Tent camping is the best way to immerse yourself in the outdoors. Whether you’re a brand new camper or an experienced explorer, you can build a home-away-from-home in the most beautiful places imaginable.
There are different ways to enjoy tent camping, each with unique benefits and experiences. We have the five best ways for you to enjoy tent camping so that you can sleep peacefully under the stars in perfect comfort.
The 5 Best Types of Tent Camping
From your backyard to Yosemite, tent camping has something for everyone. It’s the perfect way to escape life’s stressors and rest in the natural world. Tent camping offers many health benefits, from stress reduction and sunlight therapy to exercise and rejuvenation. These are the best types of tent camping for campers of all ages.
Backyard camping is the quintessential summer pastime. It’s a fun activity that provides important benefits for young campers. You get the best of both worlds—the gratification of sleeping under the stars, with the comfort of home mere footsteps away. It’s like taking a vacation without the planning and price tag.
Backyard camping can be an essential first step in your camping journey. If you’re new to camping or coming back from a camping break, it’s a good idea to test your skills and make sure your gear works. Your backyard is a safe place where you can hone your abilities before venturing into the wilderness.
Practice pitching your tent and build your outdoor aptitude in the comfort of your backyard. Once you’ve mastered your gear and campfire nachos recipe, you can try it out in the wild.
Backyard camping also provides unique opportunities to help kids develop in meaningful ways. It gives them a safe place to practice independence and self-confidence, allows them to explore creative problem-solving, and helps them build memories that last a lifetime.
And you’re rewarded with a much-needed respite from the chaos. Kids who camp in their backyard are more likely to be stewards of the outdoors and engage in outdoor play.
How to Make the Perfect Campsite
Making the perfect campsite in your backyard is easy, as it’s a familiar and controlled environment. Have fun with it.
- Find a level clearing that’s easy to access.
- Lay the tent footprint flat on the ground.
- Pitch your tent using the included instructions.
- For extra weather protection, set up the rain fly.
- Toss in your essential gear: sleeping bag, pillows, headlamps, and extra clothing.
- Include fun items like games, toys, books, or comics.
- Climb in and enjoy.
Campgrounds are the most popular destinations for tent camping. A developed campground is a system of loops or roads with rows of designated campsites. All you have to do is pull your car in and set up camp.
Most campgrounds offer modern amenities like fire rings, picnic tables, restrooms, and level tent pads. Some even have more luxurious features like arcades, basketball courts, and educational programs. They usually feature scenery and close access to outdoor recreation.
Federal or state agencies run most campgrounds, but there are privately-owned campgrounds as well. If you want to go tent camping during peak camping months (April to October), you’ll want to make a reservation ahead of time.
Campground camping—sometimes called “car camping” or “front-country camping”—is popular for a reason. It’s a great way to escape the city bustle for a few days and enjoy the splendor of the outdoors with minimal risk.
If you forget supplies or run out of food, there’s usually a store or outfitter nearby. If you have questions or need help setting up, there’s a friendly camp host to offer assistance. Or, if you need to pack it up and head home early, you can load up the car and turn around.
Campground camping is the best type of camping for new campers and families. Research has shown that families who camp together have stronger bonds and appreciation for nature. Tent camping in a developed campground is the perfect place for families to spend quality time having fun and making memories. Larger families can take advantage of group campsites that hold several tents and often have their own restrooms.
Our Deluxe Prota Canvas Tent is perfect for families who want to try campground camping. With six windows, two doors, and 100 square feet of camping area, it can house the whole family, the dog bed, and your gear.
How to Make the Perfect Campsite
Making the perfect campsite in a campground is a simple process of familiarizing yourself with the campground and organizing your space for comfort.
- Find an empty campsite that offers ample room and great views. If you’ve made reservations, find your designated campsite.
- Complete the campground registration form and pay any fees.
- Pitch your tent on a flat area that’s free of rocks and other debris. If you’re in a windy location, make sure the tent door faces away from the wind. Toss in your bedding, headlamp, and entertainment.
- Organize your food and kitchen supplies. If you’re in bear country, make sure to keep all of your food (and other scented items) in a bear-proof container. Designate a place for trash, away from bear access.
- Set your chairs around the campfire.
- Familiarize yourself with the campground’s layout, so you know where to find the restrooms and other amenities.
- Give the neighbors a friendly hello, crack open an ice-cold beverage, and have fun!
Backcountry camping has many names. It’s often referred to as wilderness camping, dispersed camping, boondocking, dry camping, primitive camping, or backpacking. It’s any kind of camping outside of a developed campground. Backcountry camping is the best way to get in touch with nature sans distractions.
You have to rely on your skills and instincts to stay safe in the wild. You’re miles from civilization, immersed in the raw beauty of the outdoors. You can stare at the Milky Way, fall asleep to the babbling creek, or marvel at the blankets of wildflowers.
Our Mini Regatta bell tent is great for backcountry adventures. It features a sturdy, compact design that protects you from the elements and keeps you cozy through the night. It takes up less space than most tents, making it easier to carry and set up.
Some parks and wilderness areas offer primitive tent camping with marked campsites or dispersed camping areas to pitch your tent. They’re often free or very cheap, located in quiet backcountry valleys or natural scenic areas.
The tradeoff is that they don’t include campground amenities. You may have to bring your own water, poop in the outdoors, or forgo a campfire. But for tent campers who know what they’re doing, it’s well worth it to camp in the untouched wilderness.
