Definition of camping

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

grubworm

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

1,888
Thibodaux, LA, USA
First Name
grub
Last Name
worm
Member #

17464

Ham Callsign
WRMA515
While reading the 'Definition of overlanding' thread...one insightful OB member posted that 'overlanding' is car camping. I really liked that definition. I leaned back in my chair and smiled as to the simplicity and accuracy that statement made. Then it hit me...what is camping??

Once again, it's up to the OB members to pick up where Merriam Webster left off...

Questions like this can be interesting because in addition to stirring the pot, there can be some interesting information as to why people define things the way they do. Sometimes its regional or cultural and other times its just simply based on tradition, etc.

Besides...it is a pretty good thought provoking question because there are so many different answers and it's interesting to see which answers are the most common.
 
Last edited:

Anak

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

2,271
Sandy Eggo
Upon the authority of Patrick F. McManus and his treatise on the subject of "Kid Camping from Aaaaiii to Zip" I do not believe camping requires that one goes any farther from home than their own back yard. OTOH, a tent and ghost stories may be required in order for it to count as camping.

Furthermore, on that basis, if you camp in your own backyard in a RTT on an SUV, then you may consider yourself to be overlanding.

I think the key to overlanding is not so much the distance traveled, but rather the placement of the tent atop the vehicle. If you are sleeping above the land you are then overlanding. Those poor souls (myself included) who sleep down on the ground are merely camping. Overlanding is in itself an inherently elite activity.
 

ptgarcia

Rank I

Traveler I

154
Alta Loma, CA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Garcia
Upon the authority of Patrick F. McManus and his treatise on the subject of "Kid Camping from Aaaaiii to Zip" I do not believe camping requires that one goes any farther from home than their own back yard. OTOH, a tent and ghost stories may be required in order for it to count as camping.
And s'mores! It's not camping without s'mores!
 

Road

Not into ranks, titles or points.
Member

Advocate III

3,379
On the road in North America
First Name
Road
Last Name
.
Member #

6589

For me it is simple, camping is using a tent or sleeping under the stars. Use of a trailer or motorhome to sleep in is RVing. If you don't spend the night it is a picnic. But then I grew up in the 50's, todays definition of camping has many nuances, ie; "glamping".
.
Heh, then we have tent on a trailer, which I guess is RVamping.

I'm kidding.

There'll be almost as many definitions of "camping" as "overlanding," I think. It's one reason I most always say "adventuring," which to me encompasses all of it, whether camping for the night or weeks in tent or trailer, or using a vehicle or canoe or hiking.

Adventure on!
.
 

smritte

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

2,357
Ontario California
First Name
Scott
Last Name
.
Member #

8846

Ham Callsign
KO6BI
Camping requirements (not in order)
1. Camp Fire
2.Camp Stove
3.Camp tent
4.Camp Meals
5.Camp Cloths
6.Camp Cookware
7.Camp Stories

What else?
 

socal66

Rank II
Member

Enthusiast I

404
Covina, CA, USA
First Name
Carl
Last Name
Sampson
Member #

24109

If I have no tent or shelter and just sleep in my sleeping bag under the stars am I camping?
Is at least one night stay required for camping?

Is camping a prerequisite of overlanding?
If I drive on a bunch of trails during the day in the local desert but came home for the night was I overlanding?
If I drive on off-road trails across different states and/or countries for two months but stay each night at a motel am I overlanding?
 

grubworm

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

1,888
Thibodaux, LA, USA
First Name
grub
Last Name
worm
Member #

17464

Ham Callsign
WRMA515
i'm sure a good bit of the definition is regional. i know here in the swamps, there is hardly any dry land, so people build "camps". so to camp down here, you will more than likely have to go by boat to what is basically a small shack on stilts in the middle of water. no tenting because there is no ground and 'gators and mosquitoes would devastate anyone in a tent if there was ground. so if you were to tell someone down here they're going camping...they would automatically know they are going by boat to sleep in a shack surrounded by water...and being south louisiana, camping requires a LOT of beer

1617918248098.png
 

billum v2.0

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast II

1,661
Flyover Country
Member #

7855

I'd say self reliance, less protection from/interference with outdoors/nature and the mental recharging from a break from the "civilized" world.

Some folks find it in a half a million $$ RV pulling an enclosed trailer full of really nice stuff. Others with a pair of well worn boots, a hammock, white gas stove and a pillow case full of sustenance. Most of us, somewhere in between.

The older I get, the harder and colder the ground gets, the more my definition evolves. In the end, aren't all of us looking for our own piece of outdoors at an entry point we're comfortable with/capable of?

Do your thing, call it what you like. Me too.
 

Advocate II

473
Ontario, Canada
First Name
James
Last Name
Girard
Member #

0

I am somewhere on the lower spectrum of that. I typically sleep in a hammock next to my vehicle somewhere near a lake with a backpack for "sleep and shelter" and a full cooler. Usually some spare parts, tools, stove and fuel on top of that but pretty basic kit.
To me to people with big rvs are just looking for a home away from home and it doesn't see like camping in my eyes. But hey that's just me.
 

Old Tanker

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

289
Norfolk, VA, USA
First Name
Keith
Last Name
Reimer
Member #

18221

The definition of camping should be crafted so as to exclude sleeping with 24 of your best friends in an olive drab canvas tent under military command, or living as a refugee from disaster or civil unrest. Similarly, overlanding does not include sleeping on the top of a main battle tank. So perhaps "voluntary" or "for enjoyment" should be in there somewhere.
 

grubworm

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

1,888
Thibodaux, LA, USA
First Name
grub
Last Name
worm
Member #

17464

Ham Callsign
WRMA515
The older I get, the harder and colder the ground gets, the more my definition evolves. In the end, aren't all of us looking for our own piece of outdoors at an entry point we're comfortable with/capable of?
yeah...excellent point. as i've gotten older, my definition of "camping" (and a lot of other things) has definitely changed.
pretty sure if i met the 20 yr old version of me right now, i'd be thinking "What a crazy little shit!"
that's why i don't get upset with other people over different opinions and definitions...because if i held on to one view, i would end up being at odds with myself eventually.