Camping is an outdoor
The participants, known as campers, get away from
urban areas, their home region or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or more nights, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, a primitive structure, or no shelter at all.
Camping as a recreational activity became popular in the early 20th century. Campers frequent
national parks, other publicly owned natural areas, and privately owned campgrounds.
Camping is also used as a cheap form of accommodation for people attending large open air events such as sporting meetings and
music festivals. Organisers will provide a field and some basic amenities.
Camping describes a range of activities. Survivalist campers set off with little more than their boots, whereas
recreational vehicletravelers arrive equipped with their own electricity, heat, and patio furniture. Camping is often done in conjunction with activities, such as hiking, hill walking, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, swimming, and fishing. It may be combined with hiking either as backpacking or as a series of day hikes from a central location.
Some people vacation in permanent camps with cabins and other facilities (such as
hunting camps or children's summer camps), but a stay at such a camp is usually not considered 'camping'. The term "camping" (or "camping out") may also be applied to those who live outdoors out of necessity (as in the case of the homeless) or for people waiting overnight in (queues). It does not, however, apply to cultures whose technology does not include sophisticated dwellings. Camping may be referred to colloquially as "roughing it".
Range of amenities
Campers span a broad range of age, ability and ruggedness, and campsites are designed in many ways as well. Many campgrounds have sites with facilities such as fire rings,
barbecuegrills, utilities, shared bathrooms and laundry as well as close access to receational facilities, but not all campsites have similar levels of development. Campsites can range from a patch of dirt to a level, paved pad with sewerand electricity. For more on facilities, see the campsiteand RV parkarticles.
Today’s campers have a range of comforts available to them, whether their shelter is a tent or a receational vehicle. Backcountry campers today can pack-in comfortable mattresses, compact chairs and solar powered satellite phones. Those choosing to camp closer to their car ("car camping") with a tent have access to portable hot water, tent interior lighting and technological changes to camping gear. For those camping in
recreational vehicles(RVs), the options include air conditioning, bathrooms, kitchens, showersand home theatre systems. In the United States, Canadaand Europe, some campgrounds offer hookups where recreational vehicles are supplied with electricity, water and sewer services.
Other vehicles used for camping include
touring bicycles, boats, canoes, using pack animalsand even bush planes, although backpackingis a popular alternative.
Tent camping sites often cost less than campsites with full amenities, and most allow direct access by car. Some "walk-in" sites lie a short walk away from the nearest road but do not require full backpacking equipment. Those who seek a rugged experience in the outdoors prefer to camp with only tents, or no shelter at all ("under the stars").
Backpacking is a mobile variety of tent camping. Backpackers use lightweight equipment that can be carried long distances on foot. They hike across the land, camping at remote spots, often selecting campsites at will if resource protection rules allow. Backpacking equipment typically costs more than that for car camping, but still far less than a trailer or motorhome, and backpacking campsites are generally cheap.
Canoe campingis similar to backpacking, but uses canoes for transportation; much more weight and bulk can be carried in a canoe or kayak than in a backpack. Canoe camping is common in North America.
One form of
bicycle touringcombines camping with cycling. The bicycle is used to carry the gear and as the primary means of transportation, allowing greater distances to be covered than backpacking although less capacity for storage. Motorcyclecamping is more comparable to bicycle camping than car camping, due to the limited storage capacity of the motorbike. Motorcycle camping riders, as well as bicycle touring riders, often use some of the same equipment as backpackers, due to the lighter weights and compact dimensions associated with backpacking equipment.
Survivalistcampers learn the skills needed to survive out-of-doors in any situation. This activity may require skills in obtaining food from the wild, emergency medical treatments, orienteering, and pioneering.
Winter camping" refers to the experience of camping outside during the winter - often when there is snowon the ground. Campers and outdoorspeople have adapted their forms of camping and survival to suit extremely cold nights and limited mobility or evacuation. Methods of survival when winter camping include building snow shelters ( quinzhees), dressing in "layers," staying dry, using low-temperature sleeping bags, and fueling the body with appropriate food. Workampingallows campers to trade their labor for a free campsite, and sometimes for utilities and additional pay.
Adventure camping is a form of camping by people who race (possibly adventure racing or
mountain biking) during the day, and camp in a minimalist way at night. They might use basic items of camping equipment like a micro-camping stove, sleeping bagand Bivouac bag.
Camping is a key part of the program of many youth organizations around the world, such as
Scouting. It is used to teach self-reliance and team work.
Camping equipment includes:
* First aid kit
Tent, lean-toto act as a shelter.
Hammerto drive tent stakes into soil.
Sleeping bagand/or blankets for warmth.
Sleeping pador air mattressis placed underneath the sleeping bag for cushioning from stones and twigs as well as for insulation from the ground.
Hatchet, axeor sawfor cutting firewood for a campfire.
*Fire starter or other
ignition devicefor starting a campfire.
Folding chairs for placement around campfire.
Ropes for stringing clothes lineand for securing the shelter.
*Tarp for adding additional layer of storm protection to a tent, and to shelter dining areas.
Chuck boxto hold camp kitchen items for food preparation, consumption and cleanup.
Trash bagparticularly one with handles can be tied to a tree limb, or clothesline off the ground. For handling of waste in backcountry see Leave no trace.
Insect repellentparticularly one that has DEET.
Sunscreenfor protecting the skin.
Personal careproducts and towel
Coolerto store perishables and beverages. If electricity is available, a thermoelectricityor sterling engineheat transfer cooler can be used without the need for ice.
Beveragesor portable water filterfor areas that have access to rivers or lakes.
*Campers at modern campgrounds will normally bring perishable foods in coolers while backcountry campers will bring non-perishable foods such
dried fruits, nuts, jerky, and MREs.
*A tripod chained grill,
Dutch oven, or La Cotta clay pot can be used for cooking on a campfire. A portable stovecan be used where campfires are forbidden or impractical. If using a campground with electricity an electric an frying panor slow cookercan be used.
Backpackers use lightweight and portable equipment. [ [http://www.ecampguide.com/tenttips.php Tent Camping Tips] ]
Many campers enjoy socializing with a small group of fellow
campers. Such groups will arrange events throughout the year to allow members with similar interests or from similar geographical areas to get together. This allows familiesto form small close knit societies, and children form lasting friendships. In states such as Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, and Colorado children, under the age of 18, do not need adult supervision in order to enjoy nature, as long as the camp is in designated recreational or camp areas. However in some states such as Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Georgia many people can not camp until the age of 21 without a proper camping permit. There are two large organisations in the UK who facilitate this sort of camping: the Caravan Cluband the Camping and Caravanning Club.
In more recent years, those who camp alone have been able to share their experiences with other campers, through
blogsand online social networking.
* [http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/ByRegionLanding.aspx?id=37039 Department of Conservation (New Zealand)] - Conservation campsites by region
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