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10 Types Of Camping And Campsites - Beginners Guide
The basic principle for every camping trip or hiking adventure is the same – you put on your backpack filled with camping gear, bring your tent and head to the campsite. But, not all camping types are the same. Depending on what your goal is, there are five different camping types – tent camping, backpacking or hiking, survival camping, canoe camping, and RV or van camping.
In this article you’ll have the opportunity to learn about these different types of camping, and you’ll also learn about some of the most common types of campsites.
Types Of Camping
There may be some variations, or some of these types of camping could work well together, but there are basically five different ones. All of them are equally exciding and will provide you the opportunity to learn something new and experience something beautiful.
1. Tent Camping
Most simple and basic one, the tent camping consists of finding the right campsite, placing your tent, and spending your time in it for one or multiple nights. And you could do it everywhere – from the official campsite, through the forest or the beach. It is not complicated, and it is nice opportunity for you to teach your kids about the nature and help them learn about proper behaviour while doing some fun stuff away from computers, cell phones and other modern gadgets. They’ll also have the chance to learn their responsibilities. It is also good option for any kind of teambuilding.
There are some things you should look out for if you decide this is the right option for you. First, make sure you’ve found the best place available for your tent. That means you should place it on a flat ground, with no rocks or tree roots, so you don’t have a problem sleeping.
Weather is tricky so there could be sudden rain, especially during the night, so make sure the water has somewhere to go. Avoid placing your tent in any type of channel, cavity or pit, because they could be dangerous if the heavy rain strikes.
Great plus side and what it makes a great option is the fact that you’ll be creating your camp together, it could serve you as a base for short and local hikes, you’ll be also making lunch and eating outside, in the nature, and when the night falls you’ll tell interesting stories and have fun beside the camp fire (if permitted, of course). But be careful with the food and make sure you’ve disposed it properly, or you could end up having unwanted visitors like racoons, rats, or if your camp is located somewhere near their land, bear. And it is not pleasant feeling being woken up by a hungry bear demolishing your camp to find the food leftovers.
2. Backpacking or Hiking
This type of camping consists of walking during the day with all of your gear and (most often) a lightweight tent on your back, sleeping outside in a tent or a hammock when you find the right place, and most often moving on the next day. This kind of camping could last from one afternoon or one night up to several months.
This camping type often serves as a therapy, because you won’t be spending time within the campsite, but you’ll constantly find something new and learn something different about nature along the way.
The essential thing when it comes to hiking or backpacking is to plan your trip and let someone know about that plan, so if something goes south there will be someone to start the search. The second most important thing is your gear, because you’ll be carrying it on your back, and you’d want it to be as easy as possible. Also, make sure you have the best fitting shoes and clothes, first aid kit and something to help you fight blisters.
3. Survivalist Camping
The most extreme type of camping, and you should not try to do it until you’re mastered all the camping techniques and learned to deal with any possible problems on the road. There are two different types of survival camping – base camp survival camping and walk out survival camping, but their goals is the same – stay alive. It will allow you to test all of your camping skills.
Base camp survival camping includes finding an isolated, lonely spot, even better if it is unknown, setting your tent up there and spending some time at that place. This also means you’ll have to catch your own food, whether by hunting, fishing, or simply finding anything you could eat. But also, you’ll have to make sure you don’t distract other wild animals that could hurt you.
Walk out survival camping means you’re being dropped off at some place in the wilderness, and your mission is to find your way back to the civilization. It is by far the most challenging type of camping, and having to find the food and water source every day at an unknown territory doesn’t make it easier.
For this type of camping you’ll have to plan every single detail, but also have all the contact info with your written on a paper, and given to your emergency contact. If you’re new to the camping society, don’t do it – stick to the tent camping, hiking and backpacking, until you master all the needed skills. And if you’re experienced, but not sure if you’re capable of doing it, there are courses about survival in the wilderness that will teach you essential stuff. Don’t forget – it could be dangerous, so make sure your gear, survival kit and radio is within a hand reach!
