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What Kind of Camper Are You?

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I was camping in a state park a while back and walking along the road that provided access to the campsites when we passed by one of those large RV vehicles. You could see the couple inside, rocking back and forth in large reclining chairs, watching TV, while the air conditioning unit on the roof was cranking away. That begs the question of what do you consider “camping?”

Camping in general is thought of something you do to get away from it all for a short period of time and, to some degree, get closer to nature or have an experience we normally don’t have the opportunity to do.

Some people enjoy “hard-core” camping where you carry everything on your back. Then off you go into the wilderness with the hopes of enjoying nature and having minimal contact with other humans. The other end of the spectrum is to bring all the comforts of home with you in an oversized RV so you can watch TV while parked where your butt is normally not parked.

In a world where the wild places are literally being bulldozed into smaller and smaller regions, one would think there would be a greater demand and yearning to experience the remaining places untouched by progress. The problem with that is the developed regions in the world have very little access to natural settings. The only opportunity for many to get into the woods are state parks, and many of those are not that big and can be crowded. It could be a two-day drive to “real” wilderness areas which is not feasible for those weekend getaways.

Perhaps one issue then is the access to camping venues. When the only type of camping opportunities are state parks, then you’re limited to a confined space in a row of campsites. Is that really camping or is it something else? Crowded campgrounds are far from communing with nature. They are more likely to be family gatherings and places for creating memories of sitting around the campfire and making s’mores. Other activities might be riding bikes, swimming at the beach, shopping in a nearby town, or exploring hiking trails.

Those who purposely set off into the wilderness are looking to discover nature and seek out solitude. There is a lot to say about experiencing the natural outdoors and seeing the world in the way it was meant to be. When you truly get away from it all and can see how the natural world works, it gives a greater appreciation of how fragile the planet can be. Away from the light pollution you can see the stars in their fully glory, twinkling, changing colors, and perhaps a fireball if you’re lucky.

So, what kind of camper are you? One who longs for the quiet, unspoiled and wild places or one who likes to watch TV in a public campground? Perhaps it is more a function of what’s available rather than an attitude. If more people could experience the natural places there could be a greater appreciation for the planet and its limited resources. In the meantime, minor exposure to camping at the very least provides an awareness of preserving natural resources even when campgrounds can become overcrowded population centers on the weekends.

Still, you have to wonder what level of appreciation there is when “camping” is easy recliner chairs, air conditioning, and watching TV.

Thanks to Dreamstime Stock Photos for donating the professional photography you see in this post!