While camp mostly calls to mind nights snuggled around a campfire surrounded by moonlit woods, there actually are at least four distinct type of camping. Whether you want to just wake up to some birdsong while still enjoying all the comforts of home or yearn for a journey far into the wilderness, you’ll find all this and everything in between in today’s wonderful world of camping.
Types of Camp
Cabin camping, whether you rent or own your own little spot in the forest, puts you in an outdoor setting while you still have the comforts of living inside. There’s a nice sturdy roof over your head in the rain, cozy bedrooms and full kitchen facilities just a step from the glories of the great outdoors. This kind of camping is especially easy if you own your own place, as you won’t need to pack too much. However, staying in a cabin doesn’t carry the back-to-nature cachet of tent camping or backpacking.
Camp Grounds – Tents
From KOA to a myriad of private campgrounds, these camping areas are what many people today think of as camping. You’ll drive up to your campsite in a car loaded with all the week’s necessities and set up camp in a nicely cleared area that may have a picnic table, fire pit or barbecue setup. Campgrounds usually have bathrooms, showers, piped in water and a general store. Amenities vary, but if you do your research, you’ll find whatever you and your family would like in a vacation, including swimming pools, mini-golf, planned events and game rooms. These family-friendly escapes are perfect for groups that want to enjoy nature with little fuss while also having extra activities for the kids.
Camp Grounds – RVs
A step up in comfort from tent camping in an established campground, RV camping lets you sort of bring your home out into the woods with you. RVs range from little portable pop-up campers to full-on multi room mini-mansions, complete with high-definition TVs, air conditioning and fancy kitchens. While this kind of camping does get you a spot in the woods, it does take away some of the closeness to nature experienced in a tent, and you certainly aren’t sleeping (directly) under the stars.
For those who want to really get out there and immerse themselves in nature, backpacking is just the ticket. Backpackers pack up the necessities for the length of their planned excursion, from ultra-light food supplies to tent, sleeping bag, lights and all manner of other clever camping supplies, often heading out into state and national parks. Backpacking is all about hiking, so if you’re planning to go, you’ll need to gauge your itinerary on your basic level of fitness and the terrain. Key elements are a good pair of hiking boots and light, efficient packing.