Camping Defined

CampingLakeThere are several kinds of camping available. Listed from most to least “civilized”, they include:

  • Cabin or fixed tent camping: Drive up or ride (horse or shuttle) to a building with wooden or fabric walls that contains built-in beds. Sometimes comes with linens, scheduled meals, and access to “civilized” recreation like a pool.
  • RV & Travel Complex (Car) Camping: This is what KOA and a lot of RV-centric campsites are known for. You can drive up to your campsite and pitch a tent, then walk a few feet away to do your laundry, swim in a pool, or buy ice cream.
  • Developed Campsite (Car) Camping: This is what most people consider car camping. Drive up to your campsite and pitch a tent, but commerce in the park is limited to the sales of firewood or maps. Many of these have hot showers (for quarters) and nice bathrooms, as well as movies and fireside activities in a campground amphitheatre in the high season. An added bonus are trash cans so you can discard of your waste as often as you would like. Water is available through a tap.
  • Environmental Campsite Camping: This is Developed Campsite Camping minus several of the perks. Bathrooms are the bare minimum (pit toilets) and there may be no trash cans or running (tap) water. You may or may not be able to drive to your campsite.
  • Primitive Campsite Camping: This is an Environmental Campsite with a little less – often no water, trash, or toilets. These sites also probably lack a picnic table, food locker, and fire pit with grill, which may occur at more developed campsites. It’s probably just a marked area for camping.
  • Hike-In Camping: This kind of camping may occur at a Developed, Environmental, or Primitive Campsite, but it is certainly not car camping. Instead of driving up to the campsite, you have to hike in, carrying all of your gear with you.
  • Backcountry (Backpacking) Camping: This kind of camping usually involves travelling to a Primitive Campsite or camping according to regional rules anywhere that suits the backpacker. Gear for water, cooking, food security, and trash handling must be brought along in the backpack, as the campsite will not contain amenities catering to these survival needs.

Making the Decision to Camp

What considerations should be addressed when camping with a baby? Read about these at Considering Baby Needs in Camping

Packing and Reservations

You’ve decided to camp, so now it’s time to put some gear together and pick your camping location.

You’ve decided to camp, so now it’s time to put some gear together and pick your camping location.


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