Which Type of Camping Do You Prefer?

campWhile 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

Rustic Camping

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.

Backpacking Camping

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.

Are Bears Hiding in the Forest? What to Do?

bear encounterLiving with wildlife is part of the camping experience and bear encounter is one of the most revered. Bears are feared forest animals. Although no one can deny the beauty of these majestic critters, few people want to encounter one on a hike. Fortunately, most bears prefer to avoid contact with humans and will go out of their way to avoid meeting you on a trail. Yet, knowing how to prevent and handle a bear encounter will give you confidence when you venture into the woods. Check out the camping tips below: 

Bear Encounter Tips

Travel in Groups

Experienced campers know that hiking in groups is an important safety strategy that can also help to prevent bear encounter. By sticking close to others, you will appear larger to bears and they will be more likely to sense you and leave the area before you even know they are there. Having more than one person looking out for signs of bears will also give you an added advantage that can allow you to change your route if it becomes necessary.

Make Your Presence Known

Bears tend to be shy creatures that prefer not to fight. Yet, a bear that is surprised or protecting their young may become defensive. For this reason, it is important to make noise as you travel through the forest. Singing camp songs, clapping and generally just having a good time is all it takes to give bears the signal that you are approaching so they can make their escape.

Avoid Attracting Bears

Most human encounters with bears occur because the bear was attracted to a scent that indicated the possibility of food. Make sure to keep campsite clear of trash that could make it look and smell to a bear like there is an easy meal nearby. Store food and other scented items such as toothpaste in bear-proof, airtight containers or leave them behind before you hit the trail.

Defuse an Encounter

If you do sight a bear, it is important to keep your distance since they are likely just foraging for berries and other forest treats. If they see you, then make noise and slowly back away so that they do not view you as a threat. Remember that bears rarely attack. Staying calm will help you avoid a confrontation.

Spending time in the forest means that you may be sharing space with bears. Yet, the majority of bears are deterred by human scents and stay away from populated trails and campsites. Sticking to a defined trail and traveling with others who are experienced in living with wildlife is great advice to help ensure your safety when entering bear territory.