Camping is a very popular form of living outdoors. It gives people the opportunity of spending their free time in nature or in the wilderness. Camping may start by spending the night in a tent in your own back yard and end up by going on a trip that may last for several weeks.
Some campers stay in one place for days, a week or even longer. From there they visit tourist attractions, go fishing or hunting, play games and do active sports like mountain biking or just simply relax. Others prefer to tour areas and spend every night in a different place. They travel by car or motor homes.
Each year millions of people go camping. They can explore new surroundings and be close to nature at the same time.
Types of camping
Most people drive to a campsite and set up a tent there. This is easy because you can take everything you need for your camping holiday in your car with you. In most cases you will choose a campsite that is near the road.
Travelling in recreational vehicles (RV) is more comfortable but also much more expensive. These RVs range from small trailers to large mobile homes. They have all the luxuries that you would also have at home, like refrigerators, showers sinks or toilets.
Boat campers travel with a canoe, kayak or even a small houseboat. They spend days on lakes or rivers and usually camp on the water’s edge nearly every night.
In Western Europe, especially Holland, Belgium or Ireland you can rent a boat and travel on one of the hundreds of canals and smaller rivers that crisscross these countries.
Backpackers are hikers who carry their belongings on their backs. They usually go to places that you cannot reach by car. Special equipment is usually extremely light and can be carried on longer trips.
Campers who travel by bike usually can stay at normal campsites. On one side cyclists can get to places that you can’t get to by car and on the other side they travel longer distances than hikers do. They pack their things in waterproof saddlebags which they strap to the frame of the bike.
Organized camping holidays usually take place during the summer and are attended by girls and boys. They combine outdoor activities with other kinds of training or with learning. Boy and girl scouts are groups of children who go on special camping trips.
If you go camping and want to spend the night in a tent you will need certain items.
Today’s tents are normally made of nylon, canvas or other light material. They are not so expensive and easy to fold together and carry around with you, especially if you are backpacking. The material has to be waterproof and is easy to put up
If you want to sleep in a tent you will need a sleeping bag. It protects you from the outside cold and is warmer than a blanket. Sleeping bags come in different sizes, colours and shapes.
Sleeping on the ground however is not always very comfortable. Some campers have foam pads or air mattresses which they lie on.
Clothing is an important aspect when you go on a camping holiday. Be sure to take clothes with you that will protect you from the sun, rain and insects. Take along some lightweight trousers, comfortable shoes and warm shirts or a jacket for cold evenings. Always carry a raincoat or poncho with you. Hiking boots are good if you walk a lot.
You will also need other everyday items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap. Take along sunglasses, maps, and a compass or maybe even a GPS device.
Campers should also have waterproof matches, extra batteries, a knife and a lantern or torch with them.
Choosing the right place to set up a tent is not always an easy task. First choose a dry place. The open side of the tent should face away from windy and stormy directions. Remove stones and sticks from the ground. Sometimes it is necessary to dig a ditch around the tent so that water from rainfall can flow away.
If you camp in your RV make sure you have the necessary facilities you need. Many campgrounds supply you with energy and water connections. Sometimes, however, campsites require you to reserve a place in advance.
Organized campgrounds are areas that are mostly enclosed by a fence. They often provide picnic tables, grills and parking space for cars and offer extra activities for their guests.
There are some safety precautions you must take when camping outdoors.
A campfire is one of the many enjoyable parts of a camping experience, but you should do it right. Never leave your fire unattended Always have water nearby so that you can put out the fire if it gets out of control.
Safe drinking water is also something important. Public campgrounds usually provide good water but if you camp in the wilderness make sure you have fresh and clean water supplies with you. You can also buy tablets that purify water.
If you go hiking on your camping trip be aware of other dangers. Don’t touch poisonous plants like poison oak or poison ivy. If you get caught in a thunderstorm look for shelter. If you can’t find a house or another building sit under trees in a forest. Avoid tall trees that stand alone in open areas. Get out of the water if you are swimming.
Before you leave home tell someone where you are going and when you will probably be back. If you have never been to a place before don’t go there alone. Stay calm and remain in one place in case you get lost and wait until help arrives. Carry matches with you to light a fire and keep warm. Do not rely on cell phones to call someone. Chances are that you won’t have a good reception if you are in a remote area.
Clean up your campsite when you leave. Fill all the holes that you have dug. Save your waste until you can put it in waste bins.
- activity = things that you do in your free time
- aspect = here: something that you have to think about
- attend = go to
- attraction = something interesting to see
- avoid = keep away from
- belonging = the things that are yours and you carry with you
- blanket = a cover for a bed, made of wool
- Boy and Girl scouts = organizations for boys and girls in which they get together and are taught practical things
- calm = quiet, peaceful
- campsite = place where you put up a tent and stay for the night
- canvas = strong cloth
- cell phone = mobile phone
- combine = unite, mix
- connection =two things that join together
- crisscross = to travel in straight lines that cross each other
- device = small machine
- dig = to make a hole in the earth
- distance = the number of metres or kilometres from one place to another
- ditch = along hole that leads water away
- edge = border
- enclosed =to surround something
- enjoyable = pleasant
- especially = above all
- experience = here: trip
- extra activities = things you can do in your free time
- extremely = very
- face away = show away from
- facility = service
- fence = a structure made of metal or wood that is around a place
- foam pad = a soft object that you can lie on, like a mattress
- fold = to put one part over the other
- frame = a structure made out of steel that holds the other parts together
- GPS = Global Positioning System = a system that uses signals from satellites to show where you exactly are
- hiking boots = shoes that are specially made to walk long distances
- hiking = to take long walks in the countryside or in the mountains
- in advance = before you go on a holiday
- item = thing, object
- lantern = a lamp made of glass that has a flame inside
- lightweight = not very heavy
- luxury = expensive things that you do not really need
- match = a small wooden stick with which you can light a fire
- mattress = the soft part of a bed that you lie on
- mobile home = a house made out of metal that can be pulled by a car , used especially in America
- motor home = a large car or truck with beds, a kitchen , toilet etc. used for travelling and holidays
- necessary = something that you need to do
- opportunity = chance
- poison ivy = a plant in North America that has oily leaves ; it makes your skin hurt if you touch it
- poison oak = a plant in North America that has leaves like an oak tree ; it makes your skin hurt if you touch it
- poisonous = something that has poison in it
- poncho = a coat with a hole in the middle for your head
- popular = liked by many people
- protect = guard , look after
- provide = give
- public = for everyone
- purify = to make clean
- range = go from ... to
- reception = the signal you get
- recreational vehicle = trailer
- relax = rest
- rely = to trust or depend on someone or something
- remain = stay
- remote = distant, faraway
- remove = put away
- rent = to use for a few days and pay money for it
- require = you need to
- saddle bag = a bag that is fixed to a bike and in which you can transport things
- safety precautions = things that you must do to stay safe
- shape = form
- shelter = a place where you are protected from outside dangers
- shower = a place where you stand and wash your body
- sink = place where you can wash the dishes
- special equipment= special things that you need when you go camping
- strap = fasten
- supply = give
- surroundings = that places and things around you
- task = job
- tent = a place made of cloth and poles that you use for camping
- thunderstorm = a storm with thunder and lightning
- torch = a small electric lamp that you carry in your Hand
- trailer = a room that you pull behind a car and use for sleeping and living
- unattended = to be left alone without anyone there
- waste = materials that you no longer need and throw away
- waste bin = container for waste
- water supply = water in cans or bottles
- waterproof = something that does not let water in
- wilderness = a place that people do not live in