There are different kinds of camping for different kinds of people, all of which require various levels of preparedness and outdoors skills. Whether you hope to escape deep into the wild or seek a luxurious shelter in the woods, here are three different types of camping and what is required for each:
Hike-in camping (aka backpacking) is the most rugged form of camping, as it requires thorough preparation and a self-sufficient attitude. This is the form of camping that will take you furthest off the grid. Hike-in backpacking gives you greater opportunity to see wildlife, be surrounded by wilderness and test your physical and mental endurance.
Cost. The cost of backpacking should be approached as an investment. The gear required to support yourself on a multi-day hiking and camping trip will cost a few thousand dollars — but once you have the essentials, the cost of an impromptu camping adventure will be nearly free.
Supplies. The gear you will need for hike-in camping includes hiking boots, tent and tent tarp, backpack, portable camping stove, outdoor apparel, and headlamp. Make sure you have a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, as they serve as your main form of transportation. You don’t want to end up stranded with unwalkable shoes in the middle of the mountains. And don't forget a water purifier.
Give it a shot. The Pacific Crest Trail runs from Mexico to Canada, winding through many mountain ranges including the Cascades. This trail provides a slew of wonderful hike-in camping spots and is one of the most beautiful trails in North America.
The term “car camping” refers to driving your car to the campsite. This type of camping still involves sleeping in a tent and using a campfire or camp stove for cooking food. Car camping is popular among families whose children may not be able to hike long distances with a pack.
Cost. Generally, a campsite costs around $20-30 per night. Shower and other campground facilities may be coin-operated. Car camping gear can run about the same cost as hike-in camping gear, minus the costs of hiking shoes and a backpack.
Supplies. It is helpful to have a camp stove and camp cookware, so you can make a wide variety of meals while you’re at your campsite. Bring along an all-in-one serving bowl and utensil set for convenience. Bring appropriate headwear to protect you from the cold or bright sunlight, and don't forget the bug spray.
Give it a shot. There are hundreds of national and state parks with campgrounds throughout the United States. Check out Recreation.gov for more information on federal parks.
Glamping is short for “glamorous camping.” This luxury camping incorporates high-end accommodations and services in secluded, natural surroundings. This has become an increasingly popular way for outdoor enjoyment, especially among women, as many desert spas and rustic vineyards offer quaint yet comfortable cabins for their vacation stays.
Cost. Glamping accommodations range from $100-$1,000 per night.
Supplies. Limited supplies are needed for this sort of camping, other than your clothing and any desired food you’d like to bring along. If you plan to venture out for a hike, bring appropriate apparel, shoes and a compass.
Give it a shot. Ridgeback Lodge features Dream Domes, which have sweeping bay windows and a Japanese hot tub within the wild wilderness of New Brunswick, Canada. Glen Oaks Big Sur in California is a popular glamping destination located in an impeccably designed mid-century lodge.