What is camping?
As far back as mankind can remember, we’ve been sleeping under the stars. There’s a draw to nature that many of us understand, but few have been able to formulate into words. While I have no intention of trying to accomplish that here today, I do think it’s worth taking the time to educate ourselves and others on the many different types of camping that there are. For starters, what is camping? The definition of camping according to Wikipedia is as follows:
Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter, such as a tent or a recreational vehicle. Typically participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment. To be regarded as “camping” a minimum of one night is spent outdoors, distinguishing it from day-tripping, picnicking, and other similarly short-term recreational activities.
Why go camping?
I think that’s a question that every individual has to answer for themself. However, the greatest allure to me is that there are no set rules when it comes to how, where, and why you like to camp. Some like to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. Some families go camping to revitalize their relationships and get away from all the distractions at home. Many youth organizations teach young people how to build a fire, pitch a tent, or read a compass. Camping means different things to different people. The National Park Service offers a great article about why some people choose to “rough it” (click here).
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” – Alice Walker
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.” – John Burroughs
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” – E. B. White
What do you need?
Ultimately, what you’re going to need while you’re camping will depend on the type of camping you’re going to be doing. Some versions of camping limit the supplies you’re able to carry. However, other types of camping allow you the advantage of bringing plenty of supplies. So, why not? Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to research everything you might need regardless of the type of camping you’ll be doing. For more information, follow the link below to check out our comprehensive Camping Checklist.
Table of Contents
This list outlines some types of camping that you may or may not have heard of, or perhaps you just know them by a different name? The list is certainly not definitive, just a guide to help campers (and future campers) understand the full breadth of camping scenes that are available to them.
Types of Camping
- Tent Camping
- Survivalist Camping
- Primitive Camping
- Hammock Camping
- Winter Camping
- Car Camping
- RV/Van/Trailer Camping
- Dry Camping
- Bicycle Camping
- Rooftop Camping
- Motorcycle Camping
- Historic/Re-enactment Camping
- Themed Camping
- Backyard Camping
- Adventure Camping
- Wild Camping
- Work Camping
The most common type of camping that practically everyone has heard of is tent camping. Tent camping sometimes referred to as Frontcountry Camping, is a great option for those new to camping. It’s also good for families with children as it creates time for bonding and learning how to work together. For this same reason, tent camping can also be considered an appropriate outing for corporate team building.
One of the most important aspects of tent camping is choosing a good campsite. When selecting a place to pitch a tent, you want to make sure you have proper elevation, in the event of rain. To maximize comfort, you also want to make sure that the ground under your tent is flat and free of rocks, roots, sticks, and any other obstructions.
You always want to make sure to dispose of trash properly. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also, because cleaning up after yourself will prevent unwanted visitors from raccoons, rodents, reptiles, or if you find a campsite near their home, bears. At the end of your stay, always try to leave your campsite better than how you found it.
In my opinion, there are few moments better in life than sitting around a campfire, with a group of close friends while watching nature’s television and swapping stories. There’s always that one friend in the group that knows how to make a superb hobo pack. Someone always brings the ingredients to make s’mores. Then, the next morning everyone ends up sitting around what’s left of the campfire sipping a cup of coffee and reminiscing quietly to themselves about the great times had the night before.
Backpacking involves venturing out into the wilderness, with everything needed to survive strapped to your back. This includes water (as well as water filtration), food, shelter, sleeping accommodations, etc. You typically walk and explore all throughout the day and set up camp in a new place each night. For a comprehensive explanation of backpacking, the various types, and all that it entails, you can check out our Types of Backpacking page.
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru
Surviving in the wilderness with minimal tools is not for the faint of heart. Survivalist Camping is arguably the most extreme form of camping and should only be attempted by skilled and experienced individuals. The goal is to be entirely self-sufficient for a set period of time and return alive. Food is found from the forest by hunting and gathering. This could include fishing, trapping, or gathering nuts, berries, and edible plants. Shelter is provided by a tent that is brought along, or even more extreme survivalists will actually build their shelter using their surroundings. This form of camping has been made famous by individuals like Bear Grylls, in his show, “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” However, other recognizable shows include “Dual Survival,” “Naked and Afraid,” “Survivorman,” and my personal favorite, “Alone.”
