The inevitable cool-down that our state faces in coming weeks and months will likely hinder many people’s will to go camping.
So now is the perfect time for you to be out in the forest, mountains and nearby lakes. With the cold, it’s probably not uncommon to wish for the conveniences of home to join you in the middle of a forest via a recreational vehicle. You should be fighting that urge as much as you possibly can.
RV camping offers many of the comforts that may be more difficult to let go. You probably reduced your chances of getting hypothermia because you brought sufficient insulation and heating with you, and you don’t have to walk hundreds of yards to go to the bathroom.
Yet the hard, insulated walls and tinted glass of the RV traveling experience will adulterate your ability to absorb what the actual camping experience has to offer. The actual bringing of civilization makes a transition to the quiet and solitary environments of the wilderness more difficult to obtain, especially when you know you have a microwave waiting for you at your campsite.
While tent camping is much more difficult than using an RV, it legitimizes the camping experience more concretely. Yes, it’s cold, and the whole pole situation is difficult to understand, but the experience and sense of accomplishment that comes from setting up and sleeping in a tent during a blizzard is surprisingly invigorating—especially in hindsight.
We’ve been using tents, and tent-like structures, for thousands of years; they move us toward a primal connection with nature, allowing us face our fears of darkness and bears with only very basic tools for protection.
If you’re looking at the comparison between comfort and pricing however, an investment in a tent won’t run as high as a $200 weekend RV rental. It certainly won’t be as much as the $20,000 lifelong investment in one. The price of a tent can range anywhere from $15 to $150 depending on the size and the quality of the item.
The amount of gas used is also a discouraging thought when it comes to RVs. The vehicles usually get between seven and 10 miles per gallon and reduce your regular vehicles gas mileage up to 30 percent if they are attached. The emissions from cross-country road trips in these things would be immense, and that’s not including the noise and air pollutants being spouted by the obviously necessary generator.
Of course there are exceptions and alternatives to both the RV and the tent. Tent trailers, of course, are an attempt to hybridize the two, but the whole concept seems confusing, and the lower priced tent investment would still honestly win out. You could also try sleeping in your car or truck, but the space could end up being much tighter. Also, along with RVs and tent trailers, they can’t be taken on extensive hiking trails.
The alternatives really are a matter of taste, but nights spent in the wilderness just aren’t the same without a tent.