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Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home with or without a shelter, such as a tent or a recreational vehicle. Typically participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment. The night (or more) spent outdoors distinguishes camping from day-tripping, picnicking, and other similarly short-term recreational activities.[ citation needed ]
Camping as a recreational activity became popular among elites in the early 20th century. With time, it grew in popularity among other socioeconomic classes. Modern campers frequent publicly owned natural resources such as national and state parks, wilderness areas, and commercial campgrounds. Camping is a key part of many youth organizations around the world, such as Scouting, which use it to teach both self-reliance and teamwork.
Camping describes a range of activities and approaches to outdoor accommodation. Survivalist campers set off with as little as possible to get by, whereas recreational vehicle travelers arrive equipped with their own electricity, heat, and patio furniture. Camping may be combined with hiking, as in backpacking, and is often enjoyed in conjunction with other outdoor activities such as canoeing, climbing, fishing, and hunting. Fastpacking involves both running and camping.
There is no universally held definition of what is and what is not camping. Just as with motels, which serve both recreational and business guests, the same campground may serve recreational campers, migrant workers, and homeless at the same time. Fundamentally, it reflects a combination of intent and the nature of activities involved. A children's summer camp with dining hall meals and bunkhouse accommodations may have "camp" in its name but fails to reflect the spirit and form of "camping" as it is broadly understood. Similarly, a homeless person's lifestyle may involve many common camping activities, such as sleeping out and preparing meals over a fire, but fails to reflect the elective nature and pursuit of spirit rejuvenation that are integral aspect of camping. Likewise, cultures with itinerant lifestyles or lack of permanent dwellings cannot be said to be "camping", it is just their way of life.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United Kingdom and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.(October 2013)
The history of recreational camping is often traced back to Thomas Hiram Holding, a British travelling tailor, but it was actually first popularised in the UK on the river Thames. By the 1880s large numbers of visitors took part in the pastime, which was connected to the late Victorian craze for pleasure boating. The early camping equipment was very heavy, so it was convenient to transport it by boat or to use craft that converted into tents.Although Thomas Hiram Holding is often seen as the father of modern camping in the UK, he was responsible for popularising a different type of camping in the early twentieth century. He experienced the activity in the wild from his youth, when he had spent much time with his parents traveling across the American prairies. Later he embarked on a cycling and camping tour with some friends across Ireland. His book on his Ireland experience, Cycle and Camp in Connemara led to the formation of the first camping group in 1901, the Association of Cycle Campers, later to become the Camping and Caravanning Club. He wrote The Campers Handbook in 1908, so that he could share his enthusiasm for the great outdoors with the world.
Possibly the first commercial camping ground in the world was Cunningham's camp, near Douglas, Isle of Man, which opened in 1894. In 1906 the Association of Cycle Campers opened its first own camping site, in Weybridge. By that time the organization had several hundred members. In 1910 the Association was merged into the National Camping Club. Although WW1 was responsible for a certain hiatus in camping activity, the association received a new lease of life after the war when Sir Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts movement) became its president.
In the US, camping may be traced to William Henry Harrison Murray 1869 publication of Camp-Life in the Adirondacks resulting in a flood of visitors to the Adirondacks that summer.
The International Federation of Camping Clubs (Federation Internationale de Camping et de Caravanning) was founded in 1932 with national clubs from all over the world affiliating with it. By the 1960s camping had become an established family holiday standard and today camp sites are ubiquitous across Europe and North America.
Different types camping may be named after their form of transportation, such as with Canoe camping, car camping, RVing, and backpacking, which can involve ultralight gear.
Camping is also labeled by lifestyle: Glamping (glamorous camping) combines camping with the luxury and amenities of a home or hotel,and has its roots are in the early 1900s European and American safaris in Africa. Workamping allows campers to trade their labor variously for discounts on campsite fees, campground utilities, and even some degree of pay. Migrant camps are formed not for recreation, but as a temporary housing arrangement. Campgrounds for custom harvesters in the United States may include room to park combines and other large farm equipment.
Another way of describing camping is by the manner of arrangement: reservation camping vs. drop camping. Campgrounds may require campers to check in with an employee or campground host prior to setting up camp, or they may allow "drop camping," where this is not required. Drop-in campsites may be free or a drop-box may be provided to accept payments on the honor system. Although drop camping is often specifically allowed by law, it may also exist in a legal grey area, such as at California's Slab City.Social media-oriented towards drop camping provides information on recent police enforcement, campsite quality, cost, and length-of-stay requirements.
This section contains instructions, advice, or how-to content .(October 2015)
The equipment used in camping varies with by intended activity. For instance, in survival camping the equipment consists of small items which have the purpose of helping the camper in providing food, heat and safety. The equipment used in this type of camping must be lightweight and it is restricted to the mandatory items. Other types of camping such as winter camping involve having specially designed equipment in terms of tents or clothing which is strong enough to protect the camper's body from the wind and cold.
