Before you go camping, you should have some idea what you’re in for. Camping is a fairly broad category of activity and could describe an entire range of different practices. For the more dedicated, hardcore campers, survival camping is the way to go–it involves setting off into the wilderness with very little beyond your hiking boots. At the other end of the spectrum, recreational vehicle campers travel in their own mobile motel room. Recreational vehicles (RVs) typically come fully equipped with just about every possible creature comfort: their own electricity, heat, and patio furniture, and in some cases, satellite TV.
Many people camp as part of some larger recreational plan, which often involves activities like hiking, hill walking, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, swimming, and fishing. Along with camping, hiking can either be done as an extended backpacking journey, or as a set of day hikes radiating from a campsite.
Often, people vacation in permanent camps, with facilities such as toilets, water and electricity hookups, and even swimming pools. The more hardcore campers live off the land, more or less and camp in the wilderness. People who take this approach have a solemn responsibility to leave their campsite better than they found it. Also, campers should generally consider themselves to have a profound obligation to engage in environmentally sound practices.
People who like to camp can come in all ages, abilities, and degrees of ruggedness. There are campsites designed to accommodate all these different levels of camper. Some have all the amenities and comforts available, including fire rings and/or barbecue grills, utilities, shared bathrooms, laundry, access to recreational facilities and even swimming pools,. Not all campsites offer the same levels of relative luxury. In fact, they vary widely. The campsite itself can range from a patch of dirt to a level, paved parking spot with full sewer and electrical facilities.
There are many different types of camping. One of these types involves combining bicycle touring with camping. The bicycle is transportation for both gear and person, allowing greater distances to be covered than backpacking albeit with less gear. The same process can be done on steroids with motorcycle camping.
Some campers prefer to camp in harsh winter conditions, perhaps to test their limits. Many campers hunters and fishers, delight in camping when there’s snow on the ground. This is not to be undertaken lightly, however. You need to know what you’re doing. This includes building snow shelters, dressing in layers, staying dry, and using sleeping bags designed for the cold. You should also bring appropriate food as it is not a good time of year to rely on foraging.
It doesn’t matter whether you are in an RV or a tent, there are a variety of facilities available to you. Even if you are roughing it you can pack comfy air mattresses, compact chairs and solar satellite phones. The bottom line is that if you are truly interested in camping, you must find the level of the pastime that suits you.