Basic guide to camping
Camping is fun for so many reasons. The fresh air, the soothing chirping of nature’s creatures, being by yourself devoid of all technology(okay maybe not ALL) it’s just a nice change of pace. Then of course there’s the joy of communing with nature.
So, let’s get started on understanding everything about camping and what it entails to have a good time.
What is camping?
Camping is a recreational activity or a way of life in which people leave urban areas to spend time outdoors in more natural settings, usually at campsites, where they can camp with friends and family.
The idea of the activity of camping probably started as soon as humans learned how to make shelters. Primitive man would have probably gone into the woods to make temporary shelters for himself. The idea then grew into a primitive form of camping that involved simply making a fire and cooking food on it, or putting up tents if you were lucky enough to own one.
Today, camping is very popular. People go out into the woods with their families, friends, or even alone to spend some time in nature. They go camping to get away from the busy pace of daily life and enjoy some really awesome time by themselves or with other people.
What are the types of camping?
There are several types of camping. It depends on what you’re into really, but the most common ones include:
1. Tent camping
This is without a doubt the most common type of camping. It’s where people go and use tents to sleep in and they usually make fire pits to keep themselves warm and cook food over. They might bring sleeping bags but some prefer to just sleep on the ground using only blankets(if it’s that cold).
2. Backpacking/Hiking camping
People who love to hike usually do this type of camping. You will need a backpack to carry all your equipment. the you go out into the forest with your tent, food, cooking gear, and everything else you might need for a few days. You make camp at a place where there’s water(to drink) and find a spot for your tent. This is recommended only if you know what you’re doing.
3. RV Camping/Car camping
This is where you bring your car along with you to the campsite. And instead of using a tent, you sleep in your car(or in an RV if you have one). Depending on how long you’re planning to go camping, people usually pack everything in their cars that they would need. Some even set up tents outside their cars for family and friends to sleep in.
4. Winter/Ski camping
This type of camping simply involves going to a ski resort, getting your gear out, and then making camp there. You can either rent one of the cottages there or bring your own tent. After you’ve made camp, all you have to do is go skiing during the day and enjoy hot chocolate in front of a cozy fire when you get back at night.
5. Re-enactment camping
This is for people who just love camping but want to go camping in style. They wear old school costumes(you know the ones you see in movies) and make camp as our ancestors did. This type of camping is usually done by history or drama enthusiasts at museums or state parks. The grills are usually open fires, there’s no electricity and the food that you eat is cooked over an open fire.
6. Canoe Camping
A combination of canoeing and camping is known as canoe camping, or canoe touring, tripping or expedition canoeing. Camping via a canoe or kayak is similar to backpacking in that you carry enough equipment to travel for several days.
This type of camping involves going out to the middle of a lake or maybe a river, in a canoe with all of your supplies. Somewhere upstream you will find a spot to relax and set up camp for the night. You will continue paddling and exploring up the stream to find new places for camping and exploring
7. Themed camping
This is basically camping with a theme, mainly done for kids parties. There are different themes ranging from Disney-themed camping where you go out with Winnie the pooh-sized sleeping bags and Mickey Mouse size utensils to Star Wars-themed camping where you wear stormtrooper costumes and bring along your lightsabers.
8. Survivalist camping
This type of camping is more like a hiking trip. You pack light and then go into the woods. There’s no tent, cooking gear, sleeping bags, or anything else. All you have is yourself and whatever equipment you can fit in your backpack. All this type of camping involves is going out there to test your survival skills. It’s usually done by sports enthusiasts who love to test themselves.
9. Underwater camping
Underwater camping is kind of niche style of camping. This is when scuba driver decide to set up a portable underwater tent so they can stay under longer. Their tent serves as a means of consuming air. They can explore the depth and have a better time because of it.
Difference between camping and glamping
How glamping differs from camping? It is a more luxuries way of camping with amenities and comforts (such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) That the Big difference between them.
Moreover, in glamping, you get to sleep in comfortable beds and under mosquito nets while in camping; you don’t even have a tent with you. You just go out there with your backpack and lay your sleeping bag on the floor.
Most people get really excited about camping the first time they do it, but then they realize that there are a lot of things that you have to prepare for. Because if you don’t bring along the right stuff, things can go wrong pretty easily.
