Camping vs. Backpacking: Which One is Right for You?

Are you feeling the call of the wild? Before you pack a tent and hit the road or borrow your†buddy’s backpacking gear, consider first whether you want to go camping or backpacking and what type of camping is right for you.

Camping vs. Backpacking

What you choose depends on your experience, skill level, and desires. Youíll want to choose a form of camping that youíll be able to safely undertake while having fun.

There are many different types of camping, but there are a few primary forms of camping that youíre most likely familiar with which include: glamping, car camping, RV camping and remote camping. Backpacking is a whole†other animal.

Understanding the difference and choosing the right outdoor activity for you sets you up for the best time possible.

Camping vs. Backpacking: Which is Right for You?

Types of Camping

Letís start at the top.

1) Glamping

Glamping is for those who like to look at the outdoors but arenít necessarily interested in being in the outdoors. Maybe you prefer to bird watch from a patio or rest in the morning sun with a cup of coffee and cozy porch chair.

If you like creature comforts of everyday living, then glamping is for you. You can rent a cabin at one of many state or national parks.

2) Car Camping

Car camping is a misleading term, but thatís what you call camping in which you drive your car up to the campsite. You camp in a tent, but your car is parked right next to you.

These sites typically come with water and electricity. If not electricity, then at least water. If you have the right supplies, you can be successful in this type of camping setup with little to no experience.

camping under the stars

3) RV Camping

Unlike car camping, RV camping doesnít usually involve a tent. The whole point of having an RV is so that you can sleep inside the RV and easily travel from one location to the next.

RVs do require some skill to ensure proper functioning of the vehicle. Whoever you rent the RV from can guide you on what needs to be done to keep†it running well.

4) Remote Camping

Remote camping is tent camping without water or electricity. Youíll see these camps sites tucked away in the state or national parks.

Remote camping isnít recommended if you have no experience with camping. It requires forethought about water and how to manage without electricity. Youíll also have to navigate getting to the site with all your stuff from where you drop your car.

Remote camping is one step before backpacking.

Camping vs. Backpacking: Which is Right for You?

Backpacking

As you see, camping (most often car camping) means you get to bring all your stuff in boxes or bags in your car and set up shop right there. You have access to water or electricity, and itís fairly comfortable.

In comparison, backpacking is more rugged. You need to fit everything needed to eat, sleep, and pee in your pack. Youíll need a good pair of hiking shoes, proper attire, and certain survival skills in case of emergency.

Once youíve got your pack and gear ready, youíll drive to a trailhead and head out into the middle of nature. There isnít a specific campsite. You decide where you stop hiking for the day and set up camp. The next morning you pack up and start hiking again. How long and far you go depends on your skill level.

If youíre new to outdoor activities, then backpacking shouldnít be your first choice. Backpacking is for those with at least some experience camping and hiking. Car camping is a great, safe place to start for those with little or no experience with rugged outdoor activities.

Related at Care2

 

Images via Thinkstock

56 comments

Paulo R
Paulo R3 months ago

ty

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Christine Stewart
Christine Stewart4 months ago

I like snow camping - no bugs!

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Leo C
Leo C4 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Danii P
Past Member 4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Danii P
Past Member 4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Danii P
Past Member 4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Leo C
Leo C4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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David C
David C4 months ago

thanks

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Leo C
Leo C4 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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