Is Camping a Hobby?
Yes! Camping is generally considered a hobby.
If you’re interested in learning more about camping as a hobby, read on below! We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers about camping as a hobby.
Is Camping a Hobby or a Sport?
To start off, let’s go over whether camping would fall under the “outdoor sports” category or not.
When trying to deduce whether something is or isn’t something else, our first goal is always to make sure the terms are all well defined.
Let’s start with sport.
A sport, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
While this might not be the best definition, it seems to do the job. By this definition, camping is not a sport, outdoor or otherwise.
Now, we mentioned defining terms, but we only defined sport. Next, let’s get into what is or is not camping.
What is Camping?
Going back to our friend Oxford, camping is defined as “the activity of spending a vacation living in a camp, tent, or camper”.
Sounds kind of like Data explaining it, doesn’t it? 😉
According to Wikipedia, camping is an “outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home with or without a shelter, such as a tent or a recreational vehicle.”
And finally, Webster says camping is “to live temporarily in a camp or outdoors —often used with out.”
Generally, though, I like the Wikipedia definition the most.
I’d also add that camping is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family out in nature, but that’s starting to wander from the definition of camping into why you’d go camping, which is our next topic!
Why Do People Go Camping as a Hobby?
Now that we’ve figured out what camping is, why would you want to start a camping hobby? In other words, why do people camp?
First of all, it helps you stay active. Even just the need to pitch tents and set up all the gear for your trip can be some great exercise.
Also, going to a wilderness campground couples well with other recreational hobby pastimes like birding, hiking, kayaking, swimming, backpacking, and even something like mountain biking. The list is practically endless.
Do You Have to Travel Far for a Good Camping Experience?
A camping trip can be as complicated or simple as you’d like!
Regardless of the kind of terrain you live near, you can most likely find numerous campsites in your area to experience the great outdoors.
One of the best ways to find campgrounds near you is to use Google Maps. Just search for “campgrounds” in your local area, and you’ll probably get loads of hits.
If you do decide to camp farther out in remote places like a dense forest, it’s best to go with other people and know some basic survival skills.
Does Camping Relieve Stress?
Yes*! Camping has both physical and mental health benefits.
We already mentioned how camping helps you stay active. In regards to mental health, camping lets you get away from the stresses and chaos of everyday modern life by being out in nature and forest bathing.
Just being in a natural environment can help reduce stress, and if you’re camping with other people you like, it’ll be all the better.
*May not relieve stress if you’re camping with difficult relatives.
Is Camping Safe?
As with any new hobby, making sure camping is safe is important. In a broad sense, camping is safe. However, you’ll want to take some precautions.
A Few Tips to Keep Camping Safe:
- Research your campground and make sure you’re aware of any hazards or warnings about the area. Campgrounds almost always have a site/page online.
- Bring safety camping gear like flashlights, an emergency kit, backup fire starters, extra water, lanterns, a pocket knife, etc.
- Brush up on what to do if you run across any wild animals. If you come across a wild animal, don’t run. Back away slowly and get loud by shouting or banging a pan. You can also make yourself look larger by holding a backpack or bundle of gear over your head.
- Know basic wilderness survival skills like starting a fire, knowing how to tie knots, building a shelter, finding food and water, and first aid.
Know How to Use a First Aid Kit
Speaking of first aid, it’s always wise to pack a first aid kit for night-long stays in the wilderness.
Also, making sure you know the basics of using a first aid kit is arguably the most important piece of gear you’re bringing to be proficient in.
Is Camping an Expensive Hobby?
As with many things camping-related, camping trips can be almost as cheap or expensive as you want. In general, however, camping is less expensive than similar hobbies like travel due to not needing hotels/B&Bs.
The cost of starting a camping hobby can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on where you want to adventure and what you’re going to bring.
Broadly speaking, a good rule of thumb is to set aside $150 minimum for a tent, something to sleep in, and other key camping gear like lanterns and basic cooking supplies.
How Much Does a Camping Tent Cost?
As we mentioned above, a camping tent doesn’t need to cost much. You can find quality tents for as little as $75, like the tents we went over in this article.
A tent will probably be one of the more expensive items for most campers, but it’s important to choose a tent that’s spacious enough to fit your sleeping bag, your gear, and anyone else who’s coming with.
Tips to Help Ensure a Seamless Camping Trip
Write Down a List of Things to Bring
As we mentioned above in our tips to keep camping safe, write a list of what you’re bringing before the day of your camping trip.
Consider coming up with a meal plan and what food to bring for the days you’ll be out camping, and don’t hesitate to start with a simple one-night stay to reduce the amount to plan and bring.
Figure Out and Assign Roles to the Other Campers
Be nice when assigning roles! If you sound bossy, trying to create order for your planned adventure could backfire. Understand that everyone is feeling a little stressed and do your best to gently suggest roles.
Especially if you’re camping with children, try to keep the setup fun and lighthearted.
You could have an assigned tent-pitcher, someone to carry water and supplies, and somebody else to find firewood.
Research Your Campsite
Make sure to be prepared for any campsite fees, as well as getting a general sense of the hiking routes and other outdoor activities you plan to do.
Getting a feel for the area you’ll be in could be indispensable later if anything happens–but hopefully that goes without saying. 🙂
Making Camping Work With Modern Life
Free time can feel hard to come by in our hectic modern lives. This is actually a reason why it can be so worthwhile to go camping! Camping is a gateway hobby into the world of nature, which has proven to help reduce stress and improve everyday satisfaction.
Regardless of the exact location you choose for your new camping hobby, there are ways to make it flow easier with daily life.
First off, you can invite family or friends to join you. Camping can be a great way to spend quality time with those you care about in a new and exciting setting.
You can also ask one of your friends or family members (one that isn’t going with) to keep an eye on your pets and house while you’re gone, which can help reduce stress and make the experience feel more fun.
That rounds up our “starting a camping hobby” Q&A!
Hopefully it answered most–or all–of your questions. Camping is a popular activity for a reason, and as we mentioned above, there are tons of good reasons to give it a try.
Camping can be combined with other activities, builds skills, and encourages spending time with friends and family out in nature.
Now, if you have any suggestions for our list, please let us know below.
Until next time, have a great trip!