friends on a camping

15 Different Types of Camping: Choosing The Right Camping Style

  • Camping has numerous health benefits, reduces stress and anxiety and is a great opportunity to exercise and socialize. 
  • Tent camping, RV camping, backpacking, car camping and beach camping are some of the most common types of camping
  • Winter camping, mountaineering camping and survival camping are more extreme versions of camping and require experience. 
  • Food and water, shelter, clothing and medical supplies are the essentials for every camping trip. 

Camping has been around for hundreds of years but has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. More and more people are deciding to turn their vacations into camping trips, but before you start packing, you need to become familiar with the different types of camping. Read on for overviews of the most popular camping styles.

Benefits of Camping as a Recreational Activity

Camping comes with a strong set of advantages, so if you’re still on the fence about this activity, consider the benefits you get to experience.

  • Health Benefits: exposure to fresh air and sun will increase your serotonin and vitamin D levels, which can boost your immune system and improve your overall health condition.
  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: the lack of noise and urban commotion will decrease your levels of stress and anxiety and allow you to unwind.
  • Exercise: camping usually involves quite a lot of hiking, which is a great way to get your share of exercise and burn calories.
  • Better Sleep: all the aforementioned benefits — improved immunity, less stress, more exercise — can influence your sleep cycle and let you have a good night’s rest.
  • Social Benefits: camping trips present a great opportunity to spend time with friends and loved ones, reconnect and rekindle your relationships.

Tent Camping

The first association with tents is camping since that this is the most popular and most widely represented type of camping.


Tent camping can be done anywhere — in the backyard, the great outdoors or in a dedicated campsite. The tent itself is a key part of the activity. Tents come in various different sizes and with numerous features.

RV Camping

family relaxing in countryside on motor home vacation

RVs are vehicles designed specifically for camping and they are often chosen over tents because of the added comfort.


Avid campers usually opt to buy their own RV, but they’re also available for rent. It’s worth noting that 11.2 million households own an RV vehicle. The vehicle has all the necessary amenities for a camping trip, so it’s not necessary to bring sleeping bags or cooking appliances. Across the US, there are numerous dedicated RV campgrounds, so finding the right location won’t be a problem.

Types of RVs for Camping

People use a variety of different RVs for going on camping trips:

  • Class A, B and C motorhomes
  • Travel trailers
  • Pop-up trailers
  • Fifth-wheel trailers


Adventurous and demanding, backpacking is considered among the most extreme camping styles. It requires experience and physical strength and in turn, provides access to remote areas and unique camping sites.


Backpackers carry all of their equipment with them at all times. Food, clothes, sleeping bags, and all remaining gear are packed into a special camping backpack. Fitting all of this in a backpack requires strong organizational and packing skills, and carrying it for prolonged periods requires physical strength. Designated backpacking sites are available in many locations and charge a small fee.

Safety Tips for Wilderness Camping

When going backpacking through the wilderness, ensure your safety by implementing these tips:

  • Bring a first-aid kit
  • Pack a map
  • Check the weather report
  • Inspect the site before retiring for the night
  • Protect your food from wildlife
  • Stay on the trail

Glamping (Glamorous Camping)

Glamping combines the fun and spontaneity of camping with the glamor of resort-style vacations.

Definition and Concept of Glamping

The concept of glamping, i.e. living luxuriously in a tent is nothing new. The word itself was coined in the mid-2000s and has since been used to describe different types of camp locations equipped with all modern-day amenities. People that want to have a camping experience without having to deal with any of the issues often opt for glamping.

Luxurious Accommodations and Amenities in Glamping

When glamping, people don’t have to bring their own accommodation. Glamping sites provide accommodation with amenities, such as electricity, heating, plumbing, beds and bedding. Wi-Fi and even hot tubs and catering services are also part of the package.

