Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants, known as campers, leave
urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or
several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent,
caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no shelter at all.
Camping as a recreational activity became popular in the early 20th century. Campers
frequent national or state parks, other publicly owned natural areas, and privately
owned campgrounds. Camping is a key part of many youth organizations around the world,
such as scouting. It is used to teach self-reliance and teamwork.
Camping is also used as an inexpensive form of accommodation for people attending large
open air events such as sporting meetings and music festivals. Organizers often provide
a field and other basic amenities.
Camping describes a range of activities. Survivalist campers set off with little more
than their boots, whereas recreational vehicle travelers arrive equipped with their own
electricity, heat, and patio furniture. Camping is often enjoyed in conjunction with
activities, such as: canoeing, climbing, fishing, hill walking, mountain biking,
motorcycling, swimming, and whitewater kayaking. Camping may also be combined with
hiking, either as backpacking or as a series of day hikes from a central location.
Some people vacation in permanent camps with cabins and other facilities (such as
hunting camps or children's summer camps), but a stay at such a camp is usually not
considered camping. The term camping (or camping out) may also be applied to those who
live outdoors, out of necessity (as in the case of the homeless), or for people waiting
overnight in queues. It does not, however, apply to cultures whose technology does not
include sophisticated dwellings. Camping may be referred to colloquially as roughing it,
and usually lasts for more than a day.