What to know about the camping community and culture before camping out?

If you’re just getting into camping, it’s a good idea to learn a little more about the camping community and culture. This includes why people go camping, where to find inspiration, what resources there are for niche camping groups, how to get involved in the camping community, how to show your love for camping, the origins of camping, and what rules you should follow.

What inspires people to go camping?

Camping is a more affordable way to spend vacations and see more than you might if staying in a hotel. It’s also a great way to reconnect with nature, disconnect from technology, get healthy exercise, and reap the other physical and psychological benefits of time spent outdoors.

What do people like about camping?

People enjoy camping because it’s a great way to unwind, be in nature, spend time with family and friends, learn new skills, disconnect from technology, and for the solitude and sense of adventure.

How does camping benefit physical health?

Research has demonstrated that camping can boost your immune system, protect your vision, reduce inflammation, and help reduce the risk of heart disease, dementia, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis by boosting your body’s Vitamin D levels.

How does camping benefit relationships?

The following list summarizes how camping with friends or family members can help strengthen your relationships.

  • It teaches you to enjoy the little things
  • It lets you – or forces you – to unplug from your workday life
  • You get to spend quality time together
  • You have to problem-solve together and communicate
  • It teaches you to be patient with each other
  • You share beautiful, challenging, and enriching experiences together. 

How to know if camping is for you?

The only way to know if camping is for you is to give it a try! We recommend starting small by camping near your home or in your yard in good conditions, then branching out and heading further afield once you have a little more experience.

Can you get addicted to going camping?

Yes, going camping brings many benefits and positive experiences, all of which can make it addictive for some. Some of the reasons camping is so addictive are highlighted in the list below.

  • Being active outdoors releases endorphins, which make you feel happy
  • All that vitamin D from sunlight exposure
  • You get to visit lots of different, cool, and beautiful places
  • It removes you from stressors (work, technology, and even home)
  • The sense of community

Can camping get boring?

No! One of the beauties of camping is that there are almost endless destinations to explore, so you’ll never see the same things twice unless you choose to. And even if you do visit the same area again, it’s sure to be a little different due to seasonal changes.

When did camping become popular?

Recreational camping in the US was popularized in the early 1900s with the founding of the U.S. National Park Service and Forest Service and groups like the Scouts.

What media sources inspire the camping spirit?

The media sources mainly responsible for sparking the camping spirit are social media (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), digital press media, film, and old-school print media (magazines).

What are some popular camping quotes?

Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite camping quotes.

  • “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey
  • “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir
  • “Far from the luxuries of home, camp life forces a slower, more thoughtful approach to living. Mornings are savored. Coffee is sipped rather than drained. Making meals is less a chore and more an event. An evening stroll replaces the nightly TV hypnosis. In short, for a few fleeting days, we are briefly, blissfully, beautifully human again.” – Mark Kenyon
  • “Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.” – Charles Lindbergh
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.”- Dave Barry

What are some popular camping books?

Below, we’ve made a short list of some of the best books about camping.

  • Where Should We Camp Next? by Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi
  • Camping Grounds by Phoebe S.K. Young
  • Curious George Goes Camping by Margret Rey
  • Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury
  • Almost Somewhere by Suzanne Roberts
  • Camp Girls by Iris Krasnow
  • Mother Nature Is Not Trying to Kill You by Rob Nelson and Haley Nelson
  • The Camping Life by Brendan Leonard and Forest Woodward
  • Family Camping by Charlie Ess
  • Adventure Journal: 50 Things to Try When Camping by Kim Hankinson

What are some recommended camping cookbooks?

Our favorite camping cookbooks are listed below.

  • The Campout Cookbook by Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson
  • Feast by Firelight by Emma Frisch
  • Campfire Cooking by Blake Hoena
  • The Camp Dutch Oven Cookbook by Robin Donovan
  • The Easy Camp Cookbook by Amelia Mayar

What are some popular camping podcasts?

Below, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite camping podcasts.

  • The Camping Show
  • Happy Camper Radio Show
  • RV Lifestyle
  • Beyond Camp
  • Campfire Conversation
  • In the Field Camping
  • Stories From the Road

Which podcasts interview camping experts?

Happy Camper and The Paul Kirtley Podcast often invite guests on their podcast who are either experts or highly experienced in the field.

What are some popular camping movies?

Below, we’ve made a list of some of the most popular camping movies.

  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Great Outdoors
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Wild
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • Indian Summer 
  • Ernest Goes to Camp
  • The Parent Trap
  • Without a Paddle
  • Into the Wild
  • Bushwhacked
  • RV 
  • Camp Nowhere
  • Backcountry

What camping movies are based on true stories?

