What is Camping, and How Do I Get Started?

What is Camping, and How Do I Get Started?
June 06, 2022

Camping is a great outdoor activity that gives the urban a break from their daily rut. If you are planning the trip for the first time, you require some reading to know some essentials and don'ts.

You don't want to make mistakes that make your family hate the word 'camping.' With a little prep and planning, it will become a favorite getaway for the family, even always uninterested teenagers.

Why Has Camping Become So Popular, and Who Is Camping?

Camping gained a lot of popularity for the experience it brings to the campers. However, there are some aspects for which camping became very popular.

  • It is very easy to plan, and not much preparation goes into the process.
  • It doesn't require a lot of budget.
  • With a little prep, planning, and knowledge – the day can become a fond memory.
  • The duration can start from a few hours to weeks depending upon the choice of campers.

Ironically, the young generation and millennials in their mid-twenties or individuals in their late forties are camping with their families and friends. They prefer this activity to get away from the urban jungle and have a break from digitalized lives.

And it does wonders to one's soul.

Connecting back to nature and resorting to basic methods to do daily things is refreshing, humbling, and gives perspectives.

Is Glamping the Same as Camping?

These two are not the same. But they can be done on the same grounds. For instance, the same camping base can be a venue for campers and glampers.

  Glamping Camping
Ground The grounds will have water and electricity facilities. Camping grounds do not have water and electricity.
RV Glampers have all their amenities inside their RV. They travel in it and use it for sleeping and accommodation. Campers prefer to go in their car parked near camps. RV is not their choice of preference.
Technology You will find tablets, phones, projectors, music, and other Campers use minimal technology. You may find the only gadget they have is their phone or power bank.
Food Glampers make it glamorous by bringing grills and making fancy meals like steaks, burgers, etc In camping you will find people bring canned foods, bread, and snacks to keep themselves full.
Sleeping Glampers need comfort in sleep. They bring their cots, inflatable mattress, or sometimes have beds installed in RV Depending on the weather, campers sleep on the ground of their camps by using blankets. If the weather is colder, they may use sleeping bags.
Restrooms Restrooms are a big defining point. Glampers will prefer to choose a location that has restrooms on-site. They also have washrooms installed in RVs with a shower facility. It is not a preference for campers. They may use on-site washrooms, otherwise, they resort to primitive methods.
Temperature Control Glampers would be seen using a heater or air-conditioning depending on the weather. It is not the case with campers. You would see they come prepared with warmer or lighter clothes depending on the weather.
WiFi They are connected to the internet using it to watch movies, use social media, and chat away with their loved ones. However, campers will hardly be using any devices. They may keep their phone in case need to contact in case of emergency or occasional catch-up.
Furniture For galloping you may need some furniture like chairs, a table, and a cot. For camping, there is no requirement of furniture. The maximum a camper would bring is a sleeping bag.

Parents of toddlers and teenagers prefer glamping mostly. It gives them a healthy balance between nature and their routine of using gadgets. Moreover, toddlers require their routine things as they have no understanding of change which may distress them.

What is RV Camping?

If you are planning an extensive trip that evolves traveling across many states or camping for many days, then RV camping is a great option. Also, if you are traveling with family, RV camping can make plenty of things easier for children and toddlers.

It is like an extension of the home and other facilities you may have when you are on the road. You will have the comfort to heat food, shower, and have a comfortable space to sleep.

Moreover, with RV camping, you have the luxury of stopping at various spots and charging the batteries in the RV that help run various appliances in it.

It makes having any spontaneous stops on scenic sides possible. For example, imagine you are on the road near the sea, and it is time for the sun to set. You can park your RV, pull out the chairs, enjoy the sunset, take a break from driving, and enjoy some snacks and coffee by the sea.

You can make breakfast and make various meals if you are on the road for days. Since you also have the fridge in RV, you can keep restocking groceries and making food.

Even If I Don't Need an RV, What Should I Bring on a Camping Trip?

Camping can be fun if you come prepared. Depending on the size of the family or members on a camping trip, you can pack to make sure you are ready for essentials.

  • First, you need to sort out how you are going to camp. Either you are using a tent or if there are setups on-site. The next important thing to check is the weather. It is best practice to check the weather for all the spots you plan to visit.
  • As per the forecast, you can pack light or warm clothes. Moreover, if there are chances of rain, you will be forewarned and pack accordingly.
  • Next, remember to pack some camping chairs and a table. They are different from the ones you use at home. Camping chairs are foldable, lightweight, and easy to move around. The chairs make your camping experience more fun as you can set up campfires, sit around, and toast marshmallows. Campfires also invoke some heart-to-heart time, stories, games, and charades.
  • Depending on the duration and weather canopy is an excellent investment for the trip. The canopy will enable you to keep the firewood dry. You can also pull up the canopy to make shade if it gets very sunny.
  • When planning for camping, some food items are must buy. Remember to buy hotdogs, marshmallows, canned food, tea or coffee, eggs, and bread.
  • For utensils, pot, pan, ladle, knife, and kettle. Besides using plates and cutlery, you can also use paper plates and cutlery to dispose of after use. Also, since you are saving water for other uses on camping, you can end up saving water if not washing dishes.

