What is camping? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-01-2003, 02:29 PM   #1
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What is camping?

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Can somebody help me here? What is “camping?”

Over the last half century I have slept under canvas by a lake or river, curled up comfortably in a lean-to high in the mountains, spent many a night in a tent trailer, slept in the luxury of a motorhome, and more recently in a little fiberglass ball behind our car. But, what in heaven’s name is “camping?” I read about people going “camping.” What is that? What do people do when “camping?”

I have struggled with this question for years and I find there is a gap broader than Texas between the two schools of thought when discussing “camping.” That is because there are “campers” and travelers who camp – they are not one and the same, and their needs are very different. Now trust me, I had to sluice a lot of gravel to expose that nugget!

I think that explains these heated discussions about add-a-rooms and awnings. It all depends upon whether you are a traveler who camps, or a “camper” who sits still. We travelers wonder why one would go to such trouble setting up an awning. We will be breaking camp in the morning and heading out to new sights. Campers wonder how we get along without an awning because they sit still. Those with children camp to get the children out of the city and to introduce them to the outdoors, but, what do adults without children do this for?

In my younger days I camped when hunting or fishing – I understood that. Later I learned to camp when visiting places like Yellowstone and the Blacks Hills. My idea of camping is finding a warm dry place to spread my bedroll when I can’t get home in the same day. However, we travelers are mystified by the phrase, “We are going camping this weekend.” What does that mean?

I hear of people driving to some little copse of trees in the middle of nowhere and sitting there for a week. Please, someone, tell me what campers do during that period? I’m a traveler who camps, coincidentally. Why would I leave the comfort of my home to go out into the wilds to make do without luxuries and simply “camp?” I truly would like to learn how to sit still. Just think of all the gas I’ll save, but, it just does not make any sense to this old cowboy to drive 100 miles from home and “camp.”

What is camping?
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Old 06-01-2003, 06:52 PM   #2
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When I lived in town, I camped to get way from the noise, the neighbors, the phone. to break the routine, to sit and watch the wild life. to rejuvenate by a change of the norm. Others do this by playing golf or going to Las Vegas.

now that I live in the country, I go to see something or someone. to have a place to stay to call my own and get away from those I came to see. :lol. or to give myself time to explore the something but have a resting place, and watch the wild life.

When the kids went with us, we had to entertain, now just being there is entertainment enough, and watching the wild life.
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Old 06-01-2003, 07:26 PM   #3
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camping

Over the last half century I have slept under canvas by a lake or river, curled up comfortably in a lean-to high in the mountains, spent many a night in a tent trailer, slept in the luxury of a motorhome, and more recently in a little fiberglass ball behind our car. But, what in heaven’s name is “camping?”

All of the above!

Camping is:

Watching nature and not hockey.
Good reception is what your neighbour gives you.
Good milage is the distance between home and where you are.
Payday is finding a rig like yours close to you.
Commute is to the wood pile and back.
Fired are the coals for the dutch oven.
Co worker is your spouse
Office politics are the squirrels and the crows fighting over a crumb.
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Old 06-01-2003, 07:34 PM   #4
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Like most things, you might go batty trying to find the 'true' definition. But I suspect you already sensed that.

I hung around the woodworking forums for awhile. Seemed like there were those who wanted to talk about it more than doing it. Some like building the item but hated the sanding/painting/varnishing. Some claimed that the true woodworker only used hand tools, others were into 'more power'. Personally, I think they were all woodworkers after their fashion.

For some the vacation is the trip, not the destination. Sailing is like that. Wherever I end up must have been where I was going, because it was just too damn hard to go anywhere else. Heck, I'm only going 5 knots, so it better be the trip not the destination that's important.

When I was younger, all that mattered was the destination. Drive all day and all night until I got there. Now when I travel, its up at the crack of dawn, drive until 3 or 4 pm. Camp early, stay put all the next day. Repeat as necessary. More time for the trip.

