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Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants, known as campers, leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights, usually at a campground, which may have cabins. Camping may involve the use of a tent, a primitive structure, or no shelter at all.
Camping is also used as a cheap form of accommodation for people attending large open air events such as sporting meetings and music festivals. Organizers will often provide a field and basic amenities.
Camping describes a range of activities. Survivalist campers often set off with little more than their boots, whereas recreational vehicle travelers arrive equipped with their own electricity, heat, and patio furniture. Camping is often enjoyed in conjunction with activities, such as: hiking, hill walking, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, swimming, and fishing. Camping may be combined with hiking either as backpacking or as a series of day hikes from a central location.
Some people vacation in permanent camps with cabins and other facilities (such as hunting camps or children's summer camps). The term camping (or camping out) may also be applied to those who live outdoors, out of necessity (as in the case of the homeless), or for people waiting overnight in lines. It does not, however, regularly apply to cultures whose technology does not include sophisticated dwellings. Camping may be referred to colloquially as roughing it.
Styles of CampingEdit
Today’s campers have a range of comforts available to them, whether their shelter is a tent, recreational vehicle, or cabin. Campers also 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 close access to recreational facilities, but 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. For more information on facilities, see the campsite and RV park articles.
Tent camping describes a range of camping styles where the primary means of shelter is a tent. The tent and associated equipment can be lightweight and mobile, as with many styles of mobile camping, or it can serve as a more extensive and stationary base camp. Today, backcountry campers can pack-in comfortable mattresses, compact chairs, and solar powered satellite phones. Those choosing to camp closer to their car with a tent have access to portable hot water, tent interior lighting, and technological changes to camping gear.
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").
Backpacking is a mobile variety of tent camping. Backpackers use lightweight equipment that can be carried long distances on foot. They hike across the land, camp at remote locations, and often select campsites at will if resource protection rules allow. Backpacking equipment typically costs more than that for car camping, but still far less than a trailer or motorhome, and backpacking campsites are generally cheap.
Canoe camping is similar to backpacking, but uses canoes for transportation; much more weight and bulk can be carried in a canoe or kayak than in a backpack. Canoe camping is common in North America.
One form of bicycle touring combines camping with cycling. The bicycle is used to carry the gear and as the primary means of transportation, allowing greater distances to be covered than backpacking, despite less capacity for storage.
Motorcycle camping is more comparable to bicycle camping than car camping due to the limited storage capacity of the motorbike. Motorcycle camping riders, as well as bicycle touring riders, often use some of the same equipment as backpackers because of the lighter weights and compact dimensions associated with backpacking equipment.
Recreational Vehicle CampingEdit
For those camping in recreational vehicles (RVs), options include air conditioning, bathrooms, kitchens, showers, and home theater systems. In the United States, Canada and Europe, some campgrounds offer hookups where recreational vehicles are supplied with electricity, water, and sewer services.
Survivalist campers learn the skills needed to survive in any outdoor situation. This activity may require skills in obtaining food from the wild, emergency medical treatments, orienteering, and pioneering.
"Winter camping" refers to the experience of camping outside during the winter - often when there is snow on the ground. Campers have adapted their forms of camping and survival to suit extremely cold nights and limited mobility or evacuation. Methods of survival when winter camping includes: building snow shelters (quinzhees), dressing in layers, staying dry, using low-temperature sleeping bags, and fueling the body with appropriate food.
Workcamping allows campers to trade their labor for a free campsite, and sometimes even for utilities and additional pay.
Adventure camping is a form of camping by people who race (possibly adventure racing or mountain biking) during the day, and camp in a minimalist way at night. They might use the basic items of camping equipment such as a micro-camping stove, sleeping bag, and bivouac sack.
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