Here’s what to bring camping;
1) A tent and a sleeping bag.
If you’re going camping, the last thing that you can do is sleep on the ground. It’s not comfortable at all and it can be really dangerous if it rains or something like that. So make sure to bring along a tent and a sleeping bag so you can stay somewhere elevated and safe.
2) Waterproof matches/lighter.
If you’re going camping or maybe if it’s just rainy, you’ll need to start up a fire so that way, you don’t catch a cold or freeze to death. The simplest way of doing this is by making sure that you pack waterproof matches and a lighter so that way, you can start up a fire easily.
3) Medication/health kit.
If someone gets injured or sick while camping, it’s going to be really difficult for them because they’ll have no access to medicine or hospitals. So make sure you bring along some medication like painkillers, anti-inflammation drugs, and other medication that you might need.
Even if it’s not dark yet, but you’re going to be camping somewhere where there are no lights at all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So make sure to bring along some flashlights or torches with you, just in case.
5) Helmet and safety gear.
If you’re going to be glamping or camping somewhere where there are a lot of dangers like rivers, trees, steep paths, etc., make sure to bring along some helmets and safety gears because stuff can go wrong really easily. The last thing you want is someone getting injured while you’re trying to have fun.
6) Hand sanitizer.
This is more of a luxury than something that you really need, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t want your tent and sleeping bag to get infested with germs and ticks, make sure to bring along some hand sanitizers and antibiotic gels.
7) Plastic bags/ garbage bags.
If you’re camping in the woods or in areas where there are no trash cans around, it’s important to bring along some plastic bags with you so that way, you can clean up the place after yourself before leaving. So pack accordingly and always remember to leave your campsite cleaner than when you found it.
8) Portable stove and pots.
If you’re going to cook your food the traditional way, it’s always better to do so over a campfire. Of course, you can’t really start up a fire inside your tent because it’s not safe at all. So make sure to invest in a portable stove and pots so that way, you can cook your food right.
9) Food and snacks.
You saw that coming right? Of course, you’re going to need food and snacks if you’re going camping or glamping somewhere because it’s not healthy to go for long periods of time without eating anything at all. Plus, there are a lot of animals around the woods as well so make sure to pick up some extra food for them as well if you can.
10) Insect repellent and spray.
If you’re going camping somewhere like the woods, it’s not really safe to bring along your pets with you because most pet animals aren’t exactly good at taking care of themselves when they get lost or something like that happens. So make sure to bring insect repellent and spray because there are a lot of insects and bugs around the woods and they can get really annoying.
Always remember to bring along plenty of water with you if you’re going camping or glamping because dehydration is the last thing that you want to happen. It’s one of the key elements that can lead someone into getting sick so always bring along bottles or canteens full of fresh clean drinking water for yourself and your loved ones.
Last but not least, you’re going to want to bring along a compass if you’re going somewhere where there are no signs of civilization or anything like that. If something happens and you get lost, for example, it’s always better to have a map with you so make sure to pack one in your bags before leaving.
The above are some of the camping basics that you’ll need to know if you’re going to be camping somewhere.
How to stay safe camping
When going camping you should always be prepared and take safety precautions to keep yourself safe. The wilderness can be a challenging place that is not for the weak or unprepared. This is particularly important if you choose the survivalist approach to camping where you rely on nothing more than what you can carry with you.
Camping safety precautions
Here are a number of camping precautions that you should take to stay safe when camping.
– First of all, choose your location carefully and do research on the area to be sure it is appropriate for camping. Also, remember that weather can be very dangerous so never underestimate it or treat it lightly.
– Avoid places where there are poisonous plants or animals around because if you’re allergic to them or if you get bitten by one of them, you’ll be in for some tough times.
– If there are other people around your campsite, make sure to let them know where you’re headed and what time you should be back. That way they will always know where to find you just in case something happens.
– Try and stay in groups and never go out alone because if you do get lost, it will be a lot harder for others to find you.
– If you’re going camping somewhere near water such as at the seaside or rivers, make sure to bring along your insect repellent with you because there are more than enough insects and bugs around that area.
