For some, the word camping conjures images of peaceful streams, roaring campfires, and delightfully cheerful birds. For others, camping is nothing more than mud, mosquito bites, and the fear of a bear attacking you. If you’re in the first group, you’re already aware of the pleasures of camping. If not, don’t give up hope just yet! With the right amount of preparation and a bit of mosquito repellent you too can learn to enjoy camping as one of the best hobbies out there—without, of course, having to worry about those pesky bears.
Types of Camping
The first step to enjoying camping is to decide what kind of camping it is you want to do. There are several types of camping, ranging from sleeping in a trailer to roughing it in the mountains. Both can be fun and it’s a matter of preference as to what style you prefer. The most common types of camping are: 1) wilderness camping, 2) tent camping, and 3) recreational vehicle camping.
Perhaps you’ve heard of 19th century American naturalist John Muir, the man who set out into the wilderness with only a journal and a bit of food? Yes, that’s right, wilderness camping means no bathroom close by and no supermarket down the street. The good news is that you’ll have your pick of sleeping arrangements as it also means no campsite reservations—just pick a spot in the woods* and fend for yourself. This type of camping requires durable clothing in order to bear the elements.
*As a note, camping outside of designated spaces is illegal in some areas, so make sure you know the regulations before you go.
When you were a kid, it’s likely your parents hauled you away from the TV one summer only to drive you an hour into the woods. While it may not have made sense at the time, you can rest easy knowing that they were only opening you up to the world of tent camping. Tent camping is actually a common—and fun!—experience for both parents and children. Unlike wilderness camping, these campsites provide showers, restrooms and may have other amenities, including laundry rooms, game rooms, or even a swimming pool. Some campsites require reservations, particularly in the summer. If not, make sure you get there early enough to snatch a good spot. Campsites charge a small fee, but for a weekend of relaxation it’s worth every penny.
Recreational Vehicle (R.V.) Camping
Serious campers take offense at the thought of R.V. camping as “real camping,” but for many people it’s the only way to go. The benefit of R.V. camping is that you have the freedom to travel far and wide without worrying about accommodations. Most R.V.’s and off road camper trailers come equipped with a bathroom, living room, kitchen and bedroom. The downside is that you may not experience nature like other campers, so make sure to get out of your R.V. and explore the beauty of the surrounding area. Also make sure to get RV insurance for your recreational vehicle so you are protected from the unexpected.
Now that you’re itching to go camping, you’re probably wondering what else you need to know before you head out. What kind of camping gear is necessary? What precautions do you take? Well, you’re in luck. This camping guide will answer everything you’ve ever wanted to know about camping—including—yes, that’s right—how not to get attacked by a bear.
Choosing a Camping Tent
5 Killer Camping Spots
Camping Gear to Pack