How Camping Works

Types of Camping: Tent to RV

Pugs and people alike enjoy RV camping.
Pugs and people alike enjoy RV camping.
Joe McBride/Getty Images

There are as many types of camping as there are types of campers. Camping can range from simply pitching a tent in your backyard to heading deep into the wilderness. Let's take a look at some of the most popular types of camping.

Wilderness camping, tent camping and RV camping are all categorized as camping. When you wilderness camp, you generally fill up your backpack with all the necessary equipment and leave your vehicle. You don't have access to restroom facilities or running water. It allows you to enjoy the peace of nature away from hords of other campers.

If you're not sure you want to completely abandon all modern conveniences, you can set up your tent and camp at an organized campground instead. This is often referred to as car camping, since you use your vehicle to get to the campsite, instead of hiking there. Campgrounds may provide picnic tables, fire rings, grills, parking areas, docking facilities for boats and outdoor equipment available for rent. Some also provide structured activities like nature tours, educational programs and training in outdoor activities. Many campgrounds require reservations, especially in the summer months, so book ahead of time.

Some people choose to camp in an RV, which makes it easy to pick up and go, and you enjoy the convenience of a bedroom, living room and kitchen. The downfall is that you're not as close to nature as you would be in a tent -- you'll have to step out of your RV to explore your surroundings. Many campgrounds provide designated space for RV parking. You'll need to reserve a spot.

Most campgrounds that cater to RVs offer special hookups, which supply energy and allow you to make sewer and freshwater connections. To hook up your RV, connect the sewer hose to your RV. Connect the freshwater hose, which is usually white, to the campground's faucet. Be sure to flush out the hose to access clear water, and turn off the water before connecting it to your RV. To supply your RV with energy, connect the shoreline to the RVs outlet. With the breakers off, plug the cord in the ground pedestal and turn on the breaker. Then you can turn on the breakers inside the RV.

Whichever type of camping you're doing, it's good to follow the leave no trace camping philosophy -- leave nothing behind and don't disturb the environment in which you're staying. When you leave no trace, you reduce campfire use, respect wildlife, bring home everything that you brought and clean up your campsite before you leave. When making a campfire, use an established fire ring, fire pan or mound. Keep your fire small to reduce impact and only use sticks that you can break with your hands. Burn all of your wood and coals to ash and then scatter the ashes. When choosing a campsite, use existing campsites where you don't disturb vegetation and keep your site small.­