Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the chicken cross the road?

  • We have no idea, but please don’t run them over while in Key West.

Do you have any campsites available?

  • No. We are not a campground. We rent camping gear.
  • Check our Destinations Page for local campgrounds. Make campground reservations directly with the campground.

Where are you located?

  • We do not have a storefront.
  • All reservations can be made via our website (7 day advance requirement)
  • If you are having problems booking please email or call (305) 928-3515
  • We deliver the gear to you at the Dry Tortugas Ferry Terminal located at:    100 Grinnell Street, Key West, FL 33040 or to Boyd’s Campground located at 6401 Maloney Ave., Key West (Stock Island), FL.
  • If you are camping at a location other than the Dry Tortugas or Boyd’s; we will need to make specific arrangements to get you the gear you rent. Please call us for reservations going to campgrounds other than Dry Tortugas National Park or Boyd’s Campground on Stock Island.

When I call 305-928-3515 it often goes to voicemail. What’s Up?

  • We get a ton of calls that are people looking to reserve a campsite. See FAQ #2.
  • Please leave us a voicemail or send a text or an email and we will contact you ASAP to answer all your questions and help with your reservation.

Why do I have to create a log-in/password?

  • The log in system allows you to access and edit your reservation
  • The log in system is an extra layer of security built into our system to protect you and your information

How do I know my reservation is confirmed?

  • We have been experiencing minor technical difficulties that are showing customers a message that says their account has “timed out” after making your reservation.
  • You will know your reservation has been completed when you receive an automated confirmation email within minutes of booking your gear.
  • If you do not receive an automated email within an hour of booking your reservation please call or email us to directly resolve this issue and we will get you squared away.

I have a reserved my gear, I am relaxing, what should I expect next?

  • You will receive an automated confirmation email/receipt
  • Add to your contacts
  • We will send a follow up final confirmation email 10-14 days prior to your departure date that will confirm your reservation dates, rental gear list, and provide you with contact information for our crew member(s) that will be meeting you at the ferry terminal or dropping your gear off at a local campground office.
  • The day we deliver the gear to you, we will place a $150 (per kit) authorization on your credit card as a security deposit against theft and damage. This is not a charge, just a hold.
  • Please review our terms and conditions for more information

Where do we receive and return the rental camping gear?

  • If you are camping at the Dry Tortugas NP we will deliver and pick up the gear at the Yankee Freedom III Dry Tortugas Ferry Terminal located at 100 Grinnell Street. We meet you at 6:00 am day of your departure and will be at the dock when you return to Key West at 5:30 pm.
  • We will be very easy to find and our crew are lovely human beings. Look for our logo on vehicles, hats, shirts.  Typically we are parked at the end of Grinnell Street and our delivery vehicles are marked with our logo and company information.

Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the map.

  • BOYD’S – ARRIVAL: If you are camping at Boyd’s we will deliver the gear by 12:00pm on the day of your arrival. Our default operation is to deliver the gear to the office at Boyd’s Campground. We ask that you contact Boyd’s directly and let them know that Camping Florida Keys will be delivering gear for you.  It is your responsibility to notify the management at Boyd’s that Camping Florida Keys will be delivering gear for you. Under certain circumstances we can make special arrangements to meet you in person at another time.
  • BOYD’s-DEPARTURE: Pack up your gear and return it to the office prior to 12:00pm noon on your departure day. If you like, you can text or call to let us know you have departed. Any other arrangements should be confirmed directly with us. Please call or email to discuss.
  • If you are camping at a location other than the Dry Tortugas National Park or Boyd’s Campground;  please email or call us (305) 928-3515 to make gear pick up or delivery arrangements.
  • We cannot always accommodate delivery and pick up outside of Key West or Stock Island. Please call us to make these arrangements. Additional delivery and pick up fees will apply for delivery and pick up at locations outside of Key West / Stock Island.

What do I do if I have to end my camping trip early due to weather or a Yankee Freedom III ferry schedule change?