There are two forms of survivalist camping recognized by most, Base Camp and Walk-Out. Base Camp Survivalist Camping is the most common. It involves finding an isolated, unknown location and setting up a shelter. This becomes your base and from there you can establish sustainable food and water sources. How long you stay is purely at your discretion. With Walk-Out Survivalist Camping, you are dropped in a remote location away from civilization and you have to find your way out. This version is substantially more difficult because you have to establish a new food and water source every day along the way while being unaware of the terrain or challenges that you’ll encounter during your journey. You also may or may not know how long your journey will take, which can lead to further strain on the mental aspect of this form of surviving.
Survivalist Camping is dangerous. If you’re new to camping, don’t try this. Stick to tent camping, hiking, backpacking, and various other forms until you’ve mastered the skills required to try Survivalist Camping. However, this is a suitable challenge for advanced campers who want to put their skills to the ultimate test. Proper planning is needed at every turn to attempt a challenge like this. Make sure all of your contact information is written on paper and located on your body at all times, as well as have an emergency contact on stand by. With these skills, an individual can easily survive during an emergency situation or harsh conditions.
Primitive Camping, also sometimes called Backcountry Camping, is about as close to Backpacking as you can get, without it technically being Backpacking. You would likely use all of the same supplies typically used in Backpacking. However, the main difference is that you’re hiking to a secluded area and setting up camp for a set amount of time. With backpacking, you set up and tear down camp each day and hike to a new location instead of staying put in one place like with Primitive Camping.
While camping primitively, you can expect to be without amenities such as bathrooms, running water, or electricity. So, you typically bring all the supplies you’ll need for your adventure, such as food, shelter, and a water supply to name a few. The advantages of this kind of camping are that it allows you a certain level of self-sufficiency and permits you to spend time away from the stresses of the modern world while being immersed in nature.
Similar to Survivalist Camping, while participating in Primitive Camping, you should always plan every detail. You want to make sure you’re going to be near a reliable water source, as well as bring plenty of food for each day. Always be aware of the wildlife in the area that you’re going to be camping in. If there are threats like bears, you’ll want to make sure you bring the proper supplies to account for that. Also, be sure you leave your destination with an emergency contact, and have your emergency contact details on your person, while in the wilderness.
Bivvying is a known short-hand for many variations, and depending on your inner circle, Bivvying may also be referred to as one of the following: Bivvy Camping, Bivouacing (sometimes also called Bivouacking), or Bivouac Camping. In short, Bivvying usually refers to sleeping in the open using a bivouac sack, also known as a bivvy bag. However, it may also refer to a shelter constructed of natural materials. For example, some bivvy campers structure branches to form a frame, cover the frame with leaves, ferns, and/or similar materials for waterproofing, and finally, use duff (leaf litter) to fill in cracks for insulation. An all-natural building such as this is often referred to as a bivouac shelter or bivvy (other spellings include bivy, bivvi, or bivi), for short.
The word bivouac is a French word and its origins go all the way back to the 18th century. It was derived from the Swiss-German usage of beiwacht (bei – by, wacht – watch or patrol). This term referred to an additional watch that would be maintained by the military or a civilian force to increase vigilance at an encampment. Troops of the British Empire began to use the term and eventually shortened it to coin the term bivvy.
These days Bivvying has been boiled down to a shortlist of necessities to keep you lightweight but still get you out in the wilderness and enjoying nature. You simply insert your sleeping mat into a bivvy bag, then add a sleeping bag on top of the mat. Then, make sure to place all your food and any spare clothes inside a big dry-bag. Unlike a tent, there’s no space to store your pack and boots, but you still need to protect them. So, put your kit somewhere it can’t blow away, or anchor it down. Once you’re set up and ready for bed, slide into your bivvy bag and get comfortable. If the weather is nice, you can leave the bag unzipped. Otherwise, zip yourself in and nod off to the soundtrack of the wilderness around you.
