Now I know what you are telling yourself…..I would really like to camp, it looks fun but I have no idea how to camp, what to bring or what to expect. There are a few things that you really have to determine before you can figure out what you need to do to get ready for your camping trip. Answering the following basic questions will guide you to finding your footing.
1. What type of camping have you decided to do? Did you want to RV camp? Camper/Trailer camp? Tent camp? Backpack/Hike camp? Canoe/kayak camp?
Determining the type of camping you want to do can aid you in what sort of equipment and expertise is needed. For example, you would need a vastly different sort of equipment for RV camping versus hiking camping.
RV Camping (or recreational vehicle camping) is most like living at home because you bring a furnished vehicle that you basically live in with you. You can make your RV just as comfy as you like. Everything that you need from home can most likely be brought with you in your RV. All you really need to think about are what foods and personal items you would like to stock it with. This type of camping is generally for the people who do not like to “rough it” but also might like to be social since many times RV are parked fairly near each other or in similar sections. Though there are some normal maintenance items with RVs, you basically park them and live in them.
Camper or Trailer camping is just a step more rugged than RV camping. Many times campers or trailers do not have showers or toilets, unlike most RVs. Depending on the camper or trailer, a refrigerator may not be included either. Generally, camper or trailer camping is more for people who do not like to sleep on the ground or worry about severe weather but still want to get out there.
Tent camping is generally more for people who would like to “rough it.” Tent camping requires you to think about all of your basic needs ahead of time (food, hygiene, restroom requirements, shelter, seeing at night, warmth). There are actually varying levels of tent camping as well. Some people like to bring a tent and shop for all of their needs while others like to camp in more remote areas away from people. Packing for a tent camping trip can be time consuming because you have to think of everything you might need.
If you have ever driven through a campground and seen families having great fun camping together and thought, “that looks that a great family activity”, you are right! Camping is one of the most wholesome, fun, affordable and bonding experiences a family can get into. But if you have driven along looking at all the equipment and skills needed to learn camp and thought, “I can never learn to do all of that”, you are wrong. It really isn’t that hard to learn to camp and every step along the way is lots of fun for everyone.
So how do you get started learning to camp? There is no question that there is some equipment involved and learning to set up a camp, use your gear to enjoy a night of eating and sleeping in the open spaces and then get home safe and sound requires a bit of a learning curve. For many parents that want to start camping to give their children those experiences, the idea of buying all that equipment is intimidating. And you don’t want to get the wrong equipment and then have to buy it all over again. Those kinds of mistakes can kill your enthusiasm for expanding your camping hobby into a passion for camping.