  • The Yankee Freedom III Ferry will inform you of their operations for schedule changes due to inclement weather or mechanical failures when you check in for departure and during your stay at Dry Tortugas National Park if something changes.
  • Campers should be monitoring Dry Tortugas and Florida Keys weather for at least 5 days prior to your planned tripped. The tropical hurricane season officially runs from June 1-November 30 annually. We recommend the National Weather Service located in Key West and we also really like the Windfinder app.
  • If you are camping at the Dry Tortugas and you have to return to Key West early due to the Yankee Freedom III altering their schedule, we will adjust and ask that you follow these instructions:
    • Call and text your Camping Florida Keys contact (phone # provided in final confirmation email) and our office (305) 928-3515 from the boat as soon as you are back in cell service. You will have cell service roughly 45 minutes prior to your arrival back at the dock in Key West.
    • Do not leave your camping gear unattended at the ferry terminal or any other location. The gear is the responsibility of the RENTER until returned to us directly.
    • If for some reason we do not contact you within 30 minutes of arrival back at the dock in Key West, please make arrangements to take the rental gear back to your accommodations until we connect.
  • We are constantly monitoring local weather and the Yankee Freedom III operations, and as standard operating procedure we can meet you at the ferry terminal within 30 minutes of your arrival at the dock if we can hear from you as soon as you are within cell service.
  • We will call and text you back immediately upon receipt of your call/text if we do not answer your phone call.
  • If you are camping at any location other than Dry Tortugas NP and have to change your plans for any reason, please call and text your Camping Florida Keys contact (phone # provided in final confirmation email) and our office (305) 928-3515 immediately.
  • We will respond ASAP if we do not pick up your call and make arrangements to retrieve the camping gear ASAP.
  • Please do not leave your camping gear unattended in any other location then our predetermined drop off and pick up locations. The gear is the responsibility of the RENTER until returned to us per the terms of your rental agreement.

Is your camping gear going to be in a hard-sided tote and meet all of the Yankee Freedom requirements?

  • Yes, all of the components of a basic camping kit will be in 1 hard sided tote. The camping pads will not fit in the tote. They are in their own carrying bags. They are durable enough to travel as is. Umbrellas do not fit in the tote and of course, our cooler is hard sided.
  • If you have reserved more gear than will fit in 1 tote, that additional gear will also be in a hard sided tote.
  • Typically, there is not room for additional items in the totes when packed. We can rent you an additional empty tote for $10.
  • The Yankee Freedom crew is very familiar with our operations and gear. We are over achievers and they love how we pack it up! Check out our social media for images.
  • A fully loaded Camping Florida Keys tote containing all components of a basic kit minus the 2 pads and the cooler weighs around 45 pounds.

The Yankee Freedom ferry says they want campers at the dock at 5:30am on the day of their departure. Why are we meeting you at 6:00am?

  • When you arrive at the dock at 5:30 am to check in as a camper it will take a little time for the ferry service to check you in. We will be there by 6:00 allowing you to not feel rushed. There is plenty of time to get your gear loaded after we meet you at 6:00am. Besides, 5:30 am is REALLY early.

Where and when do we get ice for our cooler?

  • There are many locations in Key West to buy ice.
  • 24 hour locations that sell ice include Winn Dixie on N. Roosevelt Blvd., CVS located at the corner of Truman Ave. and Simonton St., there is also an ice machine located at the Lime Tree quick shop located on Flagler Ave. near the corner with 1st/Palm Ave. that dispenses bags of ice.
  • Near the ferry terminal; try Sunbeam Market at the corner of White St. and Fleming St. There is also a convenient store at the corner of Caroline and Margaret St. These are not 24hr stores but they are open early and prior to us meeting and the ferry departing.
  • We recommend you purchase two (2) ten (10) pound bags of ice to get you started. These will keep for up to two days if you are not in and out of your cooler frequently. By the 3rd day your ice will mostly be reduced to cold water.
  • The Yankee Freedom sells bags of ice for $7.00/bag. Plan to bring money to buy ice from the ferry for longer camping trips.
  • We can deliver coolers to you the night before for a ($25) fee. If you would like all of your gear the night before and it is available, there is no fee. Please contact us directly to make these special arrangements. See below.

Why are there so many fees for special delivery options?

  • All fees associated with special delivery to locations besides Key West and partial gear delivery (such as just the cooler) go directly to our employees for their time. We have a great team and we strive to provide you with the best gear and service we can. We intend to pay our staff fairly for all their efforts (living in Key West is expensive!!).

Do your coolers have telescoping handles as pictured?

  • Yes.
  • Our coolers have wheels and can be easily carried when empty if necessary.
  • There are carts provided to you at the Key West Ferry Terminal and the Dry Tortugas dock so you do not have to carry your coolers to and from the boat and to and from your campsite.

Can we get our cooler the night before our departure date?

