What Are the 24 Types of Camping?

You probably didn’t know that there are whopping 24 different types of camping! With new kinds of camping getting invented all the time – glamping being one of the latest nature trends out there.

In this article, we’ll take you through the many different kinds of camping out there – from location to activity-specific. So that you can find out which type you want to try out!

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But first… Why do people actually like camping?

Considering that there are no less than 24 different types of camping out there, it is perhaps not surprising that so many people find that camping suits them to a tee. But there are more reasons why camping is becoming ever more popular:

Proximity to nature: Did you know that being at one with nature actually reduces stress? Tons of studies show that even just sitting in a forest looking at the canopies above can reduce stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenalin. And that’s to say nothing of the effect of simply breathing in fresh air which has been proven to boost the immune system.

Timing: The dreaded C-word comes in to play. Covid-19 is driving people to seek their holiday thrills outside in the open , away from hoards of people.

Disconnecting from modern life: Getting away from work, responsibilities and home makes for a relaxing trip. No more staring a screens. No more demanding boss. No more strained social events. Camping gives you a much-needed and well-deserved break.

Cost : And finally, let’s be honest: Camping, in comparison to a hotel getaway, is pretty cheap.

The 24 types of camping explained

Let’s start with what the definition of camping is in general… At it’s simplest, it’s a period of time involving an overnight stay in the great outdoors, (almost always) using some kind of a shelter; typically a tent or recreational vehicle (RV) – all in the pursuit of enjoyment.

We’ll take you through the different types of camping according go style, shelter-choice, activity and community.

Different types of camping: Location and timing

#1 What is wild camping

Wild camping with camper vans and rooftop camping in green nature

First up… what is wild camping? Basically, it’s any form of camping, be it a RV or a tent, that takes places far away from designated camping areas or amenities. It often described as a form of adventure camping, taking a back-to-basics approach to this nature vacation. Wild camping demands some camping experience and good planning.

Wild camping is also called dispersed camping.

#2 What is dry camping?

Often used interchangeably with wild camping, dry camping is pretty similar, however there are some differences. It refers to camping in an RV (exclusively) with no hook ups – meaning you wouldn’t be using electricity or water even if you were on a proper campsite.

#3 What is primitive camping?

It comes as no surprise that primitive camping is pretty basic and usually secluded. You can do this type of camping on designated areas which will often give you access to certain functions like a campfire ring, a cleared area and sometimes drinking water. πŸ”₯ You’ll rarely find a primitive campsite with access to electricity of bathroom facilities and you might find it’s only possible to access if you’re not driving.

#4 What is backcountry camping?

Backcountry is an American term very similar to wild or dispersed camping. It entails being far from developed areas and carrying all of your own resources, usually on your own back. Reserved for those whom adventure is calling!

This is not a wise camping choice for beginners: Here is a handy list of some of the things you must consider and plan for before setting off.

#5 What is winter camping?

A tent under blue skies in the snow represents the winter type of camping.

Pretty much how it sounds, winter camping is camping in your chosen shelter (RV, car, tent etc.) during the winter. ❄️ This requires some serious experience and good planning and gear. It’s also an amazing opportunity to get some fabulous camping photography shots. Here’s our camping photography 101.

#6 What is backyard camping?

A great lockdown activity if borders are shut and even local travel is restricted. Backyard camping is how it sounds. Set up your tent in your garden, heat up the grill and make a fire. All the fun and adventure of camping, without the long drive to get there!

You have vacation, but you’re not allowed to travel at the moment? Here are 10 Steps for the Perfect Vacation at Home

Types of camping: Shelter-choices

#7 What is glamping?

Essentially any camping that can be defined as luxurious. A mix of the words, ‘glamour’ and ‘camping’, glamping offers your vacation nature at first hand, at the same time as comfort. This could refer to the kind of activities you undertake, the shelter you are staying in or, most likely, a combination of the two.

Discover more about what glamping is here and the best places to go in the world right here.

#8 What is yurt camping?

A group of yurts in the sunshine with the mountains in the  background.

Rather than ‘what is yurt camping?’, you’re probably asking ‘what is a yurt?’. A yurt, for starters, is much bigger than you’re standard tent, allowing for a group of up to 15 people, depending on its size. A yurt is basically a rounded tent, supported by flexible wooden poles and covered by some kind of waterproof material.

