What Kind of Camper Are You?

With The Great American Backyard Campout coming up, I realized that not all camping is created equal. For some, camping is second nature and something they’ve done for years. For others, it’s a foreign, almost scary concept.

The book we’re working on has an adventure scale where we rate things from 1 to 5 with 1 being the easiest and 5 being the hardest. So I thought I would do the same thing with camping. Take a look at the five different levels of camping. What’s your ideal campout?

Level 1: Glamping. This is a fairly new term. In a nutshell it’s glamorous camping. You don’t use a tent, so you’re probably staying in a lovely little cottage or cabin instead, but you still enjoy the great outdoors and will definitely have a campfire. You might even cook on it, too! Glamping is a good first step.

Level 2: The Backyard. The Great American Backyard Campout embraces backyard camping. It’s great for beginners. You’re outside and in a tent, but you have the comfort of home nearby. You can still pack food and supplies, but the bathroom is just a few short steps away.

Level 3: Car Camping. Car camping means that you’re camping in a tent, but your car isn’t too far away. You likely have much of your supplies still inside, and if it happens to downpour, you have a safe haven to escape to. You can find lots of campsites out there where car camping is common.

Level 4: Hike to Camp (aka Backpacking). For level 4, you have to hike to get to your camping destination. You might even hike a few hours before you get to your destination. You’re probably investing in a good backpack at this point. So go through your list of supplies and make sure you pack everything you need. Once you head out, it’s not easy to go back. You’re in it for the long haul, so plan ahead.

Level 5: No Tent Required. This is for the most experienced outdoors person. You don’t even need a tent. Of course, you still need lots of supplies and need to plan ahead so you can get good weather, but this level doesn’t even need a tent. They’ll go out and camp right under the stars.

Stacy is a gardener, birder, and naturalist, and the author of nearly 10 books, including The Kids' Outdoor Adventure Book, The Secret Lives of Animals, Project Garden, and 101 Plants You Can't Kill.


  • Reply January 20, 2014

    Rodney Cottrell

    I am

  • Reply January 20, 2014

    Rodney Cottrell

    I am so thankful for this website. I am the father of three beautiful girls and the husband of one beautiful and amazing wife, so this will ensure that we are loaded with a healthy supply of family-time activities. I am definitely adding this site to our favorites.
    Looking forward to camping in 2014.

    Thanks Stacy and Ken for all you do!
    God Bless,
    Rodney, Stephanie, Shelby, Chloe, and Ellie Cottrell

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