- You love trekking and consider bus to tent to bus a bit boring.
- You've trekked before and want to experience a night trek / sunrise that traditional trek timings won't allow for.
- You want to get away from the crowds (expect a maximum camping group size of 10-15).
Seeking entertainment + outdoors? Try special experiences camping.
While you could technically call a trek or chilling by a lake 'entertaining', some organizers such as White Collar Hippie take things a step further. How about some music while you pitch a tent? Or a screening in the outdoors, under the stars? Or some stand-up comedy (yes!)? As the camping scene evolves and more 'corporate jungle' dwellers are getting comfortable with the idea of staying in a tent, far away from electricity and air conditioning, lots of organizers start offering special experiences like these! White Collar Hippie in particular organizes several of these - watch out for their Bandcamp events - focusing on movie / music nights at an amazing sea-facing venue in Uttan (just 90 minutes away from Mumbai) - every weekend till April. You can even get your pet along!
Choose special experiences camping if:
- You've camped before but want to try something else.
- You think watching movies in theatres / Netflix is passé.
- You want to introduce someone else to the outdoors, and want to ease them in before scaring them with a trek up a 1500m mountain...
Check out White Collar Hippie's awesome site for Bandcamp events!
What to get along while camping!
So let's put it out there: Camping offers many things, but material comfort is not one of them. If you're the type who feels squeamish about not having easy access to a proper loo, or get fidgety if an electricity plug is not within arm's length, then you might be in for a shock! That being said, Insider encourages everyone to try camping at least once (start with the lakeside ones at Pawna / Bhandardhara, since they usually are walking distance to sanitation and even restaurants). Here's what to get along (apart from the tent itself, which is usually provided by the organizer)
- Bedding / bedsheet: Sometimes it can get nippy - yes, even during the summer months. Check with your organizer if this is part of the package.
- Torch: It'll get dark. There's no switch. Welcome to the outdoors!
- Mosquito repellent: Sometimes (especially post monsoon), them critters will be flying around. Get a tube along, you'll need it (though the inside of your tent will be safe)
- Sanitation: Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, wet wipes - they will be your best friends in the absence of flowing water. They also double up for basic care if you get dirty, or get a small cut while walking. Oh, and toothpaste (you'd be surprised how many people forget this).
- Portable charger: You might need to go anywhere from 12 to 48 hours without a plug point. Carry a fully-charged portable charger so you stay connected (barring the hills, you'll be within range most of the time). That being said, it's highly recommended you switch off as much as possible.
- Entertainment: Especially when camping, get along a book (or Kindle), some music + earphones (be considerate to others and the surroundings, and avoid Bluetooth speakers), or stuff to watch on a tablet.
- Apparel: If it's a trek, get trekking shoes. Otherwise, simple chappals should do, but something above that is recommended since there usually is some uneven terrain. A change of clothes for when you wake up.
- Photography gear: If you have a DSLR, now would be a great time to invest in a tripod as well, and try your hand at some long-exposure photography. Even with basic skills, you can get stunning pics of stars, the lake at night and your camp. With all due respect to the latest advancements, your phone just won't cut it.
And some more pics to whet your appetite!
That's it, we hope you're looking forward to your first camp! If you have any queries, ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help you out!
Camping images in the article courtesy Insider's partners, Carvan Trips & White Collar Hippie
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