All yurts are not created equally. Some yurts will be equipped for glamping (we’ll come to that!), while others will be basic in nature. While they are portable, some will stand semi-permanently and be decked out with a bathroom and kitchen as well as electricity.

#9 What is tent camping? πŸ•

This is pretty much your classic style of camping. Get a tent and head to your chosen campsite! You might be tent camp in combination with one of these other types of camping.

#10 What is RV and Van camping?

An RV in the nighttime is parked on the road-

RV, van or caravan camping involves one of these three shelters and a road map! There are tons of different ways to camp with one of these vehicles and the best way to find out which is for you is to check out our list of the top 20 camping bloggers here. They’ve got everything covered from renovating an old van into a permanent living space to camping safely during the pandemic.

#11 What is hot tent camping?

Good news for the ‘cold-blooded’ among us. This type of camping involves a very specific kind of tent. It should have a wood burning stove!

#12 What is rooftop camping?

This type of camping involves a tent on top of the car, here seen at the end of a green landscape.

What some people think car camping means, this kind of camping What they actually mean is camping on top of a car. This is really called rooftop camping.

#13 What is hammock camping?

A woman lies in a hammock in front of a forested landscape and water.

Hammock camping refers to the shelter you use while camping – AKA none! Camping in a hammock means you get to be directly under the stars. Lots of people find it comfier too!

Activities and arrival-specific camping styles

#14 What is survival camping?

Survival or survivalist camping is the camping vacation for adrenalin-junkies. It involves going to an isolated area you don’t know and surviving with the bare minimum. Survival campers will often hunt, fish and scavenge. It’s important to know how to stay safe before you go, for example by learning how to avoid predators.

#15 What is day camping?

Given our initial definition of what camping means, you could argue this is not a kind of camping at all. However, the attitude behind it certainly is. Often, ‘day camping’ is used in the context of summer camps for younger kids and will involve teaching them the outdoor skills they will need for overnight camping in the future.

#16 What is car camping? 🚘

A car parked in front of a tent on a campsite in the forest

For the majority of campers out there, car camping simply means that instead of walking to a campsite with all your gear, you drive up there. So car camping is in contrast to say, canoe camping.

#17 What is walk in camping?

Walk in camping is quite literally a site where you, at a certain point, will have to park your car and walk to access. In some cases this could mean quite a physical effort. Some of these sites may be used for dispersed or wild camping purposes, while others will simply be relatively remote.

#18 What is bush camping?

Bush camping in an Australian term for a particular type of camping, which could be anywhere in the country. At a cheaper price (or free) and often closer to nature than other kinds of traditional camping, bush camping is the obvious choice for someone who prefers being away from the crowds. ‘Bush’ tends to imply forested or uncleared areas with few settlements.

#19 What is canoe camping?

A woman sits with her camping gear in a rowing boat on the water.

This type of camping means that you will canoe to your camping destination, probably sleeping in a tent. Similarly, you can also do bike, kayak, rowing or motorcycle camping.

#20 What is reenactment camping?

Reenactment or history camping is the Live Action Role Play enthusiast’s camping of choice. When reenactment camping, you use all the materials and equipment from a particular time period of history. This means no modern tech or gear!

#21 What is backpacking?

A group of backpackers hike up the mountainside

While backpacking isn’t exclusively a type of camping, it one of the most common types. Backpacking involves carrying your equipment in your backpack and traveling by foot. Usually, people backpack in combination with tent camping. 🚢

Types of camping communities

#22 What is KOA camping?

Trick question. Actually, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) refers to around 500 specific campsites in North America. As the world’s largest group of privately-owned campsites however, it’s almost a type of camping in it’s own right!

KOA sites have more functionality than the types of camping described above, offering hot showers and the like. The family-run sites offer three different options, promising varying levels of comfort: holiday, journey and resort.

#23 What is BLM camping?

BLM camping describes something slightly different than a style of camping. Rather, it means camping on lands maintained by the United States Bureau of Land Management. BLM offer a range of campsite options for a fee or explain how to you can do dispersed camping (free) on these lands.

#24 What is Good Sam camping?

Rather than a kind of camping, Good Sam is more of an organization of RVers. Membership here means savings, services as well as insurance, and a community of other RVers to help answer your questions.
#18 What is autocamp?

Are there more types of camping?

Yes! You can combine these types and styles of camping with each other, or who knows, create a new kind entirely! Camping is what you make it… So pack up your stuff and get closer to nature! 🌸