The Joy of Camping
The joys of camping are not for everyone, but if you love the outdoors this is a home in the woods. Your temporary home is nestled in a wooded area which may include a lake, river, or creek, sounds from insects and birds are within ear range, pine and floral scents fill the air, and the sky is studded with thousands of stars.
Some campers are at home lying in their sleeping bag under the coverage of the sky. Others prefer to bed down in a tent, a camper, or a recreational vehicle.
There are three camping styles:
- Survivor - outdoor knowledge, wits, and survivor tools
- Tent - portable canvas tents for one or many
- Recreation vehicle - home conveniences on wheels
Mountain with Lake Wilderness Site
Survivor camping is man versus nature. This may be in your own back yard safe from predators and if inclement weather arrives you are close to your house for a safe haven.
Survivor camping in the great outdoors in a wooded area presents other problems. It is you working with or against nature. This type of camping is for the brave. Leave home properly dressed with very few surviving tools.
The tools may include a knife, a hatchet, flashlight, and your choice of a fire maker, a container for water, and maybe a fishing line with a hook. Your wildlife knowledge and your quick wits will help you survive for a day or week of challenging yourself.
These wilderness experiences can take place in a wooded area in your community, privately owned facilities, or national parks.
This type of camping experience has become popular because of the reality survivor television shows.
Trail Riding On Horseback
Wilderness Camping in American National Parks
Wilderness camping in our national parks is available. Visit USA.Gov and locate your state and type of park which you would like to visit.
The National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, provides a pamphlet of rules and regulations when visiting the different parks. The pamphlet is called ‘Wilderness Camping Handout’ and is available online.
Our national parks do require permits and there are fines if any rules are broken. Some parks may require reservations and limit the number of days and nights to be in these parks.
This is a sample of what can be found in the wilderness pamphlet:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of human, food, and other waste material properly
- Animal resistant food containers or hanging food
- Leave what you find
- Respect wildlife and be considerate of our visitors
- Extra food
- Extra clothing for sudden weather changes
- First aid kit
- Waterproof matches and fire starter
- Extra water
The different parks will have different rules pertaining to trail regulations, camp fires or not, bear safety, animal hunting regulations, waste materials may not be allowed to be buried in park grounds, no alcohol, etc.
Bonfire and Campers
- Play games
- Frisbee tossing
Long term hobbies or interests which develop from camping include photography, scrap booking, collecting, nature studies, and writing. When you consider the creative outcome from camping, it is exciting.
Hiking In The Great Outdoors
National parks offer opportunities for spontaneous or planned recreation or leisure activities. Meet other people and form new friendships, relax, enjoy a change of environment, or explore nature.
1. Stroll refuge trails
2. Mountain biking
3. Horse back trail riding
4. Night viewing of stars and learn about the different constellations
5. Guided hikes
6. View and photograph natural trails
7. Educational programs for children
8. Naturalist tours
9. Hunting of deer, elk, and other permitted wildlife
10. Fishing for bass, catfish, and other fishes
12. Rock climbing
13. Metal detector for finding treasures of metal or gold
14. Special events sponsored throughout the year
Cooking Meal Over Campfire
Tent camping is a form of camping which many of us have experienced. Tent camping can be accomplished by one two people, a family, or a group.
Regardless of how many people are involved there are two essential lists. One list involves equipment and supplies, and the second list are the assignment of duties especially important for large groups of campers.
The benefits of making these two lists is knowing that every piece of equipment is accounted for and the supply list will be for survival. The second list helps to strengthen weak areas of survival talent.
For example, know how to assemble the tent, how to build a fire, how to handle cooking over a campfire, and other essential survival training.
The camping experience helps an individual to build self-confidence and self-worth in their personal abilities. One can take great pride in surviving in nature's raw surroundings.
Recreation Vehicle or Trailer Camping
Most campers frown on people who camp in their cars or RV’s but for some people this is considered camping. Unlike the wilderness and the tent campers, the recreational vehicle is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room. These accommodations are like camping in your house.
There are private and national parks which welcome recreational vehicles or motor homes. and trailer campers.
Whether private or a national park there will be rules and regulations so do check before just pulling into a facility on a whim.
Many of these parks will require reservations. If you do not have a reservation you may be turned away because of no spaces available and these parks will not be able to find another location for you. You will need to do your own exploring.
Another good reason for researching the park where you want to stay is the availability of electrical, water, and sewer hookups which may or may not be available. The length of the trailer or RV will also need to be considered. There may be limited parking pads which can accommodate the vehicle.
Each state has many RV camping sites. If interested in U.S. national parks check out listings for your state at USA.gov
RVs are great to enjoy scenery on riding trips and yet have the conveniences of home. When you are ready to park at an RV site know ahead of time which locations have full hookups, parking slabs, and any other amenities such as handicap provisions, are bikes and ATVs permitted, cable, WIFI, and pet requirements which are important for family members.
Activities which can be enjoyed at these campsites include touring, backpacking, biking, bird watching, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, restaurants, rock climbing, assorted indoor and outdoor water activities, indoor gaming facilities, sport activities, and shuttle services to other entertainment sites such as local carnivals, festivals, and amusement parks.
Camping in an RV or a trailer might be considered luxury camping.