Survival camping involves certain items that campers are recommended to have with them in case something goes wrong and they need to be rescued. A survival kit includes mandatory items which are small and must fit in one's pocket or which otherwise could be carried on one's person. This kit is useless in these circumstances if it is kept in the backpack that is left in camp. Such a kit should include a small metal container which can be used to heat water over a campfire, a small length of duct tape which can prove useful in many situations, and an emergency space blanket. These blankets are specially designed to occupy minimal space and are perfect for making emergency shelters, keeping the camper warm. Also because of the aluminum-like color this blanket is reflective which means it can be easily seen from an aircraft. Candle stubs are good in starting a fire as well as in warming an enclosed space. One or two band-aids are mandatory in this type of camping. Any camper, and not only the survival ones, need waterproof matches or a lighter and a large safety pin or fish hook which can be used in fishing. Rubber gloves, antiseptic wipes, tinfoil, jackknife, or halazone tablets (which purify the water) are also to be included into a survival kit. Although these seem too many items to be carried on one person, they are in fact small, lightweight and definitely useful.
Winter camping can be dangerous without respecting the basic rules when it comes to this particular activity.
The following is a list of commonly used camping equipment:
Much of the remaining needed camping equipment is commonly available in the home, including: dishes, pots, and pans; however, many people opt not to use their home items, but instead utilize equipment better tailored for camping. These amenities include heavy plastic tableware and salt and pepper shakers with tops that close in order to shelter the shakers from rain. Old kitchen gear purchased from thrift stores or garage sales may also be used in place of home items as an alternative to buying specialized (and more expensive) camping equipment. Backpackers use lightweight and portable equipment.
Campers span a broad range of age, ability, and ruggedness, and campsites are designed in many ways as well. Many campgrounds have sites with facilities such as fire rings, barbecue grills, utilities, shared bathrooms and laundry, as well as access to nearby recreational facilities, however, not all campsites have similar levels of development. Campsites can range from a patch of dirt, to a level, paved pad with sewer and electricity with many public and private campgrounds also offering cabin options.(For more information on facilities, see the campsite and RV park articles.)
Other vehicles used for camping include motorcycles, touring bicycles, boats, canoes, pack animals, and even bush planes; although backpacking on foot is a popular alternative.
Tent camping sites often cost less than campsites with full amenities, and most allow direct access by car. Some "walk-in" sites lie a short walk away from the nearest road, but do not require full backpacking equipment. Those who seek a rugged experience in the outdoors prefer to camp with only tents, or with no shelter at all ("under the stars").
According to an infographic produced by Red Rover Camping and based on data from the 2014 American Camper Report published by the Coleman Company, Inc. and the Outdoor Foundation, camping in the United States is gaining popularity after a fall of 4.2 million participants from 2011 to 2012.
According to data provided by the Great British Tourism Survey conducted by Visit England, almost 4.5 million camping and caravanning holidays were taken by British residents during the first half of 2015, for an average of 3.7 nights. As in the United States, camping is gaining popularity, with an 8% increase in trips compared to the same period in 2014. The Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club represent UK campers.
Data collected by the Fédération Nationale De L'Hôtellerie De Plein Air (FNHPA) shows that around 113 million nights were taken at French campsites in 2015, which was up by 3.9% on the same period in 2014. French holidaymakers took 77 million of these, and the rest was made up of other nationalities, the majority of whom were Dutch, German and UK tourists. The French Government hopes to have 100 million tourists each year by 2030. The most popular region for camping is Languedoc and Roussillon with around 19,331,663 nights spent at campsites during 2015, whilst the department with the most campsites is the Vendée.
A bug-out bag or BOB is a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for 72 hours when evacuating from a disaster, although some kits are designed to last longer periods. Other names for such a bag are a 72-hour kit, battle box, grab bag, go bag, GOOD bag, personal emergency relocation kit (PERK), or quick run bag (QRB).
A campsite or camping pitch is a place used for overnight stay in an outdoor area. In UK English, a campsite is an area, usually divided into a number of pitches, where people can camp overnight using tents, campervans or caravans; this UK English use of the word is synonymous with the US English expression campground. In American English, the term campsite generally means an area where an individual, family, group, or military unit can pitch a tent or park a camper; a campground may contain many campsites.
Outdoor cooking differs substantially from kitchen-based cooking, the most obvious difference being lack of an easily defined kitchen area. As a result, campers and backpackers have developed a significant body of techniques and specialized equipment for preparing food in outdoors environments. Such techniques have traditionally been associated with nomadic cultures such as the Berbers of North Africa, the Arab Bedouins, the Plains Indians, pioneers in North America, and indigenous tribes in South America. These methods have been refined in modern times for use during recreational outdoors pursuits.
A caravan, travel trailer, camper, tourer or camper trailer is towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep which is more comfortable and protected than a tent. It provides the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation, without relying on a motel or hotel, and enables them to stay in places where none is available. However, in some countries campers are restricted to designated sites for which fees are payable.
