When you think about camping, does your mind automatically think of a tent and a fire? Or is it more of an RV in a campground? Do you have arguments of whether or not your way of “sleeping outside” is actually camping? Well, opinions of all kinds obviously exist, but it’s true: camping exists in many forms. So whether you’re a newbie to camping and you don’t know where to start, or you’re a seasoned pro looking for inspiration, here are some kinds of camping to get you started on your next getaway.
To accomplish this kind of outdoor adventure, you generally have to go somewhere inaccessible from roads. It can be a mile away from the trailhead, or somewhere in the middle of a mountain range during a weeklong trek. The point is, you’re away from civilization. You pack in what you can carry, are never without a Swiss Army Knife, and (hopefully) pack out all of your waste and leave everything looking as good (or better) than when you came.
Good for: More experienced campers with a great sense of direction and excellent organization skills.
Bad for: Ill-equipped, inexperienced campers and people who absolutely require a traditional bathroom.
You don’t have any pack size restrictions so you can splurge a little on what you bring with you. It can also be nice if you are prone to forgetfulness and will very likely need to make a stop or two in a nearby town for supplies and extra marshmallows.
Good for: Less intense camping trips, newer campers, families.
Bad for: Those without a car.
Campgrounds are organized areas that rent out spaces nightly or weekly. Often times, this can be a great alternative to a hotel because you (hopefully) know that you don’t have bed bugs. Also, a lot of campgrounds offer sweet amenities like swimming pools and more.
Good for: Road trips, RV campers, people who like to have a bathroom handy and the luxury of a nearby vehicle.
Bad for: People who hate RV’s, the sounds of other people camping, and the smell of communal bathrooms.
Cliff Camping: Can you imagine climbing to a ridiculous height on a vertical rock wall to catch some z’s? Well for some, this is the norm. This hardcore camping can be pretty dangerous, so we’ll leave that one to the pro’s.
Good for: Adrenaline junkies, rock climbers, and people who genuinely enjoy shivering themselves to sleep at night.
Bad for: Those with height phobias, and actually, most other people. This kind of camping is not for the faint of heart, or the curious camper.
Hammock Camping: If you have your heart set on camping off the ground, but aren’t quite ready for cliff camping, this is for you. Or if you have dream of enlikening yourself to Mowgli from The Jungle Book as much as possible (am I the only one here?). There are incredible technologies available to hang your hat up in the wilderness, and it actually can prove to squish down to a very light, compact camping kit.
Good for: Ultralite backpackers, back sleepers, hardcore campers.
Bad for: People who roll around a lot in their sleep, stomach sleepers.
Bivy Camping: Imagine sleeping in a bag, in your sleeping bag. A bivy is a lightweight alternative to a tent, that provides basic shelter. Don’t try to share this though, unless you are ready to get REALLY comfy with your camping partner.
Good for: Ultralite backpackers
Bad for: Those prone to claustrophobia, romantic camping trips.
Glamping: Alright, so this one has a funny name, but think of it this way: glamorous camping. One might ask, “can it really be called camping if you hang up expensive artwork in your tent to increase the ambiance and you use air fresheners to get rid of that pesky natural pine tree smell?” This camping is the least in touch with nature possible, when all the luxuries of life are brought out with you.
Good for: People who don’t like nature, but for some reason still want to go camping
Bad for: Hardcore campers, people who like to feel the dirt between their toes. (but honestly, a little bit of glamping isn’t bad once in a while. Give it a try.)
Cowboy Camping: Do you think that cowboys in the old Wild West took time outta their busy day of cattle prodding, bad guy shooting, and lady courting to pitch a tent? Heck no! And the traditions still continue today for some campers. Cowboy camping is when you sleep on the bare ground with no tent.
Good for: Exhausted hikers on a long trek, those who like to look at the stars.
Bad for: Those who, like me, would be a night long buffet to blood sucking mosquitoes and other bugs without any protection.