Hammock camping is a form of camping in which you sleep in a suspended hammock rather than a conventional tent on the ground. The primary appeal of hammock camping for most people is comfort and better sleep, as compared to sleeping on a pad on the ground. Enthusiasts also argue that hammocks don’t harm the environment in the way that conventional tents do. In the event of bad weather, a tarp is typically suspended above the hammock to keep the rain off of you. Mosquito netting can also be integrated into the camping hammock itself when traveling to an area where needed. Many people have made the switch to hammocks because they are so lightweight and take up little space in a pack.
The word hammock comes from hamaca, a Taino Indian word which means “thrown fishing net”. The origin of the hammock remains unknown, though many maintain that it was created out of tradition and need. For example, on long fishing trips, the Taíno would sleep in their nets, safe from snakes and other dangerous creatures. The hammock was developed in Pre-Columbian Latin America and still continues to be produced widely throughout the region. Even to this day, some people grow up sleeping in a hammock every night. The Navy actually replaced their cots with hammocks shortly after Europeans discovered them in South America. Sailors spent months at a time aboard sea vessels where each man was assigned a hammock.
The most common mistake people make when using a hammock for the first time is hanging it too tightly. I mean the thought process makes sense. If the hammock is hung super tight, then it’ll be flatter. However, in practice, that doesn’t work at all. Instead, you have to give yourself a healthy amount of slack and make that hammock nice and curvy. Then, you can take advantage of the full width of the hammock, by lying diagonally to get a naturally flat lay. Imagine yourself at a 30-degree angle from the midline of the hammock. Your neck and feet will be slightly elevated, but the rest of your body will be relatively flat.
The important thing for many people to realize is that leaving the tent behind and switching to a hammock isn’t about roughing it more or sacrificing comfort for the sake of minimalism. When you fall asleep in your hammock you’ll fall asleep breathing fresh air flowing freely around you. You’ll spend the first 20 minutes of your day listening and actually watching the wind rustle the leaves around you. You’ll watch clouds drift past, birds hop from tree to tree, and maybe even see a beautiful sunrise, without doing anything more than opening an eye.
Winter Camping, also sometimes called Cold-Weather Camping, is defined as going camping when the average temperature outside is less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The fact is exploring the wilderness in winter is a wonderful experience. You are far from the crowds, in a hushed tranquil world of white. Whether gliding through a glade of maple trees on cross-country skis, hiking up a ridge on snowshoes, or ice climbing, winter can be a spectacular time of year. At the same time, you must realize that this environment can be extremely dangerous. It takes proper trip planning, experience, and the right equipment, to travel safely in the winter environment.
Tent camping in the winter is an adventurous choice. Three-season tents are usually adequate for winter camping. However, if winds or heavy snowfall are possible, go with a four-season tent instead. If snow is on the ground during set up, be sure to pack it down at the spot you plan to place your tent. Then, stake your tent to the ground to keep it steady. For sleeping arrangements, make sure to bring a Winter Sleeping Pad along with a Cold Sleeping Bag. Combining the two will keep you insulated and warm throughout the night.
Winter Camping is a great way to savor those tranquil moments and settings only winter can provide. Witnessing untouched snow-covered landscapes, enjoying the solace of winter-silenced woods, and experiencing star-gazing like never before are just a few of the perks Winter Camping can provide. It’s a wonder why even some experienced campers still balk at the prospect of Winter Camping.
Car Camping is one of the most common types of camping. It involves exactly what the name implies, camping out of your car. Hatchbacks or truck beds tend to work best, but so long as you can make a place to sleep inside your vehicle, you’re good to go. Lay down a sleeping pad or some blankets for cushioning, and you’ve got yourself an area to sleep.
The beauty of Car Camping is that you can bring everything you could possibly need with you and are only limited by the size of your car. It’s not the most glamorous form of camping, yet it’s simple and easy to do. If you’re wanting to try out camping for the first time, car camping can be a great option for you. It’s the perfect solution as you can use whatever you already have at home.
If you’re wanting to try camping, but you don’t think you have the right gear or the right know-how, car camping is a great place to start. Camping is supposed to be about adventure and testing your personal limits. Everyone has to start somewhere. The most important part of any type of camping is getting out and enjoying nature. Don’t get so hung up on all the details. Take action and get out there using whatever means you have at your disposal, and experience the great outdoors.
