Camping is an outdoor recreational activity.

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 vehicle travelers 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, barbecue grills, 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 sewer and electricity. For more on facilities, see the campsite and RV park articles.

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, showers and home theatre systems. In the United States, Canada and 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 animals and even bush planes, although backpacking is 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").

Mobile camping

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 camping is 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 touring combines 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.

Motorcycle camping 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.

pecialized camping

Survivalist campers 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 snow on 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.

Workamping allows 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 bag and 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

Camping equipment includes:
* First aid kit
* Tent, lean-to to act as a shelter.
* Hammer to drive tent stakes into soil.
* Sleeping bag and/or blankets for warmth.
* Sleeping pad or air mattress is placed underneath the sleeping bag for cushioning from stones and twigs as well as for insulation from the ground.
* Lantern or flashlight
* Hatchet, axe or saw for cutting firewood for a campfire.
*Fire starter or other ignition device for starting a campfire.
* Folding chairs for placement around campfire.
* Ropes for stringing clothes line and for securing the shelter.
*Tarp for adding additional layer of storm protection to a tent, and to shelter dining areas.
*Hiking boot
* Chuck box to hold camp kitchen items for food preparation, consumption and cleanup.
* Trash bag particularly 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 repellent particularly one that has DEET.
*Sunscreen for protecting the skin.
*Personal care products and towel
*Cooler to store perishables and beverages. If electricity is available, a thermoelectricity or sterling engine heat transfer cooler can be used without the need for ice.
*Beverages or portable water filter for 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 stove can be used where campfires are forbidden or impractical. If using a campground with electricity an electric an frying pan or slow cooker can be used.

Backpackers use lightweight and portable equipment. [ [ Tent Camping Tips] ]

ocial camping

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 families to 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 Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club.

In more recent years, those who camp alone have been able to share their experiences with other campers, through blogs and online social networking.

ee also

* Campsite
* Camping coach
* Campfire
* Caravan parks
* Survival skills
* Wilderness diarrhea


External links

* [ Department of Conservation (New Zealand)] - Conservation campsites by region

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