Whether you prefer rustic camping in a tent or love a luxurious glamping getaway, camping is a great way to connect with the great outdoors and experience it on a personal level in so many ways.
Setting up a tent is one way to get as close to nature as possible and have shelter, too. Whether going solo, with friends or family, camping in a tent is easy and fun and helps kids and adults get outdoors, connect to nature and put down their screens for a while!
Tents come in all types, sizes and weights to accommodate families, backpackers, kayak campers and more. Our partner, Johnson Outdoors, and their camping brand, Eureka! have a handy Tent Finder that can help you determine what type of tent best suits your needs and what features matter most.
Research your camping area beforehand for any possible risks and pay attention to park rules, signage or park ranger instructions.
Make sure your tent, gear and clothing are appropriate for the weather/time of year conditions.
A quality sleeping bag can help keep you warm or cool depending on camping conditions plus provides an additional cushion effect.
Depending on how much you pack, consider a sleeping pad as extra insulation between you and the ground.
Consider a “tent floor” that goes inside the tent to protect it from wear and tear and to add an extra cushion layer.
Use a “tent footprint” under the tent to protect it from dirt, rocks, twigs or other natural objects on the ground.
Spending the night in a tent is a traditional part of many camping experiences, but it’s not the only way to enjoy the great outdoors. Glamping is another way to camp, but it gives you the best of both worlds: outdoor adventures with indoor sleeping conditions.
Glamping is the perfect way to enjoy the simple wonders of nature and indulge in a little luxury, all in the same trip. It isn’t dependent on the season, so any time may be just right for glamping!
Camper vans and recreational vehicles, or RVs for short, are allowed in many campgrounds. RVs are spacious and often equipped with places to cook, sleep, and relax. Many are ultra-luxurious and have all the amenities of home including high-end cooking stoves, bathrooms, living areas and more!
Due to their large size, some RVs tow a small car to make it easy to venture outside of the campsite if desired. Camper vans are much smaller and more compact. They are easier to maneuver and usually don’t take up large parking spaces.
Tips: Check the rules for your destination—not all campsites allow RVs due to their size. If the cost of owning an RV or camper van has your eyes bulging, consider renting through a service such as Outdoorsy or RVshare.
Travel trailers are a lot like RVs, but they require a separate vehicle, like a pickup truck, to pull them. Similarly, truck campers fit inside the flatbed of a pickup truck. Travel trailers have plenty of room for activities, and they can be equipped with amenities similar to RVs, like running water, electricity, and beds.
Tips: Similar to camper vans, truck campers are typically small, so they’re ideal for 1-2 campers. Driving with a trailer attached to your vehicle can be cumbersome, so take a little extra care while on the road.
A recent trend on the glamping scene is the geodesic dome, or geo dome. The dome is a made up of straight lines that intersect to form triangles. This pattern distributes stress evenly across the dome, making the structure incredibly strong while staying light on materials.
Tips: You can buy and bring your own dome from a growing variety of retailers, or search for a pre-installed dome to rent at your destination. Rentals are often equipped with furniture and extra amenities.
Many campgrounds rent out cabins or lodges on site. With your main living space all set up, you’re free to spend more time and energy doing what you came to do: exploring the great outdoors around you. Cabins offer greater shelter from the elements than traditional tents, but they can still be minimal if you’re intent on “roughing it” a bit.
Tips: Cabin and lodging in certain campsites can book up quickly, especially in the summer and fall. Make your reservations early to guarantee you get a spot.
Originally used by nomads in central Asia, yurts have become a popular way to upgrade camping. Yurts are large, round tents that use a specific framework based on tension and compression to hold their form. They range in size from an office to a small family home. They have low ecological footprints and can provide a stable shelter for long periods of time.
Tips: If you're buying and bringing your own yurt, plan to spend a day or two setting it up properly, especially if you want to include amenities like heating and plumbing.
Adapted from "Think Outside the Tent: Different Ways to Camp" by Abby Barber
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