8 Unusual Factors That Could Affect Your Camping Experience
“Be prepared” is not only the Boy Scout motto, but it should also be the camping motto as well.
Make sure you prepare for the unexpected, and, as the CDC mentions, “check the weather report, learn about security at your camp location, and tell family and friends your plans”.
Being prepared and planning for camping and outdoor recreation activities is an $887 billion a year industry, with people investing their money into camping supplies and accessories to achieve that level of preparedness (all to the tune of almost $170 billion a year).
What you may not know is there are certain factors that could affect your camping experience — factors you may not even know or be aware of.
Here are eight little-known factors that could influence your overall camping adventure, and things to consider in light of these factors.
#1 The Economy
Whether the economy is doing well or not can drastically affect camping experiences. If you have adequate disposable income, the add-ons of campground fees, vehicle fees, pet fees, and supply fees will not take a dramatic toll on your bank account, and where you choose to camp will be a simple decision.
If your disposable income is tight, be sure to make careful decisions about where you camp, as well as how you camp.
#2 Marriage And Having Kids
It stands to reason that getting married and having children are both major life events.
They are also factors that can affect your camping experience because you have to consider your partner’s needs and the needs of your children.
You have to consider the style of camping, the kinds of activities to do, the on-site recreation available, the kinds of supplies to bring, and much more.
In the planning stages, sit down with your partner and your family to discuss these things, and it will make for a better camping experience for everyone.
#3 Not Planning Ahead
“Be prepared” applies not only to your camping supplies, but it also applies to where you choose to camp.
An issue encountered by campers at both national parks and private camping grounds is that there is a lack of availability if the campers do not plan ahead.
This can lead to frustration or not being able to camp in your chosen spot at all. Make sure, when you pick your camping dates, that you do your due diligence and necessary research.
Look at the availability of the camping grounds and the busy times of the year and choose dates that will be less crowded.
For example, Memorial Day and July 4th are two times of the year when campgrounds tend to be the most crowded, so you might not want to camp during that time if you dislike crowds.
Also if you're summer camping in a tent, don't forget about the blazing morning sun that can make the tent super hot, thus awakening you. Learn some tips on blacking out your tent.
#4 The Generation
According to the Campground Industry Trends Report of 2019 put together by the National Parks Service, campers are divided into several generations:
- Baby boomers
- Generation X
- Generation Z
The Mature generation, the Baby Boomer generation, and Generation X tend to go the more traditional route of rustic, tent-style camping, where Millennials and Generation Z prefer new experiences that put them close to nature but where they can still have all the comforts of home nearby.
However, you are not tied to what is considered the typical route of your generation. You may be a Millennial who likes to camp in a tent or a Gen Xer who likes to have all the comforts of home.
In the end, your generation may or may not affect your camping experience, so choose the style of camping that is the best for you.
#5 The Way You Choose to Camp
But many camping options abound. You can be a traditionalist and camp in a tent out in the forest, or you can choose to go what is called the “glamping” route and camp in an RV that has access to a kitchen, WiFi service, and cell phone service.
No matter what you choose, if you choose an option that is not comfortable for you, it will affect your experience negatively way, so go with what makes you feel the most at ease. It will lead to a more relaxing experience overall.
Also, it's always recommended to inform yourself about the latest camping technologies that could ease your life.
Moreover, decide whether you really need expensive sleeping bag or not. In most cases, you could just be fine with a blanket or down quilt.
If you choose to be wild and don't bring electrical devices with you when you tent camp, learn how to warm up your tent without the use of electricity. It's a solid skill to master.
#6 Accessibility Options
If you are in need of accessibility options, the National Park Service and the private sector have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provide appropriate accessibility options.
Make sure you choose a park or a private campground with the accommodations you need.
#7 The Destination
The chosen destination can affect the camping experience. With social media usage on the rise, choosing a popular destination can affect your camping experience and where you camp.
That’s because you need good cell phone service and WiFi to take those gorgeous pictures of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park to post to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
If the destination is important to you, make sure that you fully research where you want to go before your trip.
That's especially true if you like to do stargazing when tent camping. In that case, choose deserts. In that way you will guarantee yourself an unobstructed view no matter what.
#8 Time And Distance
To some people, camping means staying at least relatively close to home. To others, it means traveling great distances across the country to find the perfect spot.
Most campers choose spots close to home because of limited vacation time and limited time in general.
If time and distance are a factor you feel will affect your camping experience and you want to spend more time camping than driving, choose a campsite or park close to home.
Last but not least, it's a sound advice to learn to keep insects out of your tent when camping. Nasty bugs could ruin your trip.
But know that not all of these factors may affect you. But it is important to know or be aware of them, so you can plan ahead and make memories that will last for you, your friends, and your family for a lifetime.
Do you know of any other factors that might affect a camping experience? Leave a comment below.
Founder of this website, Asen is a passionate hiker and writer who is also a gear nerd. He’s been featured on many established hiking websites where he gives hiking advice & tips. When he is not trekking with his family or friends, he is writing articles and product reviews. Asen spends most of his time in Bulgaria but he constantly travels the world in seek of more unforgettable experiences. Read more about Asen here.