Camping is a time-honored tradition in America. In the year 2010 alone, around 40 million people embarked on a combined 515 million camping adventures. Whether you’re going with friends, lovers, or making a family vacation out of it, camping is surely one of the best ways to relax, de-stress, and reconnect with the beauty of nature.
That is, if you know how to do it. Around 85% of current campers say they took their first camping trip before the age of 15. After 15 years old, people are far less likely to be introduced to camping as a leisure activity. If you weren’t raised in an “outdoorsy” kind of home, you may feel like your opportunities for hitting the tents or cabins are already over.
Of course, that’s simply not true. You can still get into camping at any age, but you need to learn some basic tricks of the trade, equip yourself with the proper gear, and — perhaps most importantly — figure out where you want to go.
One of the most basic decisions you’ll face as a camper is whether to rough it in the backwoods or to check yourself into a camp resort. Both are great options for camping vacations, so your choice ultimately depends on your own preferences. Here are some of the top trade-offs to consider.
Some people just can’t deal with using nature as their bathroom or going without a shower for more than a day. Camp resorts typically have some kind of facilities with running water where you can freshen up and do your business. Backwoods campers will have to make do with whatever’s around — which in itself can be a refreshing change of pace.
Designated campgrounds draw all sorts, and your chances of meeting a friendly neighbor are high. While the solitude of a backwoods camping adventure can be rejuvenating, some people prefer the social chatter of a simpler camp life. In fact, 47% people say their principle motivation for camping is just for the love of camping itself.
When you book at a camp resort, you have the option of choosing exactly where you’ll be pitching the tent or rolling in the camper. You can pick between shady campsites or sunny campgrounds depending on the weather. When you’re out on the trails, you sometimes have to just stop and set up camp wherever you land before the sun goes down.
Don’t let inexperience dissuade you from the trip of a lifetime. Get planning and get going!