This week is National Camping Week so we asked some travel bloggers about their best camping stories
My best camping experiences are about the simple things. Living outside. Campfires. Lake swimming. My best moment was when camping on the north shore of Lake Superior. The landscape is beautiful, the Lake legendary. But when the Northern Lights entertained us one evening, it was mezmerizing.
I’m from rural Canada. Camping is a lifestyle there. Most people own camps, otherwise we pitch a tent anywhere and enjoy smores. My best friend owns a camp 150km from Thunder Bay Canada and we go there yearly for new years. New Years in Canada means snow and cold. We had people from Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta present. On each hour of 12, 1am, and 2am we lit fireworks over the frozen lake in celebration of it hitting New Years in each Province. We then stripped down, rolled in the sow, and jetted into the sauna. Nothing like Winter Camping in Canada to get the circulation flowing!
Moms Minivan Travel Games
My best camping experiences always involve Girl Scouts and my daughters. As a troop leader, I have a unique position to teach outdoor skills to many of the girls who have very little camping experience. I also am in a unique position to make a fool of myself and at the same time, make the girls feel independent and strong.
Picture me, leading a group of tiny scouts on their first outdoor adventure through the woods, like little ducklings following my every move. As we begin our hike, I turn around to warn my entourage to be very careful where they step so they don’t fall and get hurt. Before I can even finish the sentence, my foot catches a huge tree root and find myself hurtling through space toward the forest floor. I literally had a mouthful of dirt and a skinned elbow.
The girls rushed over to help me up and ask if I was OK. With a dirty smile, I promptly replied, “”Of course I’m ok! I just wanted all to see what NOT to do! And now that we have that demonstration out of the way, let’s hit the trail!”" Naturally the girls could see right through me, so I told them that the next time someone tells me to eat dirt, I can say that I already have.
Camping with the Macaws
You could tramp through the steamy jungles of Chiapas in southern Mexico in search of endangered scarlet macaws and loud-mouth howler monkeys. Our you could put up your tent, put up your feet and let the critters come to you in the grassy camping area at Centro Ecoturistico Las Guacamayas (about US$2.50 per person per night).
This preserve, on the banks of the Lacantún River abutting the vast Monte Azul Biosphere Reserve (one of the most bio-diverse areas in all of North America), has been very successful at increasing the scarlet macaw population and attracting tourists. So much so that we woke up after our first night in the campground to discover that the tree next to our tent had been taken over by scarlet macaws.
Up to 10 of them at a time were feasting in a tree literally right next to our tent. We spent the entire day in our comfy camp chairs sipping coffee (and, later, cold beers) and watching the vibrant birds stuff themselves silly.
In the late afternoon a small family of howler monkeys showed up as well and decided to spend the night in another nearby tree. The following morning their dinosaur-like roars (they really should be called roaring monkeys) served as our (very early) wake up call.
The Professional Hobo
I was passing through Ukraine, and went hiking and camping in the Carpathian mountain range. One of the highlights was stopping in on an old shepherd’s wooden lodge in the middle of nowhere, talking to him about his lifestyle, and being given fresh cheese and bread that he just made.
I hadn’t expected Ukraine to be so beautiful, and the people so friendly. I’d go back in a heartbeat!
Isle of Arran, Scotland
Best camping experience? Has to be camping in the wild, on the Isle of Arran in Scotland, next to a lovely babbling brook in which we washed our pots, cleaned our boots and cooled our tired aching feet after a full day’s hiking.Unfortunately the water also meant tons of midges which duly covered me in hundreds of bites
adventures with ben
RV Camping in Alaska has been, by far, my most favorite camping experience. In the span of 11 days, traveling on the open road with 6 friends in a 32 foot RV, we traversed mountains, glaciers, rivers and the downtown streets of Anchorage. Camping at the end of August offered us the opportunity to see Alaska at the peak of the autumn colors and with a taste of the Northern Lights in Canada. After a day of hiking, rafting and glacier trekking, you can retreat to the comfort (and warmth) of your RV and venture onward the next day to a destination unknown.
Camping by RV affords you the opportunity to truly appreciate the expansiveness of Alaska’s size and natural beauty. Camping is really the best way to experience America’s 49th State with limitless possibilities.
Australia’s Northern Territories
Never Ending Voyage
Our best camping experience was in Litchfield National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. Eight private camping spots are spread out along Walker Creek each with their own small waterfall and swimming hole. We had to carry our gear for a few kilometres to get here but it was worth it to have such a beautiful spot all to ourselves. It’s so hot that you don’t need a full tent. We lay under the mosquito netting and watched the sky light up with stars.
I took my teenage daughter and a whole group of her friends to Trericket Mill in Wales where they have a bunk house and small camping area in the orchard behind their old mill house. The ducks and hens were pecking under the trees and there was a metal drum for camp fires with an outdoor sheltered kitchen at the side of the bunk house where we could fry up bacon and eggs. A fast flowing mill stream ran through the garden and a short way up stream there were icy pools deep enough to bathe in that made the girls squeal. Best of all, as a reluctant camper I was able to have a cosy B & B room in the Mill House while the girls had their pop-up tents among the apple trees – my perfect idea of a camping weekend in Wales.
The Travel Tart
My best camping experience was a ‘glamping one’ in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia. It’s not exactly roughing it, as the place was like a 5 star room inside a tent, which included a king size bed, a jacuzzi and a barbecue. But hey, I really loved it!
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Zion, National Park
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