There are different types of camping, not all require a tent.
There are different types of camping, not all require a tent.

Camping can be a general world used to describe a great many types of sub-categories that people refer to as ‘camping’.  Let’s take a look at some of the more popular types of camping.  Perhaps you have experienced many of these, or maybe you are new to camping and looking to try one out.

What Are The Different Types Of Camping?

Campground Camping:  This is probably the most common form of camping that comes to mind when people think about camping.  Heading for a State or Federal Park, or even a private campground and pitching a tent in an assigned campsite.  Usually each site has a place to setup a couple tents, a picnic table, and a fire ring.  Other designated sites are close, and may contain other people doing pretty much the same thing.  Some campgrounds are isolated and surrounded by woods or on bodies of water.  Others may be wide open spaces.  Most campgrounds have services such as fresh water pumps, public showers and bathrooms, and trash dumping locations.

Car Camping:  Some people just starting out in camping don’t have all the gear, such as tents and sleeping bags.  So they go to campgrounds but sleep in their cars using blankets and pillows and household items.  It’s a great way to get a less expensive introduction to camping.  But it’s not just for people who don’t have gear.  I have car camped a few times in remote locations depending on the circumstances.

Overlanding:  I am new to this one… it’s not so much the destination as it is the journey.  Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel through and to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.

RV Camping:  Some people own pop up campers, pull behind trailer campers, or RVs.  They usually get used inside campgrounds both government owned and private.  Some campsites have electrical hookups for RV campers.  Not everybody wants to sleep in a tent or in a hammock out in the elements.  They feel more comfortable inside a more stable structure, but still want to experience the outdoors.  RV Campers have more comfort and conveniences.

Backpack/Hiking Camping:  There are many great hiking trails most anywhere you go.  Many of them allow camping along the trails.  Some hiking trails have designated camping sites they prefer hikers to use.  Some do not.  Backpack camping is done by people who like to hit the trails and walk while seeing new sites.  They carry all their camping gear, usually lightweight gear, and their food in their backpacks and hit those trails.  Everything they need to survive along the trail is in their backpack; extra clothes, shelter, water, food, cooking stoves, etc… etc….  A well know hiking trail in the United States is the Appalachian Trail, which is 2,185 miles long through fourteen states.

Dispersed Camping:  This one is similar to backpack camping.  This is a general term used to camping anywhere inside a National Forest that is outside of designated camping areas.  Dispersed camping means no services like trash removal and use of campground facilities.  Usually dispersed camping requires hiking away from designates sites.

Bushcraft CampingBushcrafting has become more popular the past decade.  If you like the idea of sleeping on the ground with a blanket next to a fire and a tarp overhead, cooking all your meals over an open fire, starting that fire with a flint and steel or by friction (rubbing sticks together), and splitting firewood with a knife ( called battoning), then start learning bushcrafting.  This type of camping uses little to no luxuries and relies on older world skills like the fur trappers and mountain men used back when America was young and unexplored.  If you want to learn more about wilderness survival and developing such skills needed to not only survive, but thrive, then bushcrafting may be for you.

Make a fire without a modern means of producing flame - A key bushcraft skill.
Make a fire without a modern means of producing flame – A key bushcraft skill.

Canoe Tripping:  A prime example of canoe trip camping is what takes place in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota.  Imagine remote wilderness camping where you load up a canoe with your camping gear and head out into the wilds, paddling from lake to lake, far away from roads and other people.  Pulling up on a land someplace on a lake and setting up camp, cooking meals over a fire, hanging your food from a backpack high in a tree so bears can’t get to it, collecting fire wood and cutting it to size, fishing on crystal clear lakes for trout and walleye, listening to loon calls carried by the wind…  You are surrounded by dense forest, and all alone.  Canoe tripping is one of my favorite forms of camping.

Camping is a way to get away from the house to go be around nature.  Surround yourself with some trees, fresh air, flowing rivers and babbling brooks, watch wildlife, cook over a fire, spend time with family – or go alone.  It’s a great way to replenish the soul.

New To Camping – It’s Easy To Get Started!

Getting started in camping is easy to do.  If you have no gear you can go car camping at a local campground.  Load up some basic supplies from your kitchen, a few blankets, some pillows, and go reserve yourself a campsite for the night.

You can't see something like this in the city. Get outdoors, go camping!
You can’t see something like this in the city. Get outdoors, go camping!

You can usually buy firewood at most campgrounds.  Make yourself a fire and cook a meal.  Cook some hotdogs over the fire.  Roast some marshmallows.  Walk a few trails in the campground.  Make sure to dress for the occasion, hot or cold, and bring a swimsuit if there is a lake or river present.  And bring some bug repellent.

If you have a good time car camping you may want to take the next step towards buying some actual camping gear.  A tent is a good place to start.

Future blog posts on this website about camping will hit on all of the above mentioned methods of camping.  Be sure to check back now and then for something new!