  • If you would like to receive the cooler early we prefer to deliver all of your gear at the same time and there is no extra fee. Please ensure we coordinate this directly via email or phone calls.
  • If you only want the cooler delivered early; please choose “Early Cooler Delivery” ($25.00) from the drop down menu under the calendar when you book your reservation and provide us with your hotel information and preferred delivery time in 4 hour increments ie: 800-1200, 1200-400, 400-800.
  • It will be the customers’ responsibility to communicate with hotel concierge/management to let them know Camping Florida Keys will be delivering gear to you at the hotel. Often we don’t need to meet you directly and can have gear waiting for you upon arrival or delivered while you are out enjoying your vacation.
  • The “Early Cooler Delivery” fee is to cover expenses for our crew’s time.
  • Please email or call us (305) 928-3515 if you have any questions about these options. Many times, we can accommodate you picking the cooler up early to eliminate the extra fee.

Where can we buy ice/water/food/drinks?

  • There are no less than 3 major grocery stores located in new town Key west. Check with them directly for hours of operation.
  • There are 2 locally owned stores called Faustos, located in old town Key West. Check with them directly for hours of operation.
  • There are a number of 24 hour convenience stores located throughout Key West that typically have minor stocks of groceries and other items that will most likely have what you need for a couple of nights camping at the Dry Tortugas.
  • There is a small  grocery shop located at the corner of  Fleming and White (Sunbeam Market) and another at Margaret St. and Caroline St. that are both within walking distance of the ferry terminal. Check with them directly for hours of operation. Typically, they will be open after we deliver your gear and prior to the ferry main boarding process, which begins at 0730.
    • This is a great option for last minute items.
    • These stores can facilitate all of your food, water, ice needs for camping at Dry Tortugas but we recommend you scout them out first, or just relax and roll with it on that front. If you’re looking for steaks, not your place, if you just want some easy sandwiches and snacks; good enough.

Are chairs and umbrella included in the Basic Beach Kit?

  • No, chairs and umbrellas are an add-on charge to the Basic Beach Kit.
  • Highly recommended as there is very little shade at Dry Tortugas National Park.
  • We DO NOT RENT UMBRELLAS FOR BOYD’S CAMPING. The ground at Boyd’s is very hard. Our umbrellas are for beach use and have attached sand screws that will not penetrate the ground at Boyd’s.
  • We do have an umbrella clamp that can attach our umbrellas to a picnic table. Please email or call us to inquire about the availability of this item for use at Boyd’s Campground.

What should I do if I get to my campground I think part of my gear is missing?

  • We pride ourselves on accountability and high quality service. If you think you are missing a piece of gear chances are it is in the tote or perhaps was not unloaded from the ferry.
  • Firstly, take some time to calmly go through all gear provided and see if you can find what you are looking for.
  • Secondly, go talk to the ferry boat crew to see if any items were not unloaded.
    • The most common item folks seem to be missing is the beach umbrella. Often these are stored under a stairwell on the ferry for transport and sometimes the crew forgets to unload them.
    • The crew will look for the item(s) and typically have them.
  • Thirdly, if the crew says they have unloaded all the gear and you are missing something, take a look around the dock and breeze way where you disembarked at the Dry Tortugas.
  • It is a very rare occasion that we have forgot to provide you with something from your reservation. The final confirmation email we send you 7-14 days prior to your departure date is a great way for us all to ensure you are getting what you need for your camping adventure.
  • If indeed you seem to be missing a critical piece of equipment, and you are camping for more than one night, talk to the boat crew and ask them if they could get a message to us so we can try to get additional items to you the next day.

How big are your tents and how many people do they sleep?

  • Please reference our Camping Gear page for exact dimensions of all our gear
  • We only rent 4 person tents
  • Although technically 4 person tents- these are most comfortable for 2 adults  max.
  • If you have small children, you can usually use one tent. Give us a call to go over these details if you like.
  • If your party has 3 or more adults we recommend 2 or more tents.
  • 4 pads will not fit flat in 1 tent.
  • We can add-on any gear to your order to get you and your group exactly what you need to camp comfortably and confidently. Call us for details/customization.

Can you store our luggage or other personal items while we are at Dry Tortugas?

  • We cannot, but there is a fantastic service provided by Paradise Porters (305) 293-4000. They are located at Key West Bight Ferry Terminal. This is the same place that the Dry Tortugas ferry departs and returns.

Can we rent  an empty tote?

  • Yes, if you think you need additional space for personal items we are more than happy to rent you an empty tote for $10.
  • Note- once you arrive at the park and unload the camping gear, you can store some items in that tote. Additionally, the National Park Service has placed empty hard sided totes at each campsite to help mitigate pest issues. You can store items in those empty totes on site as well.