A few camping movies that are based on true stories include A Walk in the Woods, Wild, Into the Wild, and Backcountry.

What resources are there for niche camping groups?

Niche camping groups niche-friendly campgrounds, exclusive discounts, online forums, and niche-specific websites.

What resources are there for LGBTQ+ camping?

Our favorite resources and groups for LGBTQ+ campers are The Venture Out Project, LGBT Outdoors, Diversify Outdoors, and Out There Adventures.

Are there any LGBTQ+-specific campgrounds?

Yes, there are several LGBTQ+ campgrounds across the US, from Texas to Minnesota and California to North Carolina.

Are there online communities for LGBTQ+ campers?

Below, we’ve made a short list of online LGBTQ+ camping communities.

  • GAY Camping.LGBTQ
  • LGBT RV Camping
  • Out & Out
  • Gay and Lesbian Camping Club
  • Gay Outdoors
  • San Diego LGBTQ+ Hiking and Camping Adventures

What resources are there for disabled campers?

Some of the resources available for disabled campers include mobility devices, adaptive camping forums and blogs, and discount passes. 

What camping gear is available for people with disabilities?

Some camping gear that may be useful for people with disabilities includes portable ramps, wheelchair totes, a toilet incline lift, SideStix All-Terrain Crutches, Trionic Veloped, Terra Trek Chair, custom shoes, Renegade Wheelchair, Freedom Chair, Freewheel, and camping cots. 

Are there any senior-specific campgrounds?

Yes, every state in the US has several 55 and older RV campgrounds. The highest concentration of these are in Arizona and Florida.

What groups organize senior-only camping trips?

A few groups that organize senior-only camping trips include Good Sam Club, Family Campers and RVers, Pacific Yurts, Walking the World, Country Walkers, Backroads, and Eldertreks.

How to get involved with camping?

The best way to get involved with camping is to join a group or club, but you can also start your own club, take a course, attend events, take part in camping events, or check for extracurricular programs at your school or college.

What is a camping resort?

A camping resort is essentially a campground for RV and tent campers that offers more upscale facilities and amenities than a standard campground.

Why choose a camping resort?

Many campers choose to stay at a resort instead of a regular campground to enjoy the better amenities and a few luxuries and creature comforts, such as swimming pools, meeting spaces, deluxe cabins, sports facilities, games rooms, BBQ areas, hot tubs, fitness centers, tennis courts, golf courses, and restaurants.

What is a camping festival?

Camping festivals are usually multi-day events with music, food, and other entertainment where visitors sleep in tents or RVs.

What are some popular camping festivals?

Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular camping festivals in the US.

  • Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  • Summer Camp Music Festival
  • Joshua Tree Music Festival
  • Lightning in a Bottle
  • Dirtybird Campout
  • Weekender at The Gorge
  • Country Thunder

What is a camping club?

A camping club is a group or organization you can join to gain exclusive access to specific campgrounds and amenities, organized trips and events, discounts on gear and campground fees, and to meet like-minded people. Most clubs also host events or offer courses that help you learn new skills or get more involved in the camping community.

What are benefits of joining a camping club?

The main benefits of joining a camping club are hassle-free, organized trips, discounts on gear and campgrounds, community, learning opportunities, and trip inspiration.

What camping clubs are in the USA?

Below, we’ve listed some of the top camping clubs in the US for tent and RV campers.

  • North America Camping Club
  • Good Sam
  • Happy Camper
  • KOA
  • Thousand Trails
  • Passport America
  • Sierra Club

Are there online camping communities?

There are dozens if not hundreds of camping groups on Facebook and MeetUp, and also on websites The Dyrt (forums) and RVBug.

What camping communities for beginners are there?

There are several beginner-friendly camping clubs and groups on Facebook and MeetUp, and organizations like the Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, and REI host regular beginner-friendly courses and events.

How to plan a camping trip with friends?

Below, we’ve made a short list detailing how to go about planning a camping trip with friends.

  • Establish how many of you will go
  • Make sure you have enough gear (sleeping bags, tents, etc.) to accommodate everyone
  • Decide where you will go together and research the area
  • Make a packing list
  • Give each member of the team responsibilities
  • Make a plan for campsite chores, divvying up responsibilities equally
  • Plan activities
  • Check the forecast
  • Go camping!

What challenges arise when camping with friends?

Camping with friends is all about compromise, communication, and team effort. Make sure the chores are divided fairly, make decisions together, and communicate whenever you have a problem.

Why get a camping-inspired tattoo?

Getting a camping tattoo is a great way to show your love for camping, not to mention a great conversation starter!