Tips for a Luxurious and Comfortable Glamping Experience

If you want to take your glamping trip to a new level, make sure to implement these pieces of advice:

  • Choose clean and comfortable accommodation
  • Add a personal touch
  • Cook and enjoy gourmet meals
  • Bring additional lighting
  • Pack accordingly

Beach Camping

A popular summer activity, beach camping is more convenient than camping in the woods and a cost-effective way to have a beach vacation.

a woman and her dog on a beach camping

Overview of Beach Camping

Before you go beach camping, you’ll need to choose whether you want to stay directly on the beach or at one of the sites close to the beach. You’ll also need to bring a tent or a sleeping bag and some warm clothes to spend the night in.

Safety Considerations for Beach Camping

Camping on the beach is fun, but you still need to be careful. Be sure to implement some safety measures:

  • Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn
  • Stay hydrated by drink plenty of water
  • Bring insect repellent
  • Beware of the tide
  • Inspect the area for any potential hazards

Car Camping

A popular alternative to tent camping, car camping is considered slightly more convenient and private, while still being very affordable.

Overview of Car Camping

Camping in your car requires some preparation. First, you need to have a vehicle that can accommodate you and your companion and all of your supplies. You’ll need to find the right type of camp — one that accepts car campers — or a designated area where you can park and sleep through the night. Assume a tent-like approach and cover all your car windows for privacy.

Benefits and Convenience of Car Camping

Car camping has become one of the popular camping styles thanks to the many benefits associated with it:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • More choices when it comes to location
  • Enhanced safety
  • Better weather protection
  • Easier to relocate
  • More comfortable

Bike Touring Camping

Bike camping combines cycle touring and backpacking and is suitable for people with experience in both cycling and camping, seeing as it can be quite strenuous. Besides the bike, suitable for riding on all terrain types, bike touring campers will have to bring a backpack with all the supplies and find a camping ground to accommodate them.

Winter Camping

Even though camping is typically seen as a summertime activity, it can be enjoyed throughout the year — even in winter — with a few modifications.

Introduction to Winter Camping

Camping in winter requires more preparation and additional gear, which in and of itself is more challenging, but the experience is more rewarding. In winter, there are no camping grounds and you get to enjoy nature without the hustle and bustle of the camping grounds in summer. However, it’s best if you have some camping experience before you embark on this winter adventure and you should be prepared to invest more in the trip.

Specialized Gear and Clothing for Winter Camping

When going camping in winter, campers should have the appropriate clothing and gear:

  • Hot tent, i.e. tent made of insulating canvas and containing a stove
  • Fuel for the stove
  • Waterproof matches and fire-starters
  • Sleeping bag for cold temperatures
  • Dry bag for keeping your clothes and sleeping bag
  • Sealable waterproof bags
  • Quick-drying socks and underwear
  • Waterproof boots and waterproof-breathable pants and jacket
  • Flashlights and whistles
  • Map and compass
  • Repair kit

Safety Precautions and Considerations for Winter Camping

Seeing as winter camping is somewhat riskier than camping in warmer seasons, you should always take precautions to ensure maximum safety:

  • Pack all the necessary gear and know how to use it
  • Dress in layers to keep warm at all times
  • Keep your feet dry and watch for signs of frostbite
  • Become familiar with signs of hypothermia and ways to treat it
  • Protect the eyes from the brightness of the sun and snow
  • Stay hydrated
  • Always stay by your partner/s — never leave your group

Popular Winter Camping Destinations

There are many picturesque winter camping destinations in the US, but some of the most popular are:

  1. Yosemite National Park, California
  2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  3. Chugach State Park, Alaska
  4. Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
  5. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Family Camping

In 2021, in the US, 93.8 million households described themselves as active campers. This number shows that families go camping together. The trips can vary from staying in a tent to using a motorhome, but luckily many family-friendly campsites across the US offer activities for the whole family.

Family-Friendly Camping Destinations and Activities

If you need camping inspiration about where to go and what to do with your family on your next camping trip, here are some ideas:

  1. Tall Pines Campground and River Adventures in Bainbridge, New York — kayaking, canoeing, fishing.
  2. Winding River Resort in Grand Lake, Colorado —hiking, riding bikes.
  3. El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara, California — swimming pool, children’s playground.
  4. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Mammoth Cave in Cave City, Kentucky — zip lining, minigolf, splash pad area, inflatable obstacle course.
  5. Pineland Camping Park in Arkdale, Wisconsin — inflatable water slides, bazooka ball shoot-out, giant chess.

