There are several different types of camping. What types best fit you?

The different types of camping

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As I continue to reacquaint myself with camping I am learning more than I ever thought possible about the recreational activity that is known as camping. And I am realizing that people love their labels. At one time there was camping. If you had a Recreational vehicle you could go RVing. Now Camping has all sorts of off shoots.

This is what I would like to talk about this week. What types of camping are there? I have a friend that is always wanting to go Glamping. The rest of my group likes to give her a rough time about but surprisingly Glamping is a recognized type of camping so Tania you are vindicated. I don’t know what you are gaining from glamping but I still think it is cheating.

According to Wikipedia, there are about 12 different types of camping which are ones I covered and a few new ones that I actually believe to be subcategories of other types of camping.

How ever you want to categorize it, Camping has its fans. So lets not wait around any longer and let look at these different types of camping

Primitive Camping

This as a whole is what i call normal camping.  With the tents and coolers a campfire that whole lot. but there are people who would disagree with me. They take the whole primitive portion to a level that is beyond relaxing.

For me, I like to be able to pitch a tent gather some firewood and enjoy my time next to a creek river or lake. maybe do some fishing or tubing. it’s primitive because you don’t have a solid roof over your head. you are sleeping under a tarp or something to that fashion. You can return to civilization but it means driving into town.

My version of primitive camping can be done in a campground. or out in a field. Primitive is not being able to walk down a hall to go to the bathroom. You either have to dig a latrine or you are going to hike to the communal toilet.

You don’t have a bed at best you have a cot or you sleep on the ground. Now like I said that is my definition of primitive camping. So you might call it semi-primitive.

Survival camping

This is a sub category of primitive camping. This is where people take primitive to a whole new level, and this level can range from you having a tent to making your own shelter. Ooofa! That is too much work in my books.

Survival camping is where you don’t bring any amenities with you, or if you are a pansy like me, very little equipment. That means when you go you don’t have a cooler full of beer. You may bring water. If you are going to be in the desert. But you are going on a survivalist mentality. Can you survive on your own or with a group?

Now, in reality, this would be interesting to try maybe once just so I can say I did it. but only after I found out how to identify all the good berries mushrooms and plants. Cause you ask my wife I have to have my protein so I would go hunting. I don’t care if it has to be with a bow and arrow or a fishing pole. I have to eat some meat.

Dry Camping

Another type of primitive camping is dry camping. where you don’t bring any water with you nor do you camp close to a water supply. So from what I understand here is that you have to tote your water to the camp site. Hauling water in buckets sucks. I did that when I was younger to water my hogs. So water can get heavy quickly.

Now, this is simular yet a bit different term in the RV world where you don’t use hook ups.

Winter Camping

Now, this is a great way to camp if you are into winter sports or you like to go hunting. THere are tents that actually have small light weight wood stoves in them so that you are able to stay warm. Granted this type of survival camping is a whole new extream but very do able.

Adventure Camping

Adventure camping sounds fun. This as a whole is camping that also where you go on an adventure. Normally that adventure is just going to another location. The folks who hike the Appalachian trail are adventure camping. Normally they fall under the Hiking category but depending on how you want to describe the mode of transportation. You could ride in a car. Just when you stop for the night you are setting up camp. I think that kind of is low adventure camping.

So with adventure camping being camping on the move, there are several different types of Adventure camping. Like hiking Canoeing Bicycling, motorcycling, even car and RV’s could be in that adventure based camping.

Thinking in this line I would say that you can have other types of adventure camping like Rock Climbing. Where they sleep on the side of the rocks. Now I wouldn’t be able to get good sleep like that just because I would forget where I was and need to pee in the middle of the night.

Hiking or Backpacking

Whether you are going the full length of the application trail Hiking the Continental divide or taking on the Pacific ridge all of these would qualify as backpack camping. I find this to be interesting and would love to try it. Granted I will sometime in the near future be walking the Comino De Santiago in Spain. Though I will be staying in alburges so that won’t really count as camping though I will be backpacking it.

Now there is a sub-genre of backpacking called ultra lite backpacking and this is where you have to carry very little weight with you. It appears as the max one can carry is around 18 – 25 pounds. The objective here is that you are to leave as small of a foot print on the environment as possible. So this can often tie into the survivalist camping. So this is often how environmentalist want to hike.

Canoe Camping

This form of camping has had movies made about it. Now neither movie that i can think of would help the canoe camping industry but great movies none the less. Most people wont go Canoe camping in Georgia because of Deliverance. Then Shooting rapids as in The River Wild can often make people nervous when they get around strangers who try to act friendly. Either way Camping while canoeing still sounds fun to me. Though I will start paddling a lot harder if I hear a banjo playing.

Bicycle camping

Bicycle camping would be fun if I was to go across country. This is just like it sounds you go to your destination via bicycle. This would be nice cause you don’t have to carry too much your gear would ride inn a cart connected to your bike.

Reenactment Camping

This type of camping sounds intriguing to me. Say you are into the wild west. or the Civil war. You can actually camp like they do. Now this recreation can get expensive. because reenactment camping enthusiasts often try to get original equipment. So the heavy canvas pup tents may not be exactly from that era but the tent poles very well could be from a Confederate soldier.

Often there are incredible stories behind the different types of camping equipment a reenactor accumulates. These people have a serious passion for their camping. If you come across one try it out and come back 10 times smarter than you ever thought you would be.


What does a camper do when they retire? Well, many will seel their house and get an RV. Often these behemoths are rolling mansions. they have bathtubs and showers. King sized beds and lots of storage. Some have what is called a toybox that allows for a small car to be easily stored. While many of us peons may one afford to have a travel trailer or a pop up I would include these in the RV category.

Often RVs are limited to just particular campsites because of their size and weight. Many times they can be a hassle to try to stuff into a parking spot unless the spot is in a truck stop.

THere are those who like to do what is called Dry Camping. This is where they go to a place with no hookups. They sort of rough it because they have to manage their water and waste. And if their toilet is any like the ones I have been exposed to on a sailboat then that is a truly tortuous occurrence when the septic tank gets full.


yurtSo you want all the beauty of and nature of camping but none of the inconveniences or semi hardships associated with camping? Then you, my friend, are after some Glamping, or Glamorous Camping. This is full-on cheating. I do argue whether it is fully camping.

Often glamping has large elegant canvas yurts with large beds instead of mats or cots. Depending on the amount of glamour you require you may have air-conditioned tents. and high-quality sheets. So if your dear wife won’t go camping you may have to settle for her glamping while you are out roughing it like a true man.

I hope this helps you when it comes to deciding what type of camping you want to try out. You don’t have to only choose one. You can do one on a week end and later in the summer you can try another camping style. So don’t be afraid to explore and who knows you may find one that you just absolutly love. and that the missus will tollerate.

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

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