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Old 11-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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Is this Camping?

It seems that everyone I talk to has a different opinion as to what constitutes "camping". Some people hop into their $200k motor home with leather interior, a/c, slideouts, satellite, etc. and head to a fully serviced RV park in the city for a weekend of "camping". Others may hop into their own travel trailer and head out to their favorite camping spot, but only claim to be camping if they are cooking outdoors on the fire. For others, you can only camp if you are staying in a tent.

My background includes quite a lot of canoe tripping where everything I need for a weekend or a week is loaded into a canoe, and you head out for a wilderness camping experience where all of your food is cooked over a portable stove or the fire and you sleep in tents or hammocks. I personally have a difficult time thinking of staying in my travel trailer as really camping, but think of it more as a means of bringing many of the comforts of home with me on my travels.

I think it would be very difficult indeed to get everyone to agree on a common definition for camping, and I am not trying to stir things up here. However, it would be interesting to hear from others as to where you draw your own personal line between camping and non-camping experiences.

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dave
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #2
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A much contemplated topic for us ..... " are we campers " our Escape 15 is definitely not a camper - it is a travel trailer ...... we almost always take a full hook-up ( need or not ) we are not nearly as outfitted as what seems to be the majority here . Have never taken a TV ( but do take music ) , never had an oven/microwave - rarely have had a campfire ... we travel long distances - have been coast to coast ( and hope to again ) ... have done a lot of hiking - not really fishing - but plan to in future .... don't take the trailer into rugged areas - just park in convenient places as a base - then head out on foot or drive to where ever we wish to explore . Don't think we are campers - just travellers . But we do like campgrounds like at Radium - Redstreak ... spacious - well treed - quiet ....... really good well maintained facilities .
Kind of think that camping - by definition should require the use of a " campfire " ??
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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Yeah Dave, there is likely a different definition for every member here.

I think just about any type of getting away from home, and not staying in someone else's accommodations would constitute camping, in one form or another.

I too have spent many hundreds of nights in the backcountry, hiking, canoeing, or skiing. I still do a couple trips a year, and would love the time to do more. For me, this is still the ultimate 'escape' where you take minimal gear, and get away from it all, lending to a much more peaceful state of mind. In fact, when looking down from a high mountain range and seeing RV's as wee tiny specs on roads below, I used to comment with disdain, mocking them for calling that camping, yet now I might just be one of them.

All this reflects in how we pack and camp with our Escape 19. Many say you really need that storage box, yet we have never near filled the rest of the storage compartments in our trailer. I still enjoy a minimalist approach to RV'ing, opting to enjoy the places I go to, instead of what I bring. I imagine if I was going for extended trips, as I plan to once I retire, I will likely bring a few more 'comforts' of home with me. We'll see.

We choose to do the RV thing now, as we wish to see more places afar, and enjoy the scenery on the way. We still often take our canoes and backpacks with us, and have done a couple overnight stays in the backcountry. Day hikes and paddles are a big part of what we do when camping this style yet, as we tend to stay away from more urban campgrounds. I much prefer boondocking, or at least the forestry/provincial/state type campgrounds.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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I think an individual's age tends to temper one's definition of "camping"! Maybe we should consider the continuum a lot of us experience:

Backpacking - 35-40 pounds on your back/freeze-dried chow
Car camping - larger tent & stove, certainly better food
Pop-Up trailers - the tent on wheels, maybe now with a reefer, sink and stove
Travel trailers - much better than a pop-up, but not yet the "RV Lifestyle"
RVing - Mobile home on wheels. Don't think I'll ever get there.

For me, camping is the outdoor cooking, a campfire, trading the work togs for outdoor wear (and maybe having to lengthen the time I wear it!). At my age, though, I don't want to go back to sleeping on the ground.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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Progressing age definitely has an affect on how we camp. I have done all you listed there, but very little with a motor home. Oh yeah, never had a big tent either, we just use our smaller tent when needed. When sleeping on the ground, we now use down filled air mattresses, both comfy and warm, wouldn't consider going without them now.

RV'ing is any Recreational Vehicle, whether a tent trailer, travel trailer of any size, pickup camper, or a motorhome.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
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As I get older, I also tend to value a camping experience that is more comfortable than what I may have tolerated in my younger days. Just recently and under the urging of my kids who have been doing this for several years, I have tried sleeping in a hammock while camping. I was amazed at how much more comfortable a hammock is as compared to sleeping on a mat on the ground in my tent.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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I have yet to try a hammock for sleeping in, but I know a bunch of people who swear they are a great sleep. Jasper (my dog) would not likely be too keen though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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I started thinking about this and consider what it is to me.I looked up the definition of camping in the dictionary.- a place with temporary accommodations of huts, tents, or other structures.But it's how people camp that are quite different, depending on a lot of variables.As I have aged, how I camp has changed depending on things like my age,health,finances and type of vehicle I could afford.I started off with camping as a kid in tents and what ever my parents could afford for gear.Once on my own ,things changed to having the bare essentials,sleeping bag tent and food in a VW bug on my first jobs 2 week holidays.As I gain in finances and vehicles things have evolved in how I camp out .From tents to campers ,tent trailer( a backwards step) to my Escape 15.Also over the years I have acquired more gear like boat and,motors and bigger pick up. But what I do enjoy and have always enjoyed is the part of being out doors in nature,having a fire ,roasting wieners and cooking on it for somethings.To me that is camping ,no matter what I have for accommodations.Now as I am older having a dry warm place to sleep,it is a bonus ,after many years in the old canvass tent ,wet and cold.I even take a TV with me if I'm going alone,something I would not of dreamt of years ago, but technology has changed that.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #9
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The closest I've come to "Backpacking" was when I had to carry everything needed for 2 weeks at a time in the Ashu Valley in Viet Nam. While an interesting experience, I sure wouldn't call it camping!

Most of my experience until two years ago was car camping. 8 trips across the US & many up & down the east coast in vans & staying in tents. That got old, particularly folding up tents in the rain & 2 AM runs to the campground bathroom.

While I'm not sure I'd call my travels in the Escape 17B "Camping", I'm still going to the same places, often without hookups, but staying in far more comfort!
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:46 PM   #10
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Jon, it is still camping, just with added comforts.

And you Viet Nam thing, definitely not camping. Not anywhere near the same experience, I would imagine.
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