Camper Species – Types of Camping

Camper Species – Types of CampingCamping – the exploration of the unknown, the rediscovering of nature…the burning of food. Yes, camping is an experience that truly rejuvenates the soul. As a Canadian who lives at the feet of the Rocky Mountains, camping is an integral part of my life. There are many provincial and national parks near my home, and each time I visit them, I notice that there are three distinct types of campers. I have included a few notes on each “camper species” as well as a few tips if you are looking to try camping.

Types of Camping – Find Your Camper Species:


Drive down any major highway in the summer, and you will see at least one of these impressive campers. They drive huge RV’s down the freeway while towing a sparkling SUV. They pull into campgrounds and set up their electricity, and running water, and satellite, and all sorts of other luxuries. As they do this, the rest of us grumble about how “that’s not real camping”.

Tips for the RV-slicker: Be careful when driving on unfamiliar roads. High ends, sharp corners, and hidden freeway exits have led to many road trips gone sour. And stop making microwave popcorn. We can smell it. And all we’ve eaten is hotdogs. Please stop.


Tent? Check. Canned Ravioli? Check. Flashlights? Check. The family tenting trip is by far one of the most rewarding camping experiences. Most campgrounds, such as KOA and state parks offer paths and trails to explore, a refreshing (or downright icy) body of water to splash in, and most importantly…SHOWERS! Of course there’s also the trying ordeal of cooking on a camp stove. (But, thankfully, you CAN survive on hot dogs and s’mores.)

Tips for the McTenter: Pack your sunscreen. A bad sunburn can make spending a night in a sleeping bag really painful. Bring some Aloe Vera just in case. Oh, and by the way, bug repellent does not work as a fire igniter when it’s raining. It just makes everything smell like D.E.E.T.

The Feral Dudes

Yes, I’m looking at you guys, with the 17 inches of tarp and a half roll of duct tape. How do you do it? You hike into the unforgiving wilderness, where there is no cell phone reception…and stay there for fun. We are in awe of your skills to live off of pinecones and moss, and your uncanny ability to find your way using only the sound of woodpeckers. We also think you’re crazy.

Tips for a Feral Dude: Don’t camp alone. Really, it can be deadly. And for crying out loud, at least bring some (eco-friendly!) toilet paper. Leaves just don’t cut it. Besides, I may have just saved you from a very painful, very embarrassing case of poison ivy.

I personally have tried all three types of camping. The way of an RV-slicker is relaxing. A McTenter has the best of both worlds. And roughing it with the Feral Dudes is an adventure. Whichever path you follow, I wish you have sunny days, beautiful nights, and few mosquitoes. Happy Camping, 2011!

Author: Kalisse Van Dellen
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