4. Canoe Camping
This is basically backpacking, but instead of the hiking trails, you’ll be traveling by water in your canoe. This way you’ll be able to travel greater distance and visit some places you won’t be able to reach on foot. Before you hit the water, find the best place for your trip’s purpose, because they could differ depending on your skill level, but they could also provide different type of attraction – some are better for fishing, some have amazing scenery, somewhere you’ll see better wildlife, and some will provide you the opportunity to simply go away for a while.
This also means there are some safety measurements you’ll have to do. It is recommended having at least one more friend along you, if something goes wrong, but you could go solo, if you prefer it that way.
Don’t go before checking the weather, because the rain could change the character of a waterway, and always have backup plan and emergency exit place, so you could get out of the water as fast as possible if you have to.
But this type of camping will provide you with the chance to see the wild life and the nature scenery from a different viewpoint, and the water itself calms down and provides the peace and lets your mind rest for a moment or two.
5. RV and Van Camping
There is an ongoing debate whether this type of camping is really camping, because it combines the camping part with the mobility provided by a vehicle. It has some advantages, some disadvantages, and you should look into them before you opt out for this kind of camping.
The advantages could not be denied – you’re more mobile, so you can visit more places, your campsite is anywhere you can park, you won’t have to worry about getting wet if the weather becomes bad, and you could add kitchen, fridge or bathroom facility to your vehicle. And your gear can be easily reachable and safe from the rain.
On the other hand, there are some cons you can’t simply overlook and ignore. First, unlike hiking or canoeing, if you plan to camp inside of your car, you won’t be able to experience the nature the way you should, because you’ll be closed inside your car. Some places also can’t be reached by car, and it sure doesn’t feel like camping if you sleep in it.
6. Winter Camping
Most campers will hung up their hiking boots and backpack and store their tent somewhere in their storage unit to wait until spring and open their camping season which will last until the end of autumn. But if you opt out to try camping during winter, you won’t regret the decision! Lots of fun activities, like sledding, hiking on snow-covered tracks, or even snowboarding and skiing followed by the opportunity to build a snowman are waiting.
The key is to properly plan the whole trip, and have enough winter clothes to stay warm at all times. Now imagine the chance to revisit some of your favourite campsites while it is covered with snow? Completely new feeling and you should embrace the chance and do it, just do your best to stay warm and you should be alright.
7. Re-enactment Camping
You know that feeling where you wanted to be William Wallace and live the “Brave heart”, maybe “Troy”, or some other historical era? These types of camping are the ones for you. You may find camping parties who try to replicate some big events, like Civil War, or Medieval battles, maybe even the Wild West…
Just be careful – if you plan to join this kind of party, make sure you know enough about this topic so you don’t feel left out when the near-campfire talking starts. Visit the local library and get some books about this topic, talk to someone who knows about that specific era or event, and try to learn as much as possible about this topic and about their tools and weapons.
8. Adventure Camping
Yes, we know, any kind of camping is an adventure, but some are meant to intentionally seek for the one. Of course, you should do it only when you learn all the basics about camping and when you’re comfortable being in the nature. It is divided into two separate periods. The first one is day. It means you’ll be traveling under the daylight, trying to absorb as much feelings as you can. Then, when the night falls, you’ll set up the camp, rest and wait for the down to continue. It usually means you’ll spend lots of time on your feet, so if you plan to g on an adventure camping trip, make sure you have enough strength in your legs and body in general, and also get comfortable shoes, or the adventure could turn into painful nightmare.
9. Bicycle Camping
This is one of the new but rapidly growing types of camping. It does require a bike you could ride on any terrain, but it can be really fun. Having a bicycle will surely increase your mobility, while it will also allow you to reach some places you couldn’t reach if you’re going by car. Also, if you want to feel the real camping feeling, you’d probably want to have a tent with you, so get the lightweight one. And before your trip, ask around for any specific rules regarding bicycles and inform yourself about all the tracks and places you can get to on your bike.
10. Themed Camping
Similar to re-enactment camping, themed camping will gather people connected by specific topic. It could vary and go from biology and looking for different types of plants, over geography dedicated to all those who love and want to learn about nature on more scientific level, to, let’s say, music fans (like music festivals), or camping with the theme from some movie or a TV show, like “The lord of the rings” or “Star wars”.