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Old 07-05-2014, 09:57 PM   #1
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What is Your Definition of Camping ?

I was reading a review of a commercial RV park the other day and the reviewer complained that the sites were so narrow that they couldn't open their sliders. She signed of by saying, "We camped in a Prevost motor home."

I find this to be pretty far afield from my personal definition of camping. It makes me very interested in how others might define the term.

A brief bit about me so you will know where I'm coming from. I grew up on a ranch in Texas where the nearest neighbor was a couple of miles away. I had my first horse when I was six. We used to go on horse camping trips until we moved to the city. Then lots of camping with the Boy Scouts. When first married I worked as a California SP Ranger. We camped a lot in tents in deep wilderness and then in a VW Camper.

Fast forward to a year ago and the acquisition of our Airstream. We have since spent over 100 nights in it in a variety of settings. One of the things I like about it is that it's so versatile (note: I copied this from a post I made in a thread that nobody read):

(1) Boondocking in NFS and BLM dispersed camping areas and others
(2) Dry camp in NFS and BLM campgrounds
(3) Camp in State Parks, with or without hookups.
(4) Camp in National Parks, with or without hookups.
(5) Camp in commercial parks.
(6) Park in an RV Resort (I'm not even going to pretend to call this camping )

I imagine that hardcore backpackers, trekkers and tent campers wouldn't consider any of this camping. Some of it is for me and I know where I draw the line. But I'm interested in how you feel - where do you draw the line?

Is it all simply RV'ing and not camping? Or is it camping to a point and then becomes RV'ing? What is your definition of camping?

Poppy
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:25 PM   #2
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Poppy, I actually read your first attempt at this. I am absolutely with you on your list, and I'll add some commentary:
A1) Primitive canoe touring in BWCA ( a non-AS experience, however, My wife no longer can do the actual canoe trips, so the AS goes to the FS campground on Moose Lake, where the ladies basecamp and do their thing)
(1) Boondocking in NFS and BLM dispersed camping areas and others
Oddly, can't get my wife to buy in....yet!
(2) Dry camp in NFS and BLM campgrounds
Yup
(3) Camp in State Parks, with or without hookups.
yup
(4) Camp in National Parks, with or without hookups.
yup
(5) Camp in commercial parks.
Yuk, just a hurried overnight nap...no unhitch...dump and go after nap!
(6) Park in an RV Resort (I'm not even going to pretend to call this camping )
Only if it's a destination like Vegas where the event is "in town"
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:42 PM   #3
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I agree; tent campers and backpackers probably wouldn't consider an Airstream with a stove, oven, microwave, electric coffee brewing machine, television, Blu-ray player, surround sound, radio/CD player, running water, flush toilet, shower, and a high-speed Internet connection, as "camping", regardless of how remote the location is where it's "parked".

If I'm not at home or in a relative's driveway, I consider it "camping". However, the definitions above certainly seem logical; and I'll concede to their use.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:54 PM   #4
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Poppy, I am with you. I hate to come across as too snobby but anything having to do with a private RV park is not camping. Sorry, but that is how I would classify the cut off line.

Years ago we were making a big loop through Oregon down to Lake Tahoe, over to San Francisco then over to the Redwoods and up the Oregon coast. We "stayed" at a KOA just north of San Francisco and I overheard a lady talking to another lady in the laundromat. She was going on and on about how her children "love to camp" and that this place was their favorite. We were packed in like sardines with just enough room for a table at each site. No fires were allowed either. I wanted to say, "lady, I know about camping and this is not camping". I didn't but just smiled at them instead knowing that they were having a great time. I suppose that is what it is all about.

I am a KOA member and we use them often when we are "traveling" but not when we are camping.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:58 PM   #5
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My old grandparents' farm in the early '50's had no electricity or plumbing and we never considered our visits "camping". So I can't imagine calling any overnight in an Airstream camping.

When in Boy Scouts we went camping, and later Boundary Waters canoe trips surely were. When traveling with our '71 VW Camper or backpacking, we were usually camping. In the Airstream, never been camping.
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:09 AM   #6
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I see most Airstreams as hotel rooms on wheels. First there is a initial cost and all the ongoing annual expenses. Unless one is boon docking with NO services in a remote area, there is typically some charge for commercial parking.

So we bring along our mattress and bedding, bathroom facilities, watertight living space etc and say we are camping?

I think the definition of camping includes a shovel for the bathroom, a campfire for a stove and the ground with a sleeping bad as the bedroom....

I like the word "glamping" to describe our Airstream travels. I see our Classic as more like a hotel on wheels than a motel since there is a kitchen where a meal is prepared and placed in front of me while seated at a dinette.....
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:37 AM   #7
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As far as we are concerned, if we are out in the Airstream, we are "camping". Generally, we camp with the Airstream where there are hook-ups although we occasionally boondock in various Wal-Mart parking lots, where the sites are always ample and you are never crowded in.

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Old 07-06-2014, 06:52 AM   #8
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Although we say we are going "camping", we frequently add that anytime your take 11,000 pounds of stuff with you it's not really camping. But it sure is fun.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:58 AM   #9
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I think many of us consider it "glamping" rather than camping... I remember being at a Michigan county park about two years ago and waking up to the sound of my Cuisinart Coffee Brewer. I stumbled out of bed, poured a cup of coffee, and opened the blinds to a brilliantly frosty fall morning.

Across the road, I watched four people milling around their tents with stocking caps, gloves, and blankets over their shoulders. They looked like working bees, attending to the campfire and the campstove to get some warmth back into their bones.

I checked my thermostat, and it was 38F outside (72F inside). I couldn't help but kick my feet up on the couch and watch for a bit. They were truly "camping", and I would have loved it back in my 30's.

I'm happy to be "glamping" in my 30' Airstream. The view out our bedroom window was spectacular.

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Old 07-06-2014, 07:12 AM   #10
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I use to backpack and tent camp out in the woods. I don't think tent camping should be done at all in a camp ground. I don't backpack or tent camp anymore for a couple of reasons. I am too old and fat to carry all that stuff on my back for long. I also need a CPAP machine to breath at night and my back would not like sleeping on the ground. I really liked the whole backpacking experience when I was younger.

We use the Airstream as a base camp and we camp where we have water and power. Most of the time we stay in state parks but we are finding them to be havens for yahoos that just want to make noise and bring their barking dogs and loud stereos. Some of the little private parks and county parks have a better camping experience. Some of the less popular state parks are nice as well. I have found that if you want to enjoy actually camping and enjoying what the park has to offer that is is best to go during the week.

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Old 07-06-2014, 07:55 AM   #11
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"Our version of 'roughing it' is not so rough." --Stuart Natof

Camping is what we do when we use the trailer. No matter where it's parked. We can get all high and mighty about how the Prevost owners aren't "camping", but then the tent owners say the same thing about us. Given this, I've decided it's not worth worrying about.


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Old 07-06-2014, 07:56 AM   #12
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I'd love to camp in a Prevost, with my Airstream in tow behind it!


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Old 07-06-2014, 08:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater View Post
"Our version of 'roughing it' is not so rough." --Stuart Natof

Camping is what we do when we use the trailer. No matter where it's parked. We can get all high and mighty about how the Prevost owners aren't "camping", but then the tent owners say the same thing about us. Given this, I've decided it's not worth worrying about.


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Agreed! Its really all about perspective. Besides, beer weighs too much in a backpack!
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:19 AM   #14
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When you add a slide out to the equation you are no longer camping.......
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