What Is Camping?
Wikipedia explains it best
Camping describes a wide 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 may be an end unto itself, but often it is done in conjunction with other activities, such as hiking, 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 the slightly sarcastic 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 very long lines (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 ability and ruggedness, and campsites are designed accordingly. Many campgrounds have sites with special facilities such as fire rings, barbecue grills, bathrooms and utilities, but not all campsites have similar levels of development. Campsites can range from a patch of dirt with a sign marking it to a level, paved pad with sewer and electricity. For more on facilities, see the campsite article. Rugged campers believe that provisions for comfort detract from the experience of being out-of-doors, but such amenities do avoid some hazards of outdoor activities.
On the side of high amenities is camping in recreational vehicles (RVs), essentially wheeled houses. Many RVs are quite luxurious, featuring air conditioning, bathrooms, kitchens, showers, satellite TV and even Internet connections. RV campers may choose these devices because they consider tent camping uncomfortable and inconvenient. In the United States, some campgrounds offer hookups where motorhomes are supplied with electricity, water and sewer services. Some retirees and self-employed people sell their homes and live nomadically in their RVs, often moving with the seasons.
Those who seek a rugged experience in the outdoors prefer to camp with only tents, or no shelter at all ("under the stars"). Tent camping commonly employs an automobile to transport equipment to an established campground (this practice is called "camping car"). Other vehicles used for camping include touring bicycles, boats, and even bush planes, although backpacking and using pack animals are popular alternatives. Tent camping attracts young families because the children tend to enjoy it, and because gear is inexpensive and rugged. 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.
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 eastern 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.
Many campers enjoy socialising 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. Some who participate in this sort of camping, feels that it brings a closer form of bonding, as members become more mutually dependant, than they would otherwise be in modern society. There are 2 large organisations in the UK who facilitate this sort of camping: the Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club. It is also possible to find online special interest groups, who cater for those with a love of a particular pastime or sport.
In more recent years, those who camp alone have been able to share their experiences more easily with a large group of fellow campers, through the use of blogs & online social networking.
States I have Camped
Last edited by ctfortner; 03-12-2008 at 06:37 AM..