Camping in an RV, Van or Trailer allows you to still experience nature and adventure, while also enjoying the comfort of a mobile hotel and all the luxuries that come with it. It also provides the convenience of transport and hauling everything under the sun that you think you’ll need to explore your surroundings to the fullest.
Purists will try to argue that this isn’t camping at all. However, this form of camping is perfect for people who like a little luxury, along with those who are past the point of roughing all of the elements. You are guaranteed protection from the cold, heat, and bad weather. Additionally, you have the convenience of stoves, fridges, and a full bathroom.
On one hand, there is a downside to this type of camping, which stems from the fact that vehicles usually cannot go all the places that your feet can take you. Ultimately you end up being limited to campsites that can accommodate such a vehicle. However, an alternate argument is that this form of camping affords you far more options as far as weekend trips, extended road trips, RV living, or “van life” go.
Finally, an option that either not everyone knows about or they just forget to consider it is renting an RV, Van, or Trailer, for their next trip. Outdoorsy.com matches individuals that own these forms of nature vessels with other individuals seeking to rent them for a short amount of time. This option allows you all the conveniences of owning an RV, Van, or Trailer, without the upkeep and storage that usually come along with said convenience. Alternatively, you can also use Outdoorsy.com to earn a little extra cash if you find yourself in possession of one of the aforementioned vessels.
In the RVing world, Dry Camping is often used to describe camping without hookups (electricity, freshwater, and/or sewer). Another term often associated with this type of camping is Boondocking. However, Boondocking represents the place where you decide to Dry Camp, not the act itself. In other words, all Boondocking is a form of Dry Camping, but all forms of Dry Camping are not Boondocking. Believe it or not, the term boondocking is generally used in the wrong way. The original term, bundok is from a language spoken in the Philippine Islands. This word means mountain, but there are other definitions as well including “a location that is far from civilization.”
Now that we have that cleared up, Dry camping is challenging but very rewarding in the long run. The key to a successful dry camping exercise is in its preparation. There are items that you must learn to conserve to ensure a smooth Dry Camping experience. For electricity, batteries are what you’ll have to use. However, if you still want to use the 120-volt plugs that you are used to, you’ll likely have to bring along a gas generator. As a Dry Camper, you’ll have to be conservative with your freshwater so that it can serve you longer, which likely means no showers. For proper wastewater disposal, a black water tank comes in handy. It will serve you for a longer period of time compared to the gray water tank. Once you’re back in civilization, you can dispose of the wastewater at the nearest dump station. The first few times you try Dry Camping, try a shorter trip. You’ll quickly figure out any areas you need to improve in.
Dry Camping outside of the confines of a campground can be a fun and freeing way to use your RV. It can offer incredible views, serene surroundings, and time to reconnect with nature. For those looking to camp in remote areas, away from the crowd, Dry Camping is a welcomed alternative. Not to mention, the spots are often free or low cost. Money saved, experiences shared, and memories made will have you planning your next Dry Camping trip sooner rather than later.
Bicycle Camping, sometimes called Bikepacking, is becoming more and more popular around the world. It’s affordable, versatile, and a fun and exciting new way to experience the outdoors. Today’s bicycles are reliable and easier to ride than ever. Easy gears make climbing a breeze and powerful brakes let you coast down hills with complete control. With a reliable, well-tuned bike, you have the ability to go where ever you want and when you want.
To bring an idea into reality, you need a plan. When planning a ride the best maps are usually available from your local Forest Service Headquarters. Always make sure to carefully consider the length of your route. A distance of about 20 to 25 miles a day gives you plenty of time to ride, sightsee, and explore, yet still have time to set up camp. Knowing what to bring and how much of it is knowledge usually acquired through trial and error. Lightweight is the best option for Bike Camping. While Bicycle Camping, getting down to the necessary essentials is important. Obviously eating and hydration are essential. So, pack food and water if there will not be a shop or ways to find your own at the campsite.
