Campers. We really are an enigmatic breed to those who don’t indulge in the simple appreciation of outdoor living. “You people choose to spend your spare time dodging bugs and battling to stay warm?” If only they took the time to take a closer look at us. What a treat they would have dissecting all the nuances of each different type of camper lurking in the dirty woods and muddy fields every weekend!
From the overly organised, super efficient camping machine, to the mega relaxed, go with the flow and see what happens kinda camper – there really is no set way to ‘do’ camping. And we sure all do it differently.
So on your next weekend away take a look around the campground to see all the different ways your fellow campers go about camping. Can you spot every single one of these camping stereotypes?
And which type of camper are you?
Take a look at the full infographic at the bottom of this article or read on to see each camper in more detail.
Calming wind chimes and fluttering flags create the perfect atmosphere for the seasoned glamper to relax in – bubbly in hand of course. They have little interest in the practicality of lightweight and technical camping gear. Why would one ever choose such utilitarian functionality over luxury glamour in the outdoors? Well one might not know how wonderful it is until one has tried it. So go on, give glamping a go. Light up the lanterns, lay down that handmade picnic blanket and open up the wicker hamper for a camping supper to remember. Just make sure you have your dotty wellies at the ready and are looking effortlessly fabulous in floral.
The Camp Chef
Whilst you burn your instant noodles, again, how is it that the folks across the way keep whipping up restaurant standard meals for such a huge group?? Do they order that food in or something? Oh no, that is the work of a camp chef. Cooking on a fire is every camp chef’s dream and they love nothing more than getting creative over the campfire. And despite how it may appear, many hours are spent slaving over hot coals to create feasts that are worthy of a star or two. So unless you’re ready to step up your commitment to gourmet camp food, then maybe you should perfect your noodles first.
Read more: Camping Food: The Ultimate Guide
The Retired RVers
Ever been in search of that perfect wild camping spot on your road trip only to find a massive RV already there? Camp chairs out and kettle on – those pesky retired RVers beat you to it again! Their uncanny knack of always getting to the best camping spots first, no matter how remote the location, really is quite remarkable. It’s all those years of exploration on the road less traveled that has taught them better than to follow the crowds. Instead they prefer to enjoy the solitude and luxury of RV living in some of the most beautiful places that roads will take them. And usually for several months at a time. That’s the life hey?
Read more: The Best Camping Chairs
The Boy Scout
Once a boy scout, always a boy scout, and no matter their age this type of camper will be ready and prepared for anything. The boy scout camper will never be seen without a backpack full of gadgets and gizmos for every camping scenario possible, and will be there at the ready if you ever need help. Need to know how to tie a knot? Ask the boy scout. Want some help lighting a fire? The boy scout has got your back. They have an endless supply of useful snippets of camping knowledge and are constantly, and often unexpectedly, resourceful.
The smell of sizzling steak as your wakeup call can only indicate one thing: the cavemen campers settling into their primordial routine. Make fire, eat meat, drink beer, repeat. Despite their best efforts at lighting fire the ‘proper’ way, they invariably resort to a petrol-based backup to ensure nothing but a blazing inferno is created. And when they’re not shooting at empty beer cans, making fire or eating meat, their over exuberant profanities will be heard echoing from the edges of backcountry campsites for all to hear (and enjoy?)!
Read more: 17 Simple Ways to Make Homemade Fire Starter
Want to know about hiking and camping gear? Ask a backpacker. But make sure you have time and patience in abundance as once they get onto the subject of technical outdoor stuff there’s just no stopping them! They LOVE their lightweight gear almost as much as they love hiking itself. And if they’re not talking about it, then you can be sure they’ll be using the hell out of it. To car campers and glampers their camping setup is inconceivably minimalistic. And yet they always have everything they need, including a ton of energy and enthusiasm for EVERYTHING outdoors.
Read more: The Best Backpacking Tents
The lesser spotted woodsman can be easily identified by his deep red flannel plumage that sets him apart from other forest dwellers. He is rarely found enjoying time with others but instead puts his energy into mastering the use of his superb collection of knives and tools. Fire preparation is his forte, easily turning kindling bundles into photographable art (that he’ll probably sell at his local café). If he’s not admiring his latest wood carved ax handle, he’ll be grooming his enormous beard over a potent tipple brewed with foraged fare.
