Move over resorts, hotels and anything else that costs a bomb to travel out of Mumbai. It’s time you invested in a tent that can last you a lifetime. And voila! Your weekend getaway is sorted. You can do barbecues, campfires, drink & dance and what not unlike the limitations that a resort or a hotel imposes upon you. And more than anything, you’re in the lap of nature – waking up every morning to a scenic sunrise and lying down under the stars. As the winters approach, here’s taking a look at some spots just a few kilometers away from Mumbai. 1) Shirota Lake: Located near Kamshet, this location is the perfect trekking-camping combo. You can also indulge in some bird-watching at the break of dawn. Temperature is a pleasant 18 to 20 degrees in the day and a dip to 12 to 15 degrees in the night. The Rajmachi Fort is located close-by for an adventurous trek too. Best time to visit: November to May Distance from Mumbai: 94 kms, 2 hour ride by road. 2) Pawna Lake: Again, located near Kamshet, this spot is gaining popularity among locals who want a quick weekend getaway. Nevertheless, it offers much-needed solitude to the weary Mumbaikar. You will find the forts of Lohgad, Tikona and Tungi ostensibly visible from the lake. Best time to visit: June to September Distance from Mumbai: 109 kms, 3 hour ride by road. 3) Tringalwadi: Located in Igatpuri, this area is a small village with a lake and a fort located within the terrain. The spot has the ‘pandav leni’ caves with beautiful sculptures, inscriptions and a statue of Gautam Buddha. One can camp near the lake or at the fort, both of which are scenic options. Best time to visit: June to December. Distance from Mumbai: 133 kms, 3 hour ride by road. 4) Sandhan Valley: Again, located in the Igatpuri district in Nasik, Sandhan Valley is a highly popular campsite and a rappelling, trekking spot as well. Surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri range and the ‘Konkan Kada’ one can camp here and also trek the surrounding forts, namely, Alang, Malang, Kulang, Kalsubai, Ratangad, Harishchandragad, and Ajoba. Best time to visit: November to February. Distance from Mumbai: 183 kms, 4 hours ride by road. 5) Rajmachi: A small, rugged village with a historic fort in its terrain, the beauty of Rajmachi is undisputable. We suggest that one camp on the fort than anywhere else to be able to experience scenic beauty at its best. At a 15 kms trekking distance from Lonavla, the fort is a protected monument so littering is out of the question – campers rather be careful about the same. Best time to visit: June to September Distance from Mumbai: 74 kms, 2 hour ride by road 6) Tikona: Another spot in Kamshet, the area has a fort which is meant for camping is a trekking destination noted for the large doors, the temple of 'Trimbakeshwar Mahadev', seven water tanks and some Satvahan caves. Pawna Lake is at the summit and the surrounding view has Tung, Lohagad and Visapur forts. Best time to visit: June to September Distance from Mumbai: 121 kms, 2.5 hours ride by road 7) Kolad: A quaint village in the Raigad district on the banks of the River Kundalika, Kolad is near the Mumbai-Goa highway and is known for river rafting and other adventure sports as also camping. Kolad is renowned for being the adventure hub of Maharashtra and white water rafting here is the only facility of its Kind in India that operates round the year. Best time to visit: June to March Distance from Mumbai: 122 kms, 2.5 hours ride by road 8) Vasind: Actually a station on the Central Railway line on the Kasara route, head to the River Bhatsa in Vasind for a camping experience coupled with trekking, fishing and kayakaying. There are adventure sites here offering you an afternoon of lazing in hammocks as well. Lush green farms and hills offer you time away from city madness that you need. Best time to visit: November to February Distance from Mumbai: 63 kms, 1.5 hour ride by road 9) Karnala: Located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, you can head to Karnala and visit the bird sanctuary and the fort that lies in the vicinity. With ruins and a temple inside, there are panoramic views at the disposal of one who camps here. It is also the easiest trek for first-time trekkers. Best time to visit: June to September Distance from Mumbai: 47.9 kms, 1 hour ride by road 10) Mahuli: The highest point in Thane district, Mahuli has been declared as a sanctuary and houses the Mahuli fort which is a paradise for rock climbers. Besides an open Shiva temple there is a small perennial drinking water cistern on top, and three caves of which the larger can be used as overnight shelter. There is camping facility which one can use at the base of the fort as well. Best time to visit: September to February Distance from Mumbai: 72 kms, 1.5 hour ride by road So go on, plan your weekend, and share your travel photos and stories with us!