Bike Camping is about escaping and being off the beaten path; riding somewhere you could never get in just one day of hiking or backpacking. Not to mention, you gain access to dirt roads and trails that are inaccessible to other vehicles. Whether you are hitting the road for a long-distance bicycle tour, or simply going a few miles to a local campground, Bicycle Camping is an adventure everyone should try at least once.
Overlanding is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. However, while it may be new to Americans, Overlanding has been popular on other continents for decades. It’s a fusion between camping and off-roading, where a 4WD vehicle or adventure motorcycle is prepared and used for self-reliant travel over long distances. Overlanding is about exploration, rather than conquering obstacles though. While the roads and trails traveled might be rough or technically challenging, they are not the goal itself. They are the means to an end.
Overlanding has its origins in the Australian outback, where early Overland routes were formed to facilitate intercontinental travel and trade. It evolved first from horseback and then to rail before it was finally mechanized using motorcycles and automobiles. Nowadays, Overlanding is done more for recreation than necessity. However, make no mistake, Overlanding is hard work, and you’re often faced with extreme temperatures and all-manner of Mother Nature’s curious critters. All the same for Overlanding enthusiasts though because that’s the entire point.
People travel with their Overlanding vehicles for multiple days, weeks, months, or even years in some cases. The goal is to see and learn about the world. Whether on a weekend trip 100 miles from home or a 10,000-mile expedition across another continent, the idea is to travel into the wilderness, carrying only the essential gear for whatever you expect to encounter. The vehicle and equipment can be simple or extravagant – they, too, are simply means to an end. History, wildlife, culture, scenery, and self-sufficiency, these are the rewards of Overlanding.
“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Rooftop Camping is exactly what the name implies. It involves tents that are designed to easily mount directly to the roof rack or aftermarket bars on your vehicle’s rooftop. They’re designed so that they can be fully set up in just a few minutes, and furthermore, be used with almost any type of car fitted the proper roof rack. Although this type of camping is just starting to become popular in the United States, Rooftop Camping is yet another phenomenon that has been around in places like Australia for decades. In Australia’s case, this mostly stems from it being a place where you want to get up off the ground to get away from any creepy crawlies. I feel like this is attributed to all wildlife in Australia wanting to kill you (not really, but it feels that way).
The foundation for any Rooftop Camping excursion is a solid roof rack. If you don’t have a roof rack yet, then you’ll need to consider the weight of your tent, along with the weight of yourself, when you begin shopping for one. Most roof-top tents weigh more than a hundred pounds, so you’ll want to be sure that your roof rack is up to the task. Then, once you get to your destination, setting up your tent and campsite is fairly light work. However, that’s because all of your work was done prior to arrival. Make sure you read and follow all of the provided installation instructions carefully that your rooftop tent comes with. Bolting the tent to the roof rack is a lengthy process and one that you’d much rather get right the first time.
For those hearing about the concept of Rooftop Camping for the first time, a tent on your car or truck may seem a little counter-intuitive. Why not just set up a tent on the ground, right? Rooftop Camping exists at a weird intersection between RVs and tents, and the question you’ll constantly be answering is, “How do you keep that thing on there?” However, I think anyone could see how being elevated off the ground to keep away all things that crawl, as well as sleeping on the mattress typically built into rooftop tents, has its advantages. It’s also worth mentioning, no fighting with tent poles, campsite selection is no worry, and rooftop tents tend to have more room in them than ground tents. One trip Rooftop Camping and you may wonder why you haven’t always camped this way.
Motorcyclists are always looking for those remote stretches of road, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s probably nothing more pure or fun than just getting out there with your friends for a ride. Motorcycle Camping can be a great way to extend that feeling and those moments. Coincidentally, the same roads sought out for those rides, often lead to great places to camp. Individually motorcycling and camping each allows us the freedom to explore and experience the great outdoors and nature directly. However, combining the two together can lead to some of the greatest memories of your life.
Sure, you can throw everything in a big plastic bag and just strap it to the back of your motorcycle. However, taking the time to do proper research and planning can lead to a much more comfortable trip. For example, hard luggage, leather luggage, and textile luggage are the three most popular choices when it comes to packing for an extended trip on a motorcycle. In the event you’re totally new to Motorcycle Camping, consider picking an established campground as the spot for your first overnight trip. Choose one that has water, toilets, trash cans, picnic tables, fire rings and/or grills. Start small, with the bare essentials, and enjoy the simplicity the great outdoors has to offer. As your knowledge builds. so can the ambition of the trips you take.