Backcountry camping is an excellent choice for experienced adventurers who are skilled in outdoor survival. It allows you to practice self-reliance while enjoying the peaceful respite of Mother Nature’s gifts. It’s common to see roaming wildlife, unique natural features, and vivid sunrises and sunsets.
Backcountry camping is popular with backpackers, bike-packers, canoers, and other long-distance adventurers who carry all their gear and supplies. It’s the perfect way to rest your weary head before continuing your extraordinary outdoor journey.
How to Make the Perfect Campsite
Camping in the backcountry comes with extra precautions. Your campsite will be far from civilization, next door to wildlife and critters. You’re relying on yourself for survival. You must know how to use all your gear, supplies, and first-aid equipment.
- Find a flat clearing that’s free of rocks and debris. If possible, select an existing campsite or a spot slightly higher than the surrounding landscape. Make sure your campsite is at least 200 feet from any trails or water sources.
- Pitch your tent according to the instructions. If you’re in a windy spot, make sure the tent door faces away from the wind.
- Toss in your bedding, headlamp, extra clothes, and entertainment. Situate your sleeping bag so that the head is higher than the feet.
- Organize your cooking equipment and food. Keep your food (and other scented items) in a bear-proof container until you’re ready to eat it. Dispose of your trash in that same container. Don’t keep any food, cooking equipment, or trash in your tent.
- Organize your bathroom tools. Select a designated spot at least 200 feet away from your campsite.
- Set up any chairs, tarps, or other gear to make the space more comfortable.
- Take in your surroundings, grab a quick meal, and relax.
Glamping, or “glamour camping,” is a more recent invention that offers resort-style tent camping for every type of outdoor enthusiast. Think of it as a five-star hotel under the stars. Glamping campgrounds are popular choices for romantic getaways, corporate retreats, and luxury vacations.
Glamping resorts are popping up all over the country, in a variety of landscapes. From the moment you arrive, the staff does everything in their power to make sure your stay is perfect.
Glamping sites offer spacious tents or cabins with all the amenities of a luxury hotel. It usually costs more than regular tent camping, but you’re paying for a uniquely extravagant experience.
Most glamping packages include meals, professionally-led wilderness trips, and relaxing activities like yoga and massage. Glamping combines the excitement of rustic camping with the pampering luxury of a private resort. You don’t have to worry about packing any gear or bringing supplies.
Most glamping tents are climate controlled, with electrical outlets, high-end furniture, plush beds, and running water. You get a private restroom stocked with everything you need and a personal attendant to ensure your comfort. Glamping is ideal for campers who want to spend time outdoors without sacrificing comfort and luxury.
If you don’t want to splurge for a resort, you can invest in your own glamping tent. Our Avalon Bell Tent is a great choice for glamping. With its sturdy construction and spacious interior, you can plan a deluxe camping getaway at any time.
How to Make the Perfect Campsite
Making the perfect glamping site is effortless when you’ve booked out a glamping weekend at a resort. Everything is set up for you. All you have to do is organize your personal belongings, familiarize yourself with the camp or resort, and settle in.
Winter camping is a unique type of tent camping that requires special skills and knowledge of the changing seasons. It’s a great opportunity to see your favorite places transform into a beautiful winter wonderland. There are a few different types of winter camping.
The most popular type of winter camping happens in developed campgrounds. When the temperatures drop, once-crowded campgrounds become quiet respites where you can pitch your tent in peace and enjoy the tranquility of nature. Most campgrounds still offer all the same amenities—fire rings, restrooms, and tent pads—but administrative buildings close, and you may not find a camp host.
For skilled outdoor adventurers, backcountry winter camping can be a novel and rewarding experience. The only things you’ll hear are the sounds of a winter landscape. Waking up to a crisp winter morning is unlike any other camping experience. You’re presented with unspoiled snow as far as the eyes can see. It’s just you, your tent, and the muffled backdrop of your winter wonderland.
Winter tent camping is most enjoyable if you have a four-season tent that can withstand any weather conditions. Our Alpha Wall Tent is an excellent choice for winter camping. It’s made with tough fabric that locks the heat in and keeps you comfortable all night long.
Winter tent camping requires intimate knowledge of avalanche safety, cooking in the cold, keeping yourself warm. But if you’re an advanced tent camper who’s looking for a new adventure, winter camping will not disappoint.
How to Make the Perfect Campsite
Making the perfect winter campsite requires extra attention and tools. Make sure you’re out of danger’s way, bring extra dry clothes, and practice pitching your tent, so you can set it up in record time (before you freeze). With enough planning and preparation, you can set up a winter campsite that rivals the best igloos.
- Find a flat spot that’s free from avalanche danger, protected from the wind, and in direct sunlight. Pack down or dig out the snow, so you have a stable surface for your footprint and tent.
- Pitch your tent and set up the rain fly. Be sure to stake down the tent and use snow load poles for support.
- Dig out the vestibule, so you have a place to cook and store your supplies.
- Toss in your bedding and fleece blanket, headlamp, extra clothes, and entertainment. If there’s room, you can put your whole pack in.
- Organize your cooking equipment and food. Don’t cook in your tent; use the vestibule or step outside. Prepare your equipment so that it’s easy to use when you need it.
- Designate a spot at least 200 feet away for bathroom use.
- Grab a nice, hot cup of cocoa, wrap yourself in your sleeping bag, and enjoy the quiet.
When it comes to tent camping, you can’t go wrong. Whether you’re in a campground or a mountain valley, tent camping is the perfect way to rest, restore, and rejuvenate so you can get back to life with more energy and clarity.