What are tips for designing a camping tattoo?

If you want a camping-inspired tattoo, we recommend finding images online that are close to the design you’re looking for and then tweaking them to suit your intended end product. Have a few artists (tattoo or regular) play around with the proposed design until you find something that fits.

Where to get inspiration for a camping tattoo?

Both the Dyrt and Pinterest are good places to find inspiration for a camping tattoo. Failing that, nature itself is the best source. Shoot photos of where you go, your favorite sites, campfire scenes, and scenes with mountains, lakes, rivers, etc., and you’re sure to spot something that catches your eye! 

What are the origins of camping in the USA?

The first known campground in the US, the Gunnery Camp in Washington, Connecticut, was founded in 1861 by Frederick Gunn. 

Camping continued to popularize in the early 1900s until the National Park Service created 34 Recreation Demonstration Areas (campgrounds) in the 1930s. 

When did camping become popular?

Recreational camping in the US popularized in the early 1900s with the founding of the U.S. National Park Service and Forest Service and groups like the Scouts.

How has camping evolved over time?

Camping has a long history that traces back to aboriginal cultures and, latterly, the age of exploration. Organized camping became popular in the 1800s, when groups of young adults in Europe, the US, and elsewhere were sent on camping trips in the woods to take part in a form of precursor to the modern summer camp.

Camping continued to popularize in the early 1900s in the US until the National Park Service created 34 Recreation Demonstration Areas (campgrounds) in the 1930s, whereupon camping began to take off as a popular recreational activity.

What is camping culture?

Camping culture is defined by a collection of goals, interests, rules, and etiquette shared by people who love the outdoors and spending time there. As with any culture, it also refers to the depictions and representations of the activity and those who do it in various media, events, and even shared beliefs.

What are some camping traditions?

The camping community has several unofficial customs and traditions observed by campers almost everywhere. The most important of these are listed below.

  • Camp songs
  • Eating s’mores by the campfire
  • Toasting marshmallows
  • Earning a trail or camp name
  • Telling spooky stories around the campfire
  • Campsite games (cornhole, flashlight tag, charades)

Who were early pioneers of camping?

Some early pioneers of camping include Thomas Hiram Holding, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Henry Harrison Murray.

Who are modern famous camping experts?

Some of the most famous modern camping experts include Ray Mears, Bear Grylls, and Andrew Skurka.

Are there any community rules to follow when going camping?

What does ‘leave no trace’ mean when camping?

LNT or Leave No Trace is a set of best practices hikers, campers, and backpackers are encouraged to abide by in order to protect and preserve natural environments and wildlife populations.

What mistakes are made when practicing leave no trace?

The following is a list of the main mistakes campers make when attempting to practice leave no trace.

  • Keeping scented items in your pack or tent. These will attract bears and other wildlife.
  • Peeing near a water source. Take the time to make sure you are at least 200 ft. from any lake, pond, river, or stream before you ‘go’.
  • Burning toilet paper or trash. This may save you from having to carry it out, but it could also start a wildfire, pollutes the air, and a few melted scraps of whatever you burn will probably be left over and attract wildlife.
  • Not storing scented items properly. Make sure your food and any other scented items (toothpaste, beauty products, medicine) are stored in scent-proof bags or containers to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Straying from the trails. Backcountry campers often do this if inadequately dressed and attempting to avoid muddy sections on the trail, but doing so can widen the trail, causing soil erosion and impacting nearby flora.
  • Making unpermitted campfires. The prohibitions are there for a reason – usually to prevent wildfires and avoid scarring the landscape.

What is camping etiquette?

A few basic rules of camping etiquette are listed below.

  • Respect your neighbors
  • Keep your campsite clean
  • Keep the noise down and respect “quiet time” hours
  • Abide by Leave No Trace principles
  • Don’t cut through other sites
  • Respect the facilities
  • Control pets
  • Keep your lighting under control

What mistakes are made when practicing camp etiquette?

The most common etiquette mistakes campers make are making too much noise, shining flashlights or headlamps into neighboring tents, letting their dog bark or run off-leash, and failing to keep a clean campsite.

What is green camping?

Green camping means camping in a way that is ecologically responsible, respectful of wildlife, peaceful, and considerate.

What are some sustainable camping practices to adopt?

Below, we’ve made a list of some sustainable camping practices you can adopt.

  • Travel to your destination by public transport or carshare
  • Dispose of waste responsibly
  • Use only biodegradable wash products
  • Buy organic camping food
  • Make meals at home to minimize packaging waste
  • Don’t use plastic water bottles
  • Buy used camping gear
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles