Summer is fast approaching, followed by cool-weather Fall, and with the world slowly beginning to re-open that means people will venture back into the outdoors. But between choosing to surround one’s self in an urban city with many others, or more secluded out in nature, at this moment in time more people might take up nature while the virus dissipates.
Recently, some places will start to allow camping to resume at their sites with certain restrictions. Camping, itself, is an umbrella term with so many different types of camping falling under that label. So let’s take a look at the most common ones, shall we? This post will not look at camping that requires vehicles such as cars, vans, and RVs to experience nature. Nor will we focus on very niche style camping that can either be included in regular camping (like hammock camping) or require specific things (like reenactment camping). Smaller modes of transportation like bicycles, motorcycles, kayaks, and canoes – these are considered types of camping too – will be clumped in with regular camping.
We’re going to focus more broadly on camping in comfort vs. with not as much necessities. However, two other factors that can slip through the cracks I don’t want to leave out are weather and adventure/off-roading. This post will focus on camping with near-normal conditions that most people would go into. Summer/Fall type conditions with very small chance of bad weather occurring is what I mean by that. For those who are interested in a new, more chilly-type of situation, then winter camping will be the way to go. It’s important to keep in mind the differences, and know what to take with you should you choose to camp in the snow.
Now I know I said this post would exclude transportation as part of the camping experience, but in this case the vehicle is the camping experience! For the past few years, Overlanding has been growing in popularity – stemming from countries like Australia – as it’s part-camping and part-offroad adventure. Unlike RVs, motorcycles and your normal cars you might take to go camping, the vehicles you take to overland will be put through the wringer just like you.
The other vehicles you’ll drive on decent roads, park it safely, and maybe even sleep inside of it. For overlanding vehicles? Nope. That baby will be going on more rugged terrain, get dirty or damaged, and carry more supplies than you might take in a normal car. Sleeping in the car? Doubtful, as there will likely be gear inside for the camping excursion. Typically, tents will still be brought along and will sometimes be mounted on the roof. While both driving-included camping excursions have the vehicle as part of the journey and destination, the overlanding vehicles is much more immersed in it. Think of it as a big, metal backpack, filled with gear, that you take with you to camp.
Camping & S’mores
Now it’s time to focus on the original method of enjoying the outdoors. For those who want to truly be one with nature – maybe have a phone as well just in case – then this is the desired choice. Camping this way can be done by yourself or with others. All you have to do is choose a destination: the beach, the woods, mountains, campsite, or wherever else that’s in the outdoors. After that, it boils down to what you want to take; or how in touch with nature you want to be.
Nearly all campers will take the iconic tent with them, while some will take other means of resting. Earlier I mentioned hammock camping as a niche way to relax, as it is lighter than a tent and doesn’t need flat ground to be put on. It is one way to rest, however more people may prefer to take it as a “luxury item” while they take in the outdoor sights.
Another potential “luxury item” that can add to the fun of the camping experience is a kayak or bicycle. Bikes are on the lighter side, and can help with delving a little further into the camping site you choose; though not as far as overlanding can take you through more rough terrain. Kayaks, some not as light, can also lead to a fun time in the water or even help you traverse to new places to camp. This touches on how far in nature you wish to go, but before that if you’re curious as to other things one might take with them to camp here‘s a checklist with other ideas to consider packing.
So you’re all packed up, and have chosen your site, but then comes the decision to whether stay in one spot or continue adventuring. Many people often clump backpacking adventure with camping. They prefer not to just stay stationary in one location, rather continue the journey to see more of nature. It can also be done even if you are choosing to just hold camp in one spot, but the adventure can only go so far before a return trip is necessary. Meanwhile backpackers carry their stuff with them, and set up camp in a new place without worry of time. People can either hike it, bike it, or kayak their way to new destinations; the choice is entirely their preference or skill.
Adding to the idea of preferences is amenities – things that are comforting, convenient, or pleasurable – and what else you are taking with you on this camping trip. For some, they want to be completely prepared to enthrall themselves in nature and what it may bring. Those are the ones who bring first aid packs, tools and many other gear that wouldn’t make it a lavish experience; just a very well-equipped one. While others want to test themselves and go without things that might be considered too luxurious. This might include nice sleeping bags, air mattresses, great food, electronics and kitchen supplies. This is called primitive camping.
They still will take some light food, water, and sleep gear but not much else might follow them. Hardly anything is between you and nature. Tents are typically brought along, too, however some may even go without and brave the elements of nature in just a sleeping bag. Some may even go with nothing at all. That’s right, another way people camp is survivalist camping and like the name suggests it’s all about survival. Just you and the wilderness. Think of it like “Bear Grylls” style camping where you bring no food, no water, no amenities and you must find everything on your own. Any hopes of eating s’mores – a popular camping dessert – on this trip are out the window. While some may think it’s extreme, others truly want to challenge themselves and see how well they can do it. Regardless of where you fall in the camping category, everyone is able to enjoy their surroundings and be in tune with the outdoors. But if this isn’t too “comfortable” for you, there is one type of camping that provides it.
Glamping with More
Whether you want to compare it to a small, stylish hotel in the outdoors or driving a nice car with the rooftop down to feel nature, glamping gives people the option to be outdoors while in cozier, more elegant conditions. This trendy new way of camping is catching on quickly, and it’s not just in the United States. Check out some popular glamping sites in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand. As you can see, it’s pretty popular all over the world!
One reason is that it is more suitable for a variety of events, besides just enjoying nature. A more intimate couple’s retreat can be done here, wedding occasions, music/cultural festivals, parties and whatever other opportunity you might think of. As I said, glamping is like a mini-hotel/hostel/B&B rolled up into a tent and put outdoors. It makes for a good getaway from the city, while not worrying about getting you or your guests too dirty. People can go glamping alone, but this is more common to do with friends and loved ones.
And this leads to the other reason glamping is popular: the amenities. You don’t have to worry about bringing tents, tools, sleeping bags, and many other gear you would’ve brought to a normal camping experience. Most of the things you want and need are already included at glamping sites. A roof over your head, nice sleeping beds, electricity for lighting and technology, and even toilets and showers. There may even be hot tubs to soak in, a fireplace that you don’t have to sweat about making from scratch, sporting gear like kayaks, and more could be found as well. All with the nice backdrop of nature; either by the trees or the water.
Glamping still incorporates nature and allows people to enjoy it, but focuses on bringing comfort and pleasure to what was once a content and essentials-only adventure. Camping, on the other hand, is a classic. It’s a true break from the ever-changing world where you can leave everything behind and just take a breath of literal fresh air while experiencing the scenic views. From backpacking at the mountains, rafting through rivers, to hiking deep into the forests these are things that can be done without worrying about getting back to charge your phone at the tent. In the end, the choice is yours to make as to what type of experience you want. Just know that there are many types when it comes to camping, and so be sure to do your research before setting off on your next adventure.