– Try not to go alone because if something bad happens to you, there won’t be anyone around to help you. Plus, bring along a first aid kit with you just in case someone gets injured.
– Always pack the essentials when you’re going out camping because they are important when it comes to camping safety.
– Always carry a map with you in case something happens and you get lost along the way.
– Also, remember to bring along plenty of water with you because dehydration can be very dangerous when in the wild so always stay hydrated.
– For food safety, never leave your food unattended and always store them properly to avoid bears from getting into them.
– If you’re going camping this summer, make sure to wear the right kind of clothing and shoes because if you don’t, it can get really uncomfortable and dangerous for you especially when we get to high altitudes.
– Always pack a flashlight or a headlight because there are no signs of civilization and it can get really dark and dangerous at night especially when you’re in the woods.
– Don’t leave valuables just lying around your campsite because if you do, chances are they will get stolen by other people or animals. So make sure to bring along a bag to put your valuables in.
– Lastly, and generally the most important tip, always go camping in the company of someone who knows what they’re doing and has experience when it comes to camping.
Understanding RV Camping/ Car Camping
If you’re someone who enjoys camping or loves the outdoors, an RV is probably the best option for you. They are very easy to set up and they provide a lot of conveniences compared to regular tents which can be quite uncomfortable.
What is RV Camping?
RV camping or car camping is simply what it says; sleeping in a car. But, it can be a lot more than just that as there are many other activities to enjoy while you’re out camping in your car or RV.
Differences between Car Camping and Regular Tent Camping
Car camping is a lot different from normal tent camping because first of all, everyone has their own bed inside the Car. So you can’t have too many people inside at once. Having a car also gives you the freedom to move and explore new places easily. As well as staying more comfortable, you’ll also be safer in your car.
Regular tent camping, on the other hand, is not only Harder . It less safe and more time consuming. However, you will get a real sense of being outdoors and experience camping the way it was intended. You can bring a lot of people along with you, your tent can comfortably fit them all. (if it’s big enough). So try to stay warm and have fun.
Factors to consider when choosing a camping tent
Choosing the right tent for your camping trip is essential for a smooth experience. Not all tents are alike, so you have to consider many different factors before purchasing one.
Tents come in all sizes but you should always go with something that can accommodate your needs. You can buy large or small tents depending on how you plan to use them. If you’re going out by yourself, it’s best to get a small tent that can fit inside your backpack because the less space it takes up in your bag, the better. Try and avoid buying massive tents if it’s just for a one-time event.
Tents come in lots of different materials, but the two best types are nylon and polyester. Polyester is typically cheaper than nylon, but nylon tents are more durable. Nylon tents are typically used for car camping trips because they’re easy to set up. On the other hand, polyester tents are usually reserved for backpacking or hiking because they’re lighter to carry around.
The seasonality of your tent should also be considered. For instance, if you’re going camping in the winter or during heavy rainfalls, it’s best to get a three-season tent that can withstand all types of weather conditions. On the other hand, four-season tents are made for colder weather so they may not be as great for summer camping.
Tent designs also differ. Dome tents are popular because they’re easy to set up and transport around, but they aren’t as sturdy as a cabin or tunnel tent. Cabin tents typically provide more space inside so it’s best to get one if you have more than two people going on the trip. Meanwhile, tunnel tents are made for one to two people.
Some camping activities to make it more exciting
1. Release sky lanterns
Sky lanterns are small hot air balloons that people release into the sky. They’re very buoyant so it’s easy to carry them with you during camping trips. You can also decorate them with messages or drawings before releasing them.
2. Go for a nighttime walk
Going for a night walk is one of the best things to do at night. It allows you to enjoy the sounds and sights of nature as you explore your surroundings. Lighting up a flashlight before going out can make it even more fun and exciting.
3. Go stargazing
Stargazing is another great thing that everyone should try when camping. Aside from enjoying the beauty of the night sky, you get to see all the stars up close, which is amazing.
4. Make a campfire
Lighting up a campfire can provide warmth and comfort during cold nights outdoors. If you’re really good at it, you could even try cooking some food on top of your campfire.
5. Watch the sunrise
Watching the sunrise is another amazing camping activity. It’s best to wake up at least an hour before so you can see the sky changing colors as the sun slowly rises from behind the horizon.