Backpacking is the outdoor recreation of carrying gear on one's back, while hiking for more than a day. It is often but not always an extended journey, and may or may not involve camping outdoors. In North America tenting is common, where simple shelters and mountain huts, widely found in Europe, are rare. In New Zealand, tramping is the term applied though overnight huts are frequently used. Hill walking is an equivalent in Britain, though backpackers make use of a variety of accommodation, in addition to camping. Backpackers use simple huts in South Africa. Trekking and bushwalking are other word used to describe such multi-day trips.
A recreational vehicle park or caravan park is a place where people with recreational vehicles can stay overnight, or longer, in allotted spaces known as "sites" or "campsites". They are also referred to as campgrounds, though a true campground also provides facilities for tent camping; many facilities calling themselves "RV parks" also offer tent camping or cabins with limited facilities.
A survival kit is a package of basic tools and supplies prepared as an aid to survival in an emergency. Civil and military aircraft, lifeboats, and spacecraft are equipped with survival kits.
Afton State Park is a state park of Minnesota, USA, on the St. Croix River in Washington County. Its hiking trails offer views of the river, rolling glacial moraine, and bluffland it preserves. It is a popular place for birdwatching, picnics, camping, and other typical outdoor recreational activities. To deter overuse of a state park only 20 miles (32 km) from downtown St. Paul, there is no vehicle access to the camping area or swimming beach.
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a themed camping resort located in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area at the Walt Disney World Resort. It officially opened on November 19, 1971. The resort is adjacent to Bay Lake and the upcoming Reflections Vacation Club Resort. The resort is also located near Disney's Wilderness Lodge. It also formerly contained Disney's River Country, a water park.
The Ten Essentials are survival items that hiking and Scouting organizations recommend for safe travel in the backcountry.
Bronte Creek Provincial Park is located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and is part of the Ontario Parks system.
Golden Ears Provincial Park is a Provincial park in British Columbia, Canada and is 555.9 square kilometres (214.6 sq mi). It is named after the prominent twin peaks which are commonly referred to as Golden Ears. The park's southern end is located on the northern edge of the district municipality of Maple Ridge on the north side of the Fraser River.
Ultralight backpacking is a style of backpacking that emphasizes carrying the lightest and least amount of gear. Base weight is reduced as much as possible, though reduction of the weight of consumables is also applied.
Peninsula State Park is a 3,776-acre (1,528 ha) Wisconsin state park with eight miles (13 km) of Green Bay shoreline in Door County. Peninsula is the third largest state park in Wisconsin, and is visited by an estimated one million visitors annually.
Hiking equipment is the equipment taken on outdoor walking trips. Hiking is usually divided into day-hikes and multiple-day hikes, called backpacking, trekking, and walking tours.
Greenleaf State Park is located near Braggs, Oklahoma, and is situated around the 930-acre (3.8 km2) Greenleaf Lake. Greenleaf Lake was built in 1939. There is an 18-mile (29 km) hiking trail that begins inside the park and makes its way around Greenleaf lake and into the adjacent government land of Camp Gruber.
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest is a Wisconsin state forest of more than 225,000 acres (910 km2) across Vilas, Oneida, and Iron counties in north-central Wisconsin. The state forest includes numerous lakes, rivers, and streams. The most prominent rivers are the Wisconsin, Flambeau, and Manitowish. The state forest supports a large variety of outdoor recreation activities including camping, hiking, snowmobiling, bicycling, boating, fishing, hunting, and birdwatching. In addition to recreational activities the state forest also hosts a number of research programs. The forest is a state-managed timber resource providing opportunities for commercial logging, individual firewood collection, and individual Christmas tree harvesting.
The Camping and Caravanning Club is a United Kingdom not-for-profit organisation involved with all aspects of camping based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1901, the club now represents over half a million members.
Backcountry camping food includes ingredients used to prepare food suitable for backcountry camping and backpacking. The foods differ substantially from the ingredients found in a typical home kitchen. The primary differences relate to campers' and backpackers' special needs for foods that have appropriate cooking time, perishability, weight, and nutritional content.
Camp Rock Enon or CRE is a Boy Scouts of America resident summer camp for both younger and older youth with high adventure opportunities. The mineral springs of the area afforded the development of a resort in 1856. 89 years later in 1944 the resort and most of the land began the conversion to youth development resources. The summer camp includes familiar outdoor programs like aquatics, camping, cooking, fishing, handicraft, and shooting sports, yet also includes less common programs like canyoneering, rappelling, rock climbing, scuba, space exploration, volleyball, white water rafting, and wilderness survival. The property includes 14 campsites that accommodate from 16 to 56 campers in tents or Adirondack shelters as well as a dining hall that can serve 450 at a time. The camp is 1.6 miles (2.6 km) from the border of Virginia and West Virginia, 35 miles (56 km) from the Maryland border, and also 35 miles (56 km) from the Pennsylvania border. Units from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia most often frequent the property.