Saturday, February 1, 2014


Parts of this blog post are taken directly from something that I originally posted on the camping boards over on Reddit.  Often times a contributor offers up a great tip on the boards and is met with negative remarks or down votes; not because its bad advice, but simply because it doesn't fall exactly into what someone else deems their ideal version of "camping". 

Why do people take the term " Car Camping" so literally?

When someone hears the term "car camping", they might envision a couple of 20-something adventurists throwing some stuff in a vehicle and hitting the road for a spur of the moment road trip.  My close-to-50 year old version of that...throwing my sleeping bag into the back of my jeep, backing it up to a campfire at my $20 campsite and falling asleep; then stopping at McDonald's for breakfast (then stopping back for a $1 menu lunch & dinner) whilst enjoying the RI beaches. Some people might diagnose people like this with " Not spending $100 on a hotel room just to sleep" syndrome.  Well, I guess I got the sickness...and it's contagious! So, if you often find yourself extreme minimalist car camping, please know you aren't alone. There are thousands of other people out there willingly deemed "insane".  To newbies, I invite you to voluntarily commit yourself to the funny farm....its a sometimes-safe haven where the greatest memories are created. 
For the record...Hotel management does not appreciate guests burning the phone book in the bathtub to roast weenies and marshmallows. Go figure.

Now, lets focus on what the general camping community might define as "car camping".

"Car camping" I believe, (and wiki agrees) that Caravanning, RV camping, tenting, truck camping, motorcycle camping ... it goes by many names, and the experience varies widely, normally involves the use of motor vehicles to get to a campsite.

Unlike "walk in", "backpacking" or "minimalist" camping (well respected breeds onto themselves) who accept/love the challenge of journeying into the wilderness carrying supplies and equipment while testing their own abilities, survival skills and techniques. Car camping allows you to bring more equipment, more food...and plenty of stuff you'll probably never need/use. The focus is on enjoying the campsite/campground experience while partaking in things like group cook-outs, short day hikes, and other outdoor activities. Cyclists and kayakers fall into a gray area depending if they travel with a tow-able.  
Car camping might be a solo hobby or a group hobby. Realistically, its quite difficult to be a "minimalist" when camping in large groups (especially with kids). So, when people share a packing list that appears to include everything plus a kitchen sink, the term "glamper/glamping" gets thrown in their direction. Far from it!

Glamorous camping, aka "glamping" is more geared towards simultaneously satisfying your craving for the outdoors, your penchant for a good meal, a nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed.... WAIT! That's me! ...except I do it in $50 tent, drink whatever is on sale, think "good" means not burnt, and an air mattress vs. hard ground is comfy. And jsyk...yes, I have some gadgets, tech devices, and often use real dinnerware... But, I've never been called a glamper. Except by a backpacker ;-)   And that's fine, because as a tenter, Rvers are my glampers. 

Anyways, I think we all know a true extreme glamper when we see one. And you know what? There is nothing wrong with it! I've seen lots and lots of people, spend lots and lots of money on hobbies that they didn't seem to get half the enjoyment from. So, you'll just have to deal with the fact that you got a plastic flashlight with low batteries... and they got a solar powered chandelier in their tent. Don't be a hater....they are still camping!

So whether your "car camping" trip leads to down a remote dirt road to the edge of a stream...or a paved parking lot where you unroll your awning and unpack your camp chair... or a half grassy/half shaded 70 ft. site with a fire pit, picnic table, water and electrical hook-ups, with a lake, beach, or swimming pool, and playground nearby.... ENJOY IT! ...and NEVER feel or make someone else feel that yours/their ideal version of being part of the great outdoors, is any more/less meaningful!
Find hints, tips, recipes, gear, DIYs, products, and advice for all your camping adventures on any/all of our social network pages. You'll find Bound4Burlingame on Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube and the web.

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