Backyard Camping

People that don’t like to venture far but still want to experience the thrill of camping can do it by setting up camp in their backyard. This is an easy and cheap way to enjoy the outdoors and have an adventurous mini-vacation. All you need to do is set up the tent and if you want, build a fire pit. There’s no need to pack any supplies or carry special gear.

Hammock Camping

Hammock camping is gaining traction among campers, especially backpackers that don’t like to carry the weight of a full-sized tent on their shoulders. When you’re planning this type of camping trip, you’ll need to get a hammock, a suspension system, a rain pad, bug netting and preferably some sort of insulating pad. Even though you still have to bring quite a lot of supplies, the hammocking equipment weighs less and takes up less space than a tent.

Mountaineering Camping

Mountaineers often go on days, sometimes weeks-long climbing trips. When this happens, they need to bring the equipment necessary for setting up camp, in addition to their mountaineering gear. This type of camping is suitable for experienced climbers and campers and you should build up to this. If you’ve never camped before, this is not the best choice.

Wilderness Camping

camping in the wilderness

A type of camp is what differentiates wilderness camping from other types of camping. Wilderness camps are located on bare soil, rock or gravel and usually in spots with heavy vegetation. You won’t find the usual amenities at these camping sites, but you’ll get to experience nature to the fullest.

Canoe or Kayak Camping

More and more campers are deciding to go kayaking or canoeing on their camping trips. They travel the distance from one place to another by moving on the water in their kayak/canoe, bringing all of their supplies and gear with them. Other than using a different mode of transportation, this canoe/kayak camping is nearly identical to backpacking.

Survival Camping

Survival camping is the most extreme form of camping. People that choose this style of camping will have to survive in the wilderness with very little camping gear. Campers that opt for this will need to have very strong survival skills and rely on their instincts to find food and shelter. This also requires a lot of physical strength and familiarity with nature, so we recommended it for highly-experienced campers.

Essential Gear and Supplies to Bring for Camping

Regardless of the type of camping you choose, you should always bring some essentials with you. When you’re packing, make sure you have:

  • Weather-resistant clothing
  • Food and water
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flashlight or lantern, plus batteries
  • Fire supplies
  • Pocket knife
  • Map and compass
  • First aid supplies
  • Bug spray and sunscreen
  • Camp stove and cooking utensils

Choosing the Right Type of Camping for Your Preferences and Needs

Camping can be a fun activity for everyone, seeing as they can choose from various camping styles and opt for one that fits their preference. Whether you want a traditional camping trip, something with a touch of luxury or something in the opposite direction, there are types of camps to accommodate it all. Hopefully, going through this article has provided camping inspiration and helped you find the perfect option for you.


What Are the 3 Most Common Types of Camping?

Tent camping, car camping and RV camping are the 3 most common camping types. They can be quite comfortable and don’t require any special skills, plus they’re suitable for everyone, including beginner campers and children.

What Is the Most Popular Type of Camping?

Tent camping is still the most popular type of camping, but an increasing number of people are turning to glamping and backpacking, based on personal preference. Still, tents remain the go-to for campers around the US.

What Is the Most Important Thing for Camping?

Every camper must carry food and water. Shelter and appropriate clothing closely follow these two, but there are many other essentials needed for a camping trip.

Why Camping Is the Best Outdoor Activity?

While camping, people get to spend time in nature and get exposure to sun and fresh air, which has multiple health benefits. Plus, camping is a great opportunity to get some exercise while spending time with friends. And let’s not forget it’s more cost-effective than other types of vacationing.

What Are the 4 Main Types of Tents?

A-Frame tents, Pyramid tents, Dome tents and Hoop tents are the four main types of tents. The Dome tent is the one most commonly used for camping because it’s lightweight, easy to assemble and sells for an affordable price.

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