Touring on a motorcycle is a unique way to experience your surroundings because it activates all of your senses. However, before you go ahead and strap all those bags to your bike, weigh your luggage and check your bike’s payload in your user’s manual. Under no circumstances should you overload your motorcycle. Make sure everything is set as low as possible, balanced and secure. Do not load one saddlebag with all the heavy stuff and leave only clothes in the other. And of course, your rain gear should go in last.
When Motorcycle Camping it usually takes a trip or two to figure out a good packing routine for your own particular motorcycle, as well as which essentials you need to be “comfortable” in the outdoors. With a little practice, a tent, and some basic supplies, you can extend your motorcycle adventures to those remote locations that all of us dream of finding.
One of the most unique types of camping is Historical Camping, also known as Rendezvousing, Reenactment Camping, or Living History. As you would expect, these camping events are based on a specific time period and/or an event from the past. The most common types of reenactments include the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the War of 1812. If you’ve never been to one, much less participated in one, they’re a very unique experience.
Historic Camping usually begins with a strong interest in a certain time period or event. This may be as narrow as a specific moment from a battle or as broad as an entire period. Therefore, it usually entails an educational or entertainment activity in which people follow a plan to recreate aspects of a historical event or period. Re-enactment Camping can reinforce your sense of pride in your heritage, and furthermore, it’s something the entire family can participate in together. It can be educational for you and for your kids, and it’s a great way for adults to escape the worries of today, even it is just pretending.
The first step to getting started with Historical Camping is seeing what goes on at one. It may look like fun, but adhering strictly to the ways of the historical time period, the materials used, the living quarters, the speech, and the clothes are not always as comfortable as it may look. If after observing everything involved, you still think Historic Camping is something that interests you, then look for a re-enactment group and talk to them about joining.
“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.” – Jimmy Carter
Themed Camping has a lot of similarities to Historical/Re-enactment Camping. It’s all about bringing people together that are interested in camping out and exploring a common topic or theme shared by the group. For example, a themed campout could be scientific and contain a group of biologists, geologists, or botanists. On the other hand, it could be for a music festival like Bonnaroo or Coachella. However, Themed Camping could be about fun and you and your friends could have a “Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings,” or “Indiana Jones” campout.
There’s another way to experience Themed Camping that maybe you aren’t aware of, Themed Campgrounds. For those who have never heard of them before, Themed Campgrounds include planned activities for people of all ages and are typically geared towards children. Some of these campgrounds are at wilderness resorts, while others are just themed weekends or weeks held at regular campgrounds or authorized parks. Usually, both RVing and Tent Camping are allowed at these campgrounds.
Whether you’re trekking out to a remote spot in the woods in search of discovering a new type of insect or interested in being “those” people at the campgrounds, Themed Camping is for you. It can be a great way to get those friends out in the woods that never want to go camping. On the other hand, it can also be a roller coaster of scientific discovery. Regardless of what the theme is, anytime you get a group of like-minded people together, memories are bound to be made.
Glamping is shorthand for Glamorous Camping. Any time someone’s idea of camping involves camping with the luxuries of a home or hotel, it’s usually referred to as Glamping. With this form of camping, you don’t have to pitch tents, unroll sleeping bags or build campfires. You’re able to experience the positive elements of the outdoors, without sacrificing your comfort.
There are two extremes when it comes to Glamping. First, there’s DIY Glamping. With this version, you have the ability to create your own idea of luxury in nature. It also means that you don’t have to pay a high premium for camping in exclusive locations. DIY Glamping can be done on any campground, in the backyard, or really anywhere that you can get the vehicle used to carry your supplies. The second type is Luxury Glamping. Resorts are popping up all over the place providing top class accommodations that rival the offerings of 5-star hotels. This form of glamping can be one of the most expensive types of all camping, although you don’t need to invest in any of the usual gear for camping.