6. Make shadow puppets
Making shadow puppets is another fun camping activity. You can do it on your own or with your friends so everyone could enjoy it.
These are just some of the camping activities you can indulge yourself in when camping. Of course, you can come up with your own outdoor activities to make your trip more enjoyable and memorable.
Camping etiquette is something that you should familiarize yourself with when going out to the wild because it will help you be a better camper. Here are some of the most important rules to keep in mind:
1. Communicate with your neighbors
Your neighbors have as much right as you do to enjoy their camping spot so make sure you’re respectful of them. This means not making too much noise during the middle of the night or waking them up before you start your day.
2. Clean up after yourself
Make sure that you clean up your campsite before heading home. Packing up all your stuff and leaving nothing behind will make it easier for other campers to use the space.
3. Leave no trace
Take care of the environment while camping by practicing “leave no trace” camping ethics. This means not leaving any trash behind and packing everything you brought with you before heading back home. You can also do your part to protect the wildlife by avoiding feeding wild animals during your trip.
4. Practice fire safety
Whether you’re cooking food during the day or building a campfire at night, make sure that you put safety first. Keep your fire in an open area and never leave it unattended.
5. Be considerate of others
Always keep in mind that there’s usually someone sleeping nearby when camping outdoors. Thus, refrain from making too much noise during the night and use earplugs if you’re particularly sensitive to sound.
To answer protection some of your specific questions, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about camping:
Q: What kind of shelter should I use?
A: The tent is the most common form of shelter when camping. You can also opt for sleeping bag which are lightweight and easy to carry around. However, for those that can afford it, an RV or recreational vehicle camping is also a great option. It provides protection from the elements and is usually equipped with amenities such as hot showers, electricity, heating, and even air conditioning.
Q: How much should I spend on a camping trip?
A: It really depends on your budget so it’s hard to estimate how much money you should bring with you. A good rule of thumb is to prepare enough money for food, drinks, and other accommodations.
Q: How often should I go camping?
A: According to experts, you should camp at least once a month. You can also go as often as you want, depending on how much time and money you have.
Q: What are the important things I should bring with me when camping?
A: Experts recommend bringing the following items with you when going out to the wild: GPS, cellular phone, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, lighter or matches, sunscreen, and insect repellent. You should also bring water bottles and food supplies in case you get stranded somewhere.
Q: Can I feed the monkeys in the wild?
A: Monkey experts say that you should not feed monkeys in the wild because it will make them go away from their natural habitats. If they get used to humans, they’ll be more likely to come closer and might even pose a threat to your safety.
Q: What is the Leave No Trace Principle?
A: The Leave No Trace Principle is a code of ethics that outdoor enthusiasts should follow. The main purpose of this principle is to minimize impacts from outdoor activities on the environment and other park visitors so both parties can enjoy their experience in nature.
Q: How do I light a campfire?
A: You need to gather some dry twigs and branches before lighting a campfire. Make sure your fire is at least three feet away from tents, trees, and other objects it can damage. It’s also advised to set up the fire pit properly by scraping the ground clean and digging down until you get to dirt or sand. Put some rocks around the pit to prevent the fire from spreading.
Q: Where do I get an RV for my next camping trip?
A: You can rent an RV from a car company or an independent rental agency. Different companies have different rates depending on the type of vehicle, its features, and your destination. You can also buy an RV if you really want to have one for your trips. However, it would take some time before you actually get to use it.
Q: How many people can fit inside an RV?
A: It depends on the model and age of the RV you’re planning on renting or buying. Some models can accommodate up to eight people, while older ones only have room for three individuals. Make sure you ask about this detail before making a booking or getting a new RV.
Q: How much does it cost to rent an RV?
A: The rate will vary depending on the company you’re renting from or the vehicle’s features. However, expect to spend at least $400 for an RV that can accommodate up to six people. This amount also depends on your destination so check online for other RV rental cost estimates.
Q: What should I do after coming from a camping trip?
A: Make sure that you unpack everything and hang your clothes to dry. It’s also best to fold the sleeping bags and pack them in a separate area so they won’t get too wrinkled. If you notice any small tears on your tent, bring it to a repair shop right away since you don’t want it to grow bigger.