You may remember heading out to the middle of nowhere with your family; you would bring just what could be fit into a backpack, and you were expecting to be cold and uncomfortable. You would spend days out hiking, and seeing some amazing sites. You would also be dealing with questionable wood fires, funny tasting water, and usually a lot of bugs.
That was camping back then, but, like most of our lives, technology has made things easier and more comfortable. While many people do find the old-school ways of camping to be worthwhile, you do not have to suffer through it if you do not want to.
The camping tech today allows for a much greater level of comfort while enjoying the great outdoors. You can go anywhere from mildly more comfortable, to bringing your own home-on-wheels out with you. It all just depends on what you consider camping.
Trailers, Motorhomes, and Campers
Let’s start off with the most comfortable level of camping. With all of these camping tech solutions, you are bringing a tiny home with you. Some of them are far from tiny as well, with some of the high end products being 35 feet or more long, and requiring specialty towing vehicles to haul.
The idea is that you have all the comforts of home, but you can take it with you to where you want to go. They have bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, hot water, and even TV’s. These make camping a warm and comfortable experience, much unlike the cold ground that you likely remember from your childhood.
These new homes-on-wheels have seen a lot of improvement over the years. They are now much lighter, better insulated, and come with some neat electronics. Even the most basic trailers will typically come with electrical systems that include TV’s, antennas, and in some cases, heated beds. Some people find this method of camping a little too comfortable, and will occasionally refer to this as “glamping,” which is a play on the words glamor and camping.
Tenting in Style
Brining the whole house with you might not be your idea of camping. However, this doesn’t mean that there have not been some great improvement to the technology used for tenting and rougher ideas of the great outdoors.
The tents currently available are a great example of this. Tents of today are lighter, bigger, and much easier to use. You can get a four person tent that can be set up in literally 30 seconds. That would be unheard of, even just 20 years ago. The materials that are used are better; they are lighter, more durable, and more water resistant. This helps make your camping trip much more comfortable.
Most people who tent regularly bring some equipment in their vehicles. Things like camp stoves, chairs, and grills can all be comfortably packed into the trunk of a car. All of this camping gear is better than it was in the past. The electric products are prevalent, even in the tenting lifestyle. The popularity of the electric cooler is a prime example. You can keep all of your perishable food cold for as long as you would like, and it just runs off of your vehicle battery.
Backpacking with Class
For some campers, bringing a vehicle is not what they are interested in. There are many great sights to see that you cannot get to with a car or truck. The only way to get into them is by foot, and with just the equipment that you have on your back. This gear has been touched heavily by technology.
With the limited space and weight that you can pack equipment in, there are very specific things that you must bring. A sleeping bag and sleeping pad is a must; it may be all that you have between you and the elements for days at a time. The technology used for this equipment has come a long way. You can find sleeping bags to keep you warm in almost freezing weather, and it hardly weighs anything. It works well, can be easily carried, and is only possible because of the advancements in the materials available.
Technology can also be seen in a few other ways in the backpacking world. Water purification technology makes it safer to go out into the wilderness. Compasses has improved, and in some areas you can get GPS locations; this is something that would be unheard of before 2000. Even hiking gear, like shoes, clothing, and gloves have made backpacking more comfortable and accessible thanks to improvements in technology.
What is Camping?
With all the changes to camping, it does beg the question of what really is camping. And the ture answer is difficult to lock down. There are some different ways to think of it, and none of them are technically wrong. You might not personally agree with all of the definitions, but someone out there thinks of it as camping.
No matter the classification of camping that you subscribe to, technology has touched the way you camp. Your camping gear may be thousands of pounds, or light enough to be strapped to your back, technology has changed the way you camp.