Of course, there was the 10 years or so I backpacked. Drove a couple of miles to a branch of the Appalachian trial, then walk around for a week. What's up with that? Camping without sense enough to sit still? Moving without going anywhere? I loved it.

I'm guessing people just want a break in their routine. Some will tolerate a little more grounds in their coffee than others. Some will rough it a little more than others. For some it's just a means to an end. Maybe they don't have much in common with their neighbors, but at least camping they're with people with at least one common interest.

Heck, for some maybe the Holiday Inn is camping compared to the Ritz. It's all good to me.
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Old 06-01-2003, 08:33 PM   #5
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Say, wonderful replies, however they sorta miss the point. What does one do with the 12 hours in each day if you sit in a single campsite. We love to be out and rolling at magic hour. That is when the wildlife is active and the photo ops are at their best; the slanting light enhances all of your landscapes. But, what do people do who sit in the same campsite day after day. I have photographed grizzly bears and huge bull elk but not a single one from a campsite.

Keep the comments coming - maybe I'll get it yet!
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:25 PM   #6
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We tend to cover a lot of miles while camping. We might stay for two or three days in one place if there is a lot to see in the vicinity, but we hit the road as soon as we've seen it. I am on a whirlwind crusade to show our daughter the good ol' US of A before she's grown up and out of the house. Once we set up camp, we bike to the sights if we can, drive if we can't, and then move on down the road to the next hub of adventure.

She often says she'd like to take a vacation sometime where we drive till we get there, and then stay put until it's time to go home. Boggles the mind. Anyway, this year she gets her wish, more or less. We will go to RMNP in Colorado, set up camp, and stay till we go. Now, we won't be just sitting around the campsite for a week. We'll be hiking and sightseeing and wading in streams and climbing mountains and forging friendships with people and wildlife. My life isn't quite so stressed that I just want to sit around and recover, although I know some people who do it that way.

So, Ken, that doesn't answer your question, either, but at least you got another (limited) perspective. I just think there is way too much to see in God's creation to spend too much time seeing the same thing. Call me restless, but I've seen a lot of great stuff...
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Old 06-01-2003, 10:17 PM   #7
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Camping

First off, you are correct (or at least I agree with you) when you say there are travelers and there are campers. But we're talking campng here.

Camping is different things to different folks. As varied as the trees in a forrest, are the reasons that people camp.

Camping is having everything that I don't have at home and few of the things that I do.

Quiet. The quiet that allows the babbling brook to roar; the quiet that allows the lodge pole pines to beat out a rythum in the breeze.

It is the smells. The smell of the ocean or the smell of the pines in the moutains. Something that no one has ever successfully bottled. The smell of the morning coffee.

The coldness of the running creeks of crystal clear water.

The darkness. The absolute darkness that allows the stars to sparkle with a brightness that one cannot see in the city.

It is the peace. The peace of no traffic, no pushing and shoving in the stores, no honking. It is the peace of just being and not having to do. The little things become the important things. Buidling the fire and keeping it going. Keeping the camp neat. Sitting and thinking. Clear thinking without the constant interuptions of life.

Camping is seeing that deer off in the distance before he sees me.

I could go on and on, but camping, to me, is everything that everyday life does not allow.

Sometimes I can't camp so I travel with my camper if I can. Sometimes I just go inside and sit in my camper and then I can be anywhere I want to be.

Camping isn't for everyone. And for those who enjoy it, it is different things.

For me, camping is simply letting me be...
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Old 06-01-2003, 10:58 PM   #8
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Traveling Camper? Camping Traveller?

A couple of times a year I travel. A couple of times I camp.

Travel... If I'm going to a particular destination, I am able to take a little comfort of home with me, as well as my dog. Most mo/hotels really dislike dogs any bigger than dust mops, and will not accept them, even if they are pet friendly. The cost of lodging is cheaper, food is cheaper, and I get to crash out in "my house". I also get to meet different folks (rv'ers are usually a different breed).

