If you’re new to camping, you may not have considered the many types of camping available. Below are 4 types of camping.
Backpacking is when you carry all of the gear and supplies you need in a specialized backpack and you walk to your campsite. These specialized backpacks are made specifically for backpacking in that they are designed to properly distribute the weight to different parts of your body. They are very different from backpacks you would use for school to carry books. Here is a link to a REI article about max weight of backpacks when you go backpacking, click here. Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is an outdoor co-op that sells gear and apparel, provides outdoors advice, and rental equipment.
When I was in Boy Scouts of America, we went on overnight hikes and carried our food, outdoor sleeping bag (you could carry a tent too), and other essentials in our backpacks. It was fun at that time of my life, but now backpacking would not fit my personal needs as a dad going camping with the family. But, I’m sure there are families that are more adventurous than me and would be open to backpacking with the family.
Backpacking is a great option if you’re okay with roughing it. Once you’ve purchased all of your camping gear upfront, it’s probably one of the cheapest of the 5 types of camping.
2. Tent/Car Camping
You can pack up your car with camping gear and drive to a campground, then either sleep in your car (car camping) or set up a tent (tent camping). Tent camping is the type of camping I did as a kid with my parents. Nowadays, some campgrounds have tents that you can rent that are already set up upon arrival.
Tent/car camping allows you to bring more amenities than backpacking, like a full sized camping stove, multiple propane bottles, pots/pans, air mattress, ice chest, firewood, sports equipment/games, portable toilet, toilet tent, etc.
Tent camping is a good option if you want more of the comforts of home, but want to keep costs low. It is probably the most popular of the 5 types of camping.
3. RV Camping
There are two main categories of recreational vehicles (RV). First are motorized vehicles that have living quarters. Second are vehicles that have living quarters but no engine. They are pulled by another vehicle (like a truck or SUV).
Some common types of motorized recreational vehicles are: Class A motorhome, Class B motorhome, Class C motorhome. Some common types of recreational vehicles with no engine are: travel trailer, toy hauler, pop up and fifth wheel.
RV camping is not for everyone. It’s the most expensive type of the 5 types of camping because most people take out a loan to purchase their RV. Upside is that the loan terms are typically longer than car loan terms, usually 10-15 year terms, so the monthly payment can be low. Also, if you decide to quit camping, you can always sell your RV and recuperate some of your money.
Many people that own an RV chose this type of camping because they like to have a bed, bathroom, and shower. Some campgrounds have clean bathrooms and showers, but many don’t.
4. Hotel/House Rental Camping
Hotel/House Rental camping is where you reserve a hotel room or rent a home near campgrounds, state parks, or beaches that you plan on visiting. For some, this is the best of both worlds in that you are able to enjoy nature during the day and all of the comforts of a hotel or home at night. But, you may miss out on cooking/eating outdoors and enjoying a campfire. Some hotels and house rentals do not allow pets either.
If you’re visiting a campground for the day and not camping overnight at the campground, you’ll typically have to pay for a day pass for visiting the campground.
Hotel camping can be a good starting point for some people because it is cheaper than renting a home and usually the cancellation fees are lower if you need to cancel, but you’ll want to verify this.
If you’re new to camping, then hopefully this article has given you a good overview of 4 types of camping that you can consider and maybe try. Happy camping!