. . .but not in that particular order! Who Camps And Why: I believe that camping is for everyone. Why? Because of the very reason why pe…
. . .but not in that particular order!
Who Camps And Why:
I believe that camping is for everyone. Why? Because of the very reason why people camp. . . because it is fun. We camp for the love of it. We camp for the joy of it. Joy is reason enough to do any activity and joy is at the heart of camping. Don’t think of camping as “getting away from it all” but rather as an avenue to bring stillness, peace, relaxation, freedom, and pure fun into your life. . . and hopefully all these wonders will spread into every aspect of your life.
How To Camp:
Of course preference comes into play with camping. Don’t deny your preference, it is as distinctive and important as your fingerprint. If you like to rough it, well, rough it. If you enjoy modern convenience and comfort, you certainly don’t have to give that up to enjoy nature. Perhaps you are a middle of the road kind of camper, well, there is a camping style suited perfectly for you too. Maybe you like to merge all types of camping into your experience. There is no reason not to buy a caravan, drive to great spots all over the country, pack up your backpack, and hike to a secluded area out in the wild. Having options are part of the wonderful nature of life! Here are some of your options (please add your own too):
Minimalist camping. So, you want to see if you can survive in the wild with as little as possible–trusting nature and your wits to take care of you? Well, here are some great resources to prepare for your adventure (preparation and lots of knowledge are key!):
- Survivalistboards.com–This site is going to give you more than just information on surviving in the wild, so take some time and browse. They have a great review section letting you know about the best camping gear. Check out their Hiking, Camping, and Wilderness Survival forum as well as their DIY thread. Join in the discussion to add your own advice and experiences.
- Sectionhiker.com–This website is a wealth of outdoor activity information for beginners to experts. The information you will find here is from life experience. Side note, be sure to check out their video on How to Hang a Bear Bag (under Techniques category)–its informative, but most importantly, it is hilarious.
- Backpacking101–Get all the “essential wisdom” you will need for your adventure from safety advice to gear lists and more at Backpacker.com.
Backpacking. Ok, this does have some similarities to minimalist camping, but not always. I’ve gone backpacking where a 12 pack attached to everyone’s pack was considered a bare necessity. Backpacking is a great way to get a exhilarating hike in before setting up camp for the night. You will feel great knowing that all you need is right there on your back. Check out these great resources before your next backpacking adventure:
- Backpacker.com–Learn all the basics of backpacking and camping, find the perfect backpacking gear for you, find a hike near you, ask an expert about your outdoor activity concerns, and even learn how to take pictures like a pro here at Backpacker Magazine’s website. Don’t forget to check out the Backpacking101 page–crucial information, indeed!
- PracticalBackpacking.com–Become a member (it’s free) of this wonderful backpacking resource. Their forums and podcasts are invaluable.
Car Camping. This type of camping is perfect for people who want to enjoy the outdoors, but still have the peace of mind of having their car readily available. With car camping, anytime you want or need to leave just simply pack up your car (that is within a few feet of your campsite) and hit the road. This is different from backpacking or minimalist camping where the camper usually hikes into the woods a few miles (away from all vehicular transportation) to their campsite. Car camping is also a great alternative for those of us who love to camp but don’t have the physicality to backpack or don’t enjoy long hikes that include carrying camping equipment. It is also great for families as a hike may be too burdensome for small children.
- Forestcamping.com–This National Forest Community website is not only a great way to find out what all our beautiful National Forest’s have to offer, but is also the perfect place to talk to other forest lovers. Check out their forum on car camping.
- RoadtripAmerica.com–Roadtrip America is a great resource for traveling and camping information. Check out their forum where you will find a terrific thread on car camping gear lists. Plan your next roadtrip here too!
RV Camping. So, you love to get out and see nature but prefer to have all the comforts of home by your side? Well, then, camping with a recreational vehicle is for you. You can still choose to venture out of your house on wheels and camp out in a tent or hammock or go for a day hike if you wish. With an RV parked at a beautiful campground, every option is right there waiting for you.
- Freecampgrounds.com—Click on the map to find free (or nearly free) campgrounds for RV’s. The site also provides detailed information of each campground as well as comments from Rvers who have camped at the site.
- Gormanstories.com—A true education can be found here in the real-life adventures of an Rving couple. Heck, even if you don’t plan to go on a great RV trip, read it anyway—this blog is informative and simply a delight to read.
- FMCA.com—This motor coach community is the perfect place for RV owners to gather and, well, communicate. Membership is $50 a year with a ton a benefits including discounts on fuel, campgrounds, insurance and more. You will also be able to attend conventions and have access to tons of motor home and traveling information. Check out FMCA’s forums (for free) to join in the discussion of just about every RV topic you can think of.
What To Take:
Knowing what to take on your camping trip is crucial. Camping supplies will make or break your camping adventure and in the worse case scenario, not having a particular item (such as a first aid kit, compass, water filter system etc) could stand in the way of you making it home safely.
Always make a check list before each camping trip. Even if you have gone camping 1,000 times does not mean you are immune to mistakes or oversights. Go down your list and check off each item one by one. Always remember your water and water purification system!
Here are some great camping supply checklists:
- w-o-w.com—Find out what kind of camper you are here and then follow the checklist. An addition to this list might be that some campers prefer a headlamp to a flashlight and a hammock with tarp to a tent.
- HowToCampingTips.com—This site has every type of camping checklist you can imagine from a pets checklist to the crucial first-aid checklist.
- Survivalistboards.com—Heres how the survivalist’s do it!
Where To Buy Your Camping Supplies:
- Maxpedition.com—Looking for a backpack that really knows how to do its job? Well, this is the place to shop. Check out reviews at YouTube.com
- REI.com—Purchase all your outdoor and adventure supplies here and visit the Expert Advice section to expand your outdoor education.
- Pawnshoplistings.com—Don’t forget to check out your local pawn shop for some great deals.
Where To Camp:
Don’t limit yourself when it comes to camping (or anything else for that matter)–your very own backyard can be just as fun a campsite as any—attitude is everything! Check out these websites for some great ideas:
- GORP.com—Easily find a park near you to camp, hike, bike, climb, sail, etc. Also, get maps for scenic drives; find out what gear you will need according to where you are going and what activities you will be engaging in; and educate yourself with their wealth of informative articles.
- Sunset.com—Find the best places in the west to camp. Also, get insider tips, prices, and discover which activities are best for the area.
- Jimscampingforums.com—A perfect place for RV campers to discuss good campgrounds as well as bad campgrounds. . .and those aren’t the only discussions going on, be sure to browse this site to gain information from real-life campers.
- NPS.gov—Find any National Park and all its particulars. This site is an invaluable tool for those of you wanting to camp in the most beautiful areas in the U.S.
When To Camp:
Anytime! But, weather is an important factor for camping, so get ready.
Find out the weather for your campground at Weather.com and check out the Outdoor Activities category for detailed and important information about your destination.
- Scoutingdigest.com—Learn cold weather camping basics here. Great information!
- Allcampgrounds.com—Learn how to keep your campsite cool and refreshing in the heat.
- Howstuffworks.com—If severe weather hits while you are camping, you will need to know what actions to take. Find them out here.