Camping can be great for family fun, for truly immersing oneself in nature, or for challenging the survival skills of backpackers and adventure seekers. Depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for, there are different types of camping to consider when deciding which one is right for you.

The most common type of camping, and the one that most people probably think of when they hear “camping,” is good ‘ole fashioned tent camping. This type finds people packing up their cars, SUVs or trucks with tents, cooking equipment, firewood, hammocks, collapsible chairs/tables, etc. and hitting the dusty trail to parks and forests to set up shop in a place that takes campers far from the rat race of daily life – or at least makes them feel that way.

This type of camping can be as basic or as fancy as you’d like (and as your car space will allow). A quick Google search will reveal the myriad of supplies and gadgets made specifically for camping. Tent camping is great for families and groups of friends – cooking food, telling scary stories, roasting marshmallows and sharing drinks around a fire tends to be the highlight of these trips.

A similar type of camping – a simplified version of tent camping – is called backpacking. As implied with a word like “backpacking”, hikers will have a tent or hammock, sleeping bag or pad, compact cookware, water, survival tools and food all in their backpack. The name of the game is to pack efficiently but also comprehensively.

Some backpackers go for overnight or weekend trips, hiking to a predetermined spot and setting up camp. They spend time at the campsite (usually at a lake, river or landmark) and then hike back out at the end of the trip. Others use backpacking as a means of traveling or exploring a larger spread of land, sometimes hiking for days, weeks or even months at a time, usually covering long distances. The Appalachian Trail is probably the most famous one for these “thru hikers,” spanning from Maine to Georgia.

Then there’s RV camping, most people are also familiar with this style of camping. RV camping allows one to bring all or most of the comforts of home to the great outdoors. There are different options for RVs, ranging from a huge motorhome bus to small teardrop trailers that even motorcycles can tow. You can read more about RV camping here.

Another type of camping, somewhat of a hybrid of tent and RV camping, is cabin camping. This is when a campground offers cabins in addition to the tent sites or RV hookups. These options can offer varying levels of amenities; they usually offer gas stoves and lighting (some even have electric), but don’t have indoor plumbing. The biggest perk of this type of camping is having shelter from the elements without the expense of an RV or the hassle of packing and setting up a tent.

And finally, a less common form of camping, canoe and raft camping. Much like backpacking, these adventurers set out on a river in a canoe, kayak or raft, cover a specific distance for a day, then set up camp on the shores of the river. Travellers will typically store their camping supplies in the canoe/kayak or will pack special waterproof bags to carry on their raft. A famous spot to do this type of camping is the Colorado River as it flows through the Grand Canyon, people apply for permits way in advance and prepare intensely for the trip.

The nice thing about camping is that you can do it on any budget, any level of luxury and almost anywhere