Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter, such as a tent or a recreational vehicle like an RV or camper
The history of recreational camping is often traced back to Thomas Hiram Holding , a British travelling tailor, but it was actually first popularized in the UK on the river Thames.
In the US, camping may be traced to William Henry Harrison Murray 1869 publication of Camp-Life in the Adirondacks resulting in a flood of visitors to the Adirondacks that summer. The International Federation of Camping Clubs was founded in 1932 with national clubs from all over the world affiliating with it.
There are different types camping that may be named after their form of transportation, such as with Canoe camping , car camping, RVing , glamping, and backpacking, which can involve ultralight gear. In the last few years bicycle camping has also been on the rise. This is usually done in groups where each rider brings something different on the ride.
There are some things that campers need to have a successful camping trip.
A quality tent or something that will provide good shelter. Of course you need a good space to pitch your tent or tents if you have a few people in your party. You should always make sure it isn’t on a downhill slope where a sudden rain storm would fill your tent with water. (Learned that one the hard way)
There are different size tents based on how many people are using it. 1-4, 5-8,9-11, and 12+ are the most popular. If you have a pickup truck you can also get a tent that goes in the bed of the truck so you don’t have to worry about rain and other elements on the ground. Tents are also sold by season. You can get a 1 season, 3 season for 5 season tent. You will also have a choice between dome tents and cabin tents. Cabin tents usually give you more head room.
Your tent is your home away from home for a few days so you need to make sure it suites your needs. When in doubt go for an extra tent size to give yourself more room. You may also want to get a sleeping pad to put under your tent so it is more comfortable to sleep. I use an air mattress now. Double size for extra comfort. Cost me $29 at Walmart.
Food! A good choice of food to have is something that isn’t perishable or need refrigeration unless you are bringing a camper or RV. You also want to think of a food that is light especially if you are out hiking and want a snack. Granola bars are a very popular item. They can be slipped into a backpack without thought of them going bad. Dried fruits, beef jerky, and nuts are always a good idea.
Sleeping bag! You need to have some comfort in your camping area, especially after a long day or either driving or hiking. We have found that getting a cheap sleeping bag isn’t worth it in the long run. They only last once or twice and then you have to buy a new one. Might as well not skip on quality here.
Water! It is essential that you bring enough water for all campers in your party and a few extra in case you get stuck at a campsite for a few extra days due to Mother Nature. It is easy to bring extra if you are using a camper. You can get a 5 gallon jug and some smaller water bottles to fill up when going for a hike.
Bathroom facilities – Of course drinking all that water you want to make sure you have a place to go when nature calls. This isn’t an issue at most campsites because they have bathrooms nearby. Needless to say if you don’t have a place to go it isn’t a good camping experience. You shouldn’t have to worry if you are in a State Park or a National Park. They usually have a place to go. After all they don’t want you messing with the area or the natural resources.
It is a good idea to bring along your own toilet paper and a place to dispose of it if you have to. Once again if you have a camper or RV odds are you will have a bathroom with a black and grey water tank that holds your dirty water. Some parks and campsites even have their own dump station where for a few bucks you can empty out your tanks before driving home.
This isn’t the case if you are glamping though. If you are not familiar with glamping it is where you tow a small teardrop trailer behind your car that has a little place to sleep and usually a small outdoor kitchen in the rear. It has become very popular in the United States over the past few years. They are affordable and can easily be pulled with a small car and easy to back into camping sites.
Power Source – While most campsites have a source of electric you may want to have a few portable chargers to ensure you can recharge your iPhone or tablet. Our battery jumper has a few 120 volts plugs in it and we use that sometimes to charge our phones or even plug in a small fan to keep the bugs away.
Good Hiking boots – You want to be comfortable while out hiking and taking care of your feet during the day is always a good idea. I always buy quality and don’t skimp out on this.
Camping in a post Covid World.
More and more campsites and parks are using self check in features. One less thing to touch seems to be what they are going for. Most of the payments for the campsites are done online and you check in at the campsite using a QR code and your smartphone. Sometimes the QR code will be part of your online reservation.
Campsites are redesigning a bit to ensure proper social distancing is happening. This is a good thing as you don’t want to be close to the other campers anyway.
You want to make sure what you bring into the area that you are camping can also be brought out with you. Leave No Trace has a great website when it comes to this information. We believe in leaving Mother Nature the way you found it or better than you found it. If you see liter pick it up and dispose of it properly. I often check around the adjacent campsites quickly and make sure they are clean.
Most of the times around a holiday weekend like Labor day you have larger crowds and not everyone picks up after themselves.