Besides these essentials, remember to pack a proper first aid kit, medicines for campers with special conditions or allergies, tissues, wipes, personal toiletries, clothes, towels, etc.

How Do I Select a Good Campsite?

It may not seem important, but camping sites are extremely important. So here are some deliberations to ensure it is smooth sailing for you.

1. Ground

The spot you look for camping must be level. A slightly sloping ground may elevate your head or legs when sleeping. It may be appealing for individuals with allergies to slightly elevated heads, especially those with sinusitis.

Otherwise, sleeping on slopping or unlevelled grounds can be extremely uncomfortable. Even after you put the sleeping bed or blanket on the tent floor. It is the last thing to have a distressed sleep when camping.

However, don't expect to have a sleep that you get on your bed at home. There may be some level of discomfort when camping. But generally, people enjoy sleeping in tents after a long day of hiking and camping under the sky.

2. Drainage

If you are sleeping in an RV or putting up a hammock, it may not matter much. But if you are setting up a camp, drainage may be a problem. The ground where you plan to set up a tent needs a little attention.

For instance, check if the clearing where you are setting up the tent, it is not forming a basin for slops for surrounding areas. As the night falls, the precipitation may form puddles under your tent.

Making some moat or canal around the tent is a great hack to avoid any perception soaking the tent.

3. Campsite

When camping with children, look for a campsite that is a common camping space frequented by campers. Going to a deserted or unexplored camping space with children is not safe.

In the wild, you cannot control what kind of animals come out at night – beware of signs near the camping sites.

Many wood clearing and sites near woods have signs that say beware of wild animals, don't take those signs lightly or anticipate it will be an adventure. With bears, snakes, and wild boars, things can go all shades of wrong, even when equipped with firearms.

4. Season and Shade

Observe the grounds as you reach; look at sunrays land during the days. Set the tent near trees or shades if the weather is sunny and warm. You don't want to have a very warm tent in the morning.

Suppose the weather is less sunny; camp in a way you take full advantage of the sun. What fun is it if you are under the sky and do not take the fun exposure of Vitamin D?

5. Proximity

If the camping ground is crowded, look around and set the tent smartly. You will do yourself a service if you tent up away from bathrooms.

You may think it's wise to set a tent near the bathroom for kids, but it has its consequences. Every time any camper goes to the loo, you will hear the door all night. It is just like getting the bulkhead seat near the lavatory in an airplane.

6. Activities

If you are camping with children, look for a site with activities for children. Besides hiking, you can plan many activities like water games, tug of war, tree climbing, and creeks.

If the camping site has any water bodies, it will add a lot of fun to your adventure.

7. Trees

When setting up the tent, look around if you see any weary trees. If the strong winds blow or there are unexpected sandstorm, trees or distressed branches may fall—similarly, those who plan to set up a hammock pay close attention to the tree's health.

How Do I Select a Good RV Park?

When looking for RV Park, look for one of these options as mandatory:

  • Spacious area
  • RVs are parked with some space between each other
  • Bathroom and shower facility
  • Facilities like fire pits and firewood
  • A store with all necessities like groceries
  • Mini laundromat
  • Swimming pools
  • Playgrounds
  • Pet-friendly

How Do I Keep the Kids Engaged on a Camping Trip?

When planning a camping trip with children, invest some time in researching space. A great camping site will have one of these activities for children.

  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Trail Running
  • Kayaking or boating
  • Fishing
  • Water sports
  • Horseback riding
  • Bird watching
  • Biking

Not every site has bird watching or horseback riding, but if you have one or two of the activities mentioned above, you are in for some fun time.

Also, pack all board and card games. You never know; you may get your phone engrossed in teens and also involved in some activities. But remember, it is not justified to force anything on them. If they see others having fun, they will naturally join in.

Parting Wisdom about Camping for Beginners

Camping is a fun activity, but it should not cause any impact on the area. Make sure your stay doesn't harm any surroundings or nature.

When packing, check the area thoroughly and ensure you are not leaving behind any garbage. Also, be mindful of the disposable material you are using. Try not to use any product that is not going to decompose and stay on earth for five decades.

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