Read more: Whittling: A Beginner’s Guide
It’s 2am and you are still lying awake in your tent – sleepless from the crescendo of clamorous campfire songs. Yep, they went and let a Strummer onto the campground! How did that wonderfully mellow vibe that filled the air at sunset take such a turn for the worst? Well as confidence (and inebriation) builds, the strummer, in his element, needs little encouragement from fellow warblers. Plus everyone knows that a good old sing-song is the perfect way to enjoy a campfire, so long as you are invited to the party!
Read more: 45 Campfire Songs That Will Warm your heart
These fair weather campers often gather in hordes where they enjoy, well, just letting it all hang out really! They gravitate towards wild water for cooling swims at anytime, and are almost always found enjoying the company of other nudey folk. Outsiders are welcomed with open arms to join the party, but rules apply. The naturists are the most budget conscious of all campers, relying on their highly evolved skin to provide a perfectly adequate water-resistant membrane against the elements. What they save on their lack of clothing and technical gear, they spend on fine wines, excellent cheese, and sunscreen.
The Reluctant Camper
There’s no denying that camping isn’t for everyone. Spending the weekend in a cold muddy field can be a challenge for even the most hardened campers. So we really should have some sympathy for those dragged along on camping trips by an overly enthusiastic spouse or parent. The constant complaining and unwillingness to join in the ‘fun’ is rarely met with words of encouragement, leaving the reluctant camper resigned to the safety of a camp chair, glued to their phone. But despite their outward disdain for camp life, when it comes to marshmallow roasting, a big smile is guaranteed every time.
Read more: Camping for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide
Ever wise and constantly cheery, the outdoorsman is a true master of his own destiny. With a lifetime full of wilderness exploration under his belt, he has built up a wealth of survival knowledge that is as deep as his undying respect for nature. And although he may prefer the solitude of life in the wild, he will never turn down the opportunity to tell a tale or two over a strong ale and a perfect campfire.
Read more: How to Gut a Fish in the Wild
You’ll be hard pushed to spot a bikepacker out camping – they prefer to set up camp as far from civilisation as is humanly possible and are experts at disappearing into the wild. With limited packing space, they often forego using tents altogether and opt for ultra thin sleeping pads and half size sleeping bags. But however extreme their weight saving techniques may be, they will always find space for a cheeky craft ale to enjoy over a quiet sunset.
Read more: Try Something New: Bikepacking
The Happy Family
How is such cheeriness and energy even possible at 6am, EVERY morning? Sounds like you made the mistake of setting up next to the happy family. Rule number one of camping: avoid camping near families with young children at all costs. The happy family is a well-oiled camping machine powered by efficiency and preparedness, and constant positivity. They are as content playing together on the campground as they are climbing a mountain in the driving rain – so long as they’re doing it together, they are happy. Once you have gotten over the nauseatingly early mornings you will find yourself both admiring and envious of their unified togetherness.
Read more: The Best Family Camping Tents
The Camp Organiser
Ever wonder where you would be without your good friend, the camp organiser? At home on the sofa probably! They have endless enthusiasm for making the most of every minute of free time. And although this can at times become tiresome, for you they are the only reason you’ve ever been camping at all. Camp organisers know what’s going on from the moment your group leaves home to the moment you all return. And you can be sure that all events will be carefully recorded in their notebook full of maps and other useful information, for a full post-camp debrief.
The Adventure Junkies
If you’re in need of some excitement that is guaranteed to be the most epic thing that you will ever do, then take a vacation with some adventure junkies. Despite their brash and loud demeanour, their endless stoke for living in the moment is highly infectious and hard to resist. They can sniff out adventure from a mile away, and are not afraid to jump on whatever bandwagon comes their way without considering the consequences. Be it laying around camp all day drinking, or embarking upon seemingly impossible missions into the wild, adventure junkies are always up for it with full, unwavering commitment.
The Camping Fun Police
Turn the music down. Don’t run with that stick! Put your shoes back on!! Yep, the fun police have arrived. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, no camping trip would be complete without an overcautious worry-worm to keep things in check. If they’re not enforcing cooking safety procedures then they’ll be closely monitoring the time to ensure lights out right on the curfew dot. But despite their tendencies to dampen the mood with their vigilant control over anything remotely exciting, when things do go awry they’ll have you covered, keeping everyone safe from harm in a jiffy.
Read more: How to Stay Warm When Camping