First off, I’d like to define my terms…. Glamping gets thrown around a lot these days! Let’s all admit that we are all Glamping in some way unless we are “Through Hiking” i.e. carrying the bare minimum on our backs and hiking tens of miles a day stopping only to sleep (You know who you are you psychos…jk!). That being said, camping is surely recreating in a non-permanent structure, be that a blanket (through hiking and cowboy camping), wall tent (hunting or base camp likely), collapsible tent (car camping or dispersed camping), packable tent or hammock (backpacking or dispersed camping) or an RV.
I have experienced all of these types of camping except for through hiking as it is a relatively new style of camping due to the rise in technology and trail maintenance. I tend to over pack often and want to have a fire and get away from other people too much to get into through hiking at age 50. Click here for @cascadehiker if you are interested in the intriguing world of through hiking. As I said, we all Glamp it up a bit. This reference could be a chair, a stove, a tent, a shower, a hot tub, a cutting board, a cooler, a generator or a propane tank. I could go on and on and on in the ever-increasing levels of comfort that are available to you. I consider all styles very enjoyable. Do you like a beer, wine or a cocktail? I say “drink what you like!” Have a White Zin, a Vodka Soda, a Zima or a Bud Light Lime…please enjoy! I would not order any of those nor would I turn them down if a friend ordered one for me. Same with camping. If I get invited to camp with friends at a place that I would not normally choose to go, you can count me in!
This brings me to what kind of place I would normally go! Having been raised by an Outdoorsman father, I backpacked almost every weekend in the summer as far back as I can remember. He, my Stepmother, Brother and I were out in it rain or shine. Mostly backpacking to lakes and rivers with fishing opportunities and tenting it with freeze dried meals, canned oysters and crackers etc.. as this was what the late 70’s-80’s had available.
That is another topic: What kind of opportunities are you looking for? A Sweeping View, Fishing, Swimming, a High Alpine Lake, the calming sound of a creek or river, a deep woods hike to a rustic campsite, off-roading to camp, Boat Camping…….
Bike Camping, just anywhere with a lack of other people other than you and your party while sitting around a campfire,
Winter Camping..?!?! Really…..?!?! Are you crazy?!? Getting your RV way out there or a combination of any of these? None of this is comprehensive but you get the idea that there are a vast variety of ways of enjoying the outdoors. Of course all of these styles require different types of gear.
I tend to like the lack of any other people’s style as you might have noticed. I’m a social guy as a bartender and hospitality professional however, when I’m out in nature, I’d prefer that my spot be my own whether I’m alone or with a group. So RVing in a pay campsite with close neighbors is a thing I will happily do with friends that prefer that and we can go into the many ways to make that awesome, I lean towards “dry camping” when RVing in “dispersed” spots or backpacking 3-5 miles or dispersed camping 10-20 minutes from the car when I’m up here in the beautiful North Cascades. In Alaska that is a whole different thing but, that might be for another conversation.
I came up to WA from Long Beach, California in 1999. I fell in love with the NW as a kid as mentioned above and moved my family up here as soon as I could, and my now grown kids seem to be considering the NW their home as well. We camp together as much as they can join me. I camp alone plenty too. I realize that some people might not really like that idea or understand it but I really got to know myself alone out there, and am so comfortable with everything in the wild that being out by myself is so far from boring – and so close to a meditative and mind clearing experience that some might say I am a little addicted to it.
We can go into safety too! I often carry Bear spray or a 45-caliber pistol in areas that Bears are around (it helps me sleep better). I have NEVER had a problem. I have seen and been seen by dozens of Bears. Again, I frequent places where there are not many people and they all seem to be inclined to walk or run away when they notice me. Not too curious, not too interested and certainly not predatory in my experience.
Your average “Pacific Crest Trail” hiker won’t carry anything at all. I agree with that and would as well as the PCT is now VERY busy with hikers and no one is rewarding Bears with food. Some parks like Yosemite, Redwood, Sequoya, Denali etc… still deal with Bears that have learned to exploit campers that leave food out or worse, FEED the bears. I think it is obvious that this is a problem that is almost gone.
Hanging food, deodorant, toothpaste, wet wipes or anything with a scent is the way to go for peace of mind and good wild animal training. Do not bring anything near you or in your tent that has a smell at all as a rule. To be honest I violate this rule all the time though. I bring this little blue cooler that I stole from my ex-mother-in-law Kathy (thanks Kathy) into my tent on the regular. One time on the banks of Buck Creek (Off FR26 Suiattle River Road) I brought my cooler into my tent for the night (which made zero sense as my car was only about a 2 minute walk up a hill) and the corner of it was touching the mesh of the inside of the tent. A Keens Mouse (aka Deer Mouse) that had already run across my arm and then beard while I was sitting at the fire, decided that the plastic corner was a delicious appetizer for whatever was inside and chewed 2 holes in the mesh of my tent. I doubt this mouse really smelled anything but they will also get under the hood of your car and make a nest if they get a chance too. I had one pulled out of my air intake once in a ’98 4Runner. So, they seem to be the biggest problem as far as wild animals go. I say that to try to put everyone at ease when going out camping with me. It should be an experience that is, no matter how strenuous, a relaxing and peaceful time.
I look forward to diving into all these styles of camping and more! Let’s talk stoves, grills, shelters, toilets, GPS and communication devices, charging, food, water filters, lights, fire starters and starting, clothing, sleeping bags, backpacks, chairs, pads, mushrooms, games, pillows, booze, beer, wine, other substances, boats, trailers, bikes, RV’s, first aid kits etc… how to get away from the crowds, tweakers and thieves, developing all weather plans, how to avoid needing to use your first aid kit, bugs… Man…….. I could go on and on….