Furthermore, where ever you go in the world, there’s some form of Glamorous Camping available to you. Your options usually involve much more than just a nice tent though. Glamping could involve anything from villas, to cabins, to lodges, to yurts, to tipis, or even a treehouse in the canopy of a desolate forest with panoramic views.
I’m not sure there are many things more wholesome and American than a campout in the back yard. Backyard Camping is a great way to bond as a family while talking and telling stories around a campfire. It helps teach kids the value of working together through pitching a tent or gathering sticks to start a fire. Not to mention, what better opportunity could there be to teach kids how to make a s’more? If you’ve got any reluctant or first-time campers in your family, Backyard Camping is a great way to ease them into it and get them hooked.
Making sure the event feels like a real campout is important. Before you start your Backyard Camping expedition, start by planning everything out so no one has to dash back in the house every few minutes. Pack up everything you’ll need to sleep outside overnight, including a tent, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, pillows, flashlights, games, books, bug spray and a cooler packed with snacks and drinks. Once you have all your essentials, make a pact that everyone should only go inside for emergencies and bathroom breaks. However, the most important part of any backyard campout is to make sure all electronics stay inside.
One of the best advantages of Backyard Camping is being able to teach your children about the beauty and wonder of a nighttime sky. It also gives you a chance to teach them about everything they see out there; the moon, the stars, the planets. Have the kids draw the shapes they see in the sky and create their own “constellations.” They can invent some background stories to go with their drawings, which are sure to engage conversation.
Camping in the backyard rather than out in the wilderness may not seem as glamorous as a backcountry setting, but it’s a great place to start when you’re trying to work your kids up to bigger adventures. While not a replacement for the real thing, it is a great step on the way to the distant wilderness. For kids, Backyard Camping offers relief from overstimulation of all the different screens in their life. The benefits from outdoor play are well-documented and those overnight adventures outback will create memories that will last a lifetime.
“All forests have their own personality. I don’t just mean the obvious differences, like how an English woodland is different from a Central American rain forest, or comparing tracts of West Coast redwoods to the saguaro forests of the American Southwest… they each have their own gossip, their own sound, their own rustling whispers and smells. A voice speaks up when you enter their acres that can’t be mistaken for one you’d hear anyplace else, a voice true to those particular trees, individual rather than of their species.” – Charles de Lint
The fact is every trip to the great outdoors is an adventure. So, what makes Adventure Camping so special that it deserves its own name? To be totally honest, in my research it doesn’t seem like anyone has a clear idea as to what exactly Adventure Camping is. However, reading between the lines it seems like it’s a combination of a few different types of camping. It seems to include aspects of Backpacking, Hiking, Tent Camping, Primitive Camping, and possibly even more.
I personally haven’t partaken in Adventure Camping. However, based on what I’ve inferred, I can see where Adventure Camping would be alluring. It seems the main difference is that while every camping experience is an adventure, Adventure Camping is planned around the adventure itself. With Adventure Camping, groups of people find a series of adventures that are located in a remote area and then find a common base camp in the middle of them all. They backpack to a central location and set up camp. From there, they do a series of day hikes that involve the “adventure.” Examples of adventure could include anything from a tough day hike to an area with a phenomenal view, to a mountain bike race up a trail. What exactly is considered an adventure is at the discretion of the group.
With Adventure Camping, people may hike to a single base camp. However, they may hike to one location for two or three days and then hike to another or multiple locations to complete their trip. At each location, they complete different adventures during the day and then hike back to camp for the night. There are no set rules for this type of camping. How extreme an activity has to be for it to be considered an adventure is up to the individuals included. I think the most important aspect of Adventure Camping is just getting out there and testing your limits; seeing just how far everyone can push themselves.
Wild Camping, also called Free or Freedom Camping is about driving out to a sparsely populated area, parking, and setting off until you find a nice place to camp. It is about getting away from organized campsites, and their noise and crowds, to set up camp among the wilds of nature. You don’t always know whose property you’re on. There aren’t any pre-made trails. You won’t find any signs telling you where to go. Therefore, Wild Camping might seem as easy as just trekking off into the nearest woodland. However, don’t be fooled. It can be dangerous and even illegal. The laws that govern where you can and can’t pitch camp vary from country to country. So, as with any camping, Wild Camping requires proper planning and research.
If you are keen to go Wild Camping, the chances are you are already a walker. A walker’s checklist will already include baselayers, a mid-layer top or jacket, a high-quality waterproof jacket and pants, several pairs of walking socks, a hat, and gloves. Choose a good quality hiking pack when Wild Camping that can hold 45L or 55L of gear to ensure your pack is kept to a minimum but is still able to carry everything you need. It is worth noting if you are going for a longer trip, take a 60L+ pack. In most areas, you’ll want to have a tent or similar. At a minimum, you need to at least carry a tarp suited for shelter. A sleeping bag suitable for the seasons and conditions is vital. For cooking, you’ll want a lightweight single burner stove, gas canister and lighter, pot, spork and a mug for a hot drink. Some other small items that make a huge difference include a headlamp, a trowel for when nature calls, baby wipes, and a tick remover. This quick list of items is not definitive, and for the sake of long-windedness, I will stop here. However, if you’re looking for a comprehensive list of items to consider taking on a Wild Camping outing, then check out the Backpacking Checklist (click here) and Camping Checklist (click here) that we’ve compiled.
One of the crucial aspects of Wild Camping is maintaining an eco-friendly approach. That is, after all, the real beauty of camping in the wild. There are several points to observe to ensure your trip has minimal impact on the surroundings. One of the most important rules is to never light an open fire. Next, make sure you don’t disturb the environment more than necessary and take everything with you when you leave. Whenever Wild Camping it’s important to stay away from settlements and respect the privacy of others. Camping on high-ground helps to prevent causing a problem. Finally, be sure to maintain proper etiquette when finding a place to relieve yourself. This includes thinking of both the others in your party, as well as the land you’re camping on.
If you love camping and are properly prepared, Wild Camping is one of the pinnacles of outdoor camping. It provides the opportunity for you to use all your camping skills, while also giving yourself the rare chance to slow down and reflect. Wild Camping is an experience that once you’ve tasted it I think even you’ll agree, it’s camping with a little hot sauce added.
Work Camping, often shortened to just Workamping, simply means finding a part-time job wherever you are camping. Full-time versions of Work Camping do exist. However, they’re usually just hard to find. These jobs tend to be seasonal because they typically take place at a campground, resort, national or state park, local monuments, seasonal warehouse jobs, and oddly enough even jobs as Oil Field Gate Guards. There are plenty more jobs like the ones named on this shortlist. This list just named the majority and most well-known.
Drivers started making camping alterations to cars as soon as they were introduced. Eventually, those first RVers decided to work while camping to support their travels and RV lifestyles. So, Work Camping was born. These jobs tend to be more common among older RVers and retirees because the pay usually isn’t that great (not always). It’s mostly just good enough to sustain RV living. Although, don’t think it’s only limited to that group of personnel though. Work Camping would make a great summer job. Talk about a great way to create some stories that will last a lifetime. The responsibilities usually include collecting park and camping fees, renting facilities, answering questions, basic security, and basic maintenance. However, that really just boils down to working a few hours a day (20-25 hours per week) in exchange for no rent and other perks like free laundry, wifi, propane, etc.
Since the whole point of Work Camping is to be able to work outdoors in a beautiful setting, location is critical. So, do your research. Learn about all of the opportunities that are out there for Workamping. If you don’t get your first pick, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. The only opportunities out there aren’t campgrounds and parks. Work Camping can entail anything from working on a farm or ranch to working for Amazon CamperForce and everything in between. Most importantly, Work Camping is about getting out there and experiencing life and the great outdoors, all at once.
As you can see, camping comes in many shapes and forms. Some types of camping are more challenging than others and require more advanced skills or knowledge. While others are just about kicking back, relaxing, and having fun. Regardless of which type of camping you find suitable for yourself, just remember it’s about getting outdoors and getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you enjoy flying solo or you can’t picture and outdoor setting without your crew, the main point is to get out and enjoy everything mother nature has to offer. I can’t think of anything better to clear your mind and get back to neutral than a weekend in the woods.