Camping... Sometimes I just want to get away from it all. People, traffic, noise, etc. I will head off to the North Country and "veg" for a few days. Read, meditate, walk, appreciate nature for what it is and my little insignificant place in it. Listening to pine cones dropping or critters scurrying about, smelling the pines and damp floor of the woods... very balancing and reminds me of what my priorities in life should be...

Of course this is just me... ask 100 people and you'll get 100 different responses I would guess...
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:34 PM   #9
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camping vs. traveling

Funny. My answer is everyone's combined. I like to take my dogs, and get away, see new things, visit friends. Sometimes Camping is a place to stay that is my own, and sometimes just to Not have anything "to do" except wait to start a fire for dinner. Hiking, biking ,fishing and seeing the sights. When I was in my 20's camping was ONLY in a tent in the bare wilderness. Now that I am in my 40's, sleeping on the hard ground isnt what it used to be, and having a bathroom near is rather nice.:red My idea of "camping" has changed over the years. I would still prefer to "camp" as to travel, but like them both, but would like to spend more time in each place, since there are so many great ones out there. Maybe when we retire. Huh! (My husband is a traveler, so it is a constant battle.
Not to change the subject, but this reminds me of Bill Bryson's book: the Lost Continent. Has anyone read it? It is funny. And it is a good book about traveling. Except he is looking for the perfect little town.
Well, that was my 2 cents.:reye2
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Old 06-02-2003, 01:03 AM   #10
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Okay, I think I get it. When a person gets fed up with their everyday life they go “camping.” They leave the comforts of home behind to go huddle under a tarp in a canvas slum while they commune with others of a like bent and dodge around the fire avoiding the smoke. Hmmmm, seems like I could turn off CNN and the hockey game, pop a Solitudes tape in the stereo, and settle back in my Lazy-Boy, flick on the gas fireplace, and escape from the world while I listened to the loons without leaving home.

Now I confess, I do like the luxury of having my little motel room behind me when I travel. There is not always a truckstop open at 5 am when I want that first coffee of the day. So, if that is camping I guess we’re doing it. Some days we cover 50 miles in a day, others 500, yet every stop is refreshingly different - even the night we pulled in at a weigh station to sleep, because we drove too late, and had a truckload of bawling cattle park right beside us. We cooked a fine brunch by a streamside later that morning and crawled between the sheets to catch up on the missed sleep still chuckling over our luck with the cattle truck.
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Old 06-02-2003, 01:12 AM   #11
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It's not a canvas slum if your out in the boonies - and no one is there to appreciate the architecture! :o


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Old 06-02-2003, 06:17 AM   #12
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camping

Say, wonderful replies, however they sorta miss the point.

Ken I think you're fishing here, not camping.

Happy trails.
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Old 06-02-2003, 07:53 AM   #13
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"Hmmmm, seems like I could turn off CNN and the hockey game, pop a Solitudes tape in the stereo, and settle back in my Lazy-Boy, flick on the gas fireplace, and escape from the world while I listened to the loons without leaving home."

Well, yeah, I guess... If you wouldn't mind squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons and the ocassional moose wandering through your family room, let alone a smouldering fire in the middle of your new berber carpet, that also should be hosed down to give it that forest damp feel. :wink
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Old 06-02-2003, 08:28 AM   #14
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Sorry, I was not making fun of camping or those that camp. I'm just trying to understand the concept because we seem to be missing something. When I refer to it as a "canvas slum" I am visualizing campers we have seen crushed together in various campsites along the way as we traveled. It looked more like a scene out of Grapes Of Wrath than something I would be interested in. Yet, there is a section of society who enjoy this and all I was asking is what people do with their time if they sit still and camp.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3edb57599ecb1QuartbX1-(2).jpg/>

Quite a comparison with Rick's posted picture of camping tranquility.
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