This is extremely important. And it’s different than shelter; it’s on a larger scale. I’m not talking about on what part of the forest you decide to pitch your tent. No, I’m talking whether you want to camp in your backyard or in the remote reaches of Norther Ontario.

The way I see it, you’ve got four camping categories, if you will. There are obviously tons of variations and lots of different ways to camp, but I’m talking about tent camping here, and, frankly, it’s my blog, so … I get to pick the categories. So, the way I see it, the four options as far as location go are as follows: in your backyard; at a festival; in a designated area, close to civilization; in the middle of bloody nowhere (where I would demand to have a plumbing company come along and install working toilets wherever I went). Let’s explore some pros and cons of each.

Backyard Camping

This, I think, is my fave way of camping. Because it can barely be called camping. It’s really just hanging out in a tent in the yard until you get sick of it or find a bug or hear a weird noise, at which point you bail and head into your warm, cozy, clean bed. Of course, if you’re actually out to get a legit camping experience, this is not the adventure for you. But maybe for beginners, if they want to test out the tent thing, this would be a good option.

Festival Camping

Again, is this really camping, as far as serious campers are concerned? Maybe not. But it’s as close to real camping as I’m willing to get for now. You kind of get the camping experience, in that you don’t really have the option to go inside anywhere, and all your plumbing options are pretty unfortunate.

But very unlike what I imagine “real” camping to be like, there are a boat load of people everywhere, constantly reminding you that you are definitely not alone with nature. The first festival I attended, as we were waking up, there was a flock of Canada geese flying overhead, and from a few tents over, we heard a guy yell “SHUT UP” at the geese. Festival camping definitely has its own charms.

Designated Camping Area Camping

Admittedly, I’ve only done this once before, and it was in England; I’ve never done it in Canada. From what I experienced, this kind of camping is in a pretty safe area, kind of close-ish to regular amenities and emergency services, with cell phone service, and with other tents close by.

This experience was the rain-filled one, so not great, but I imagine that, had it not rained, I may have enjoyed it. But I still would never have used the shower facilities. It was nice, though, in that plumbing and access to services were available, but we were still out there in nature. So best of both worlds here, I guess.

Middle of Nowhere Camping

This is the hardcore stuff right here. This is for people who take a canoe out into bear-infested, cellphone-service-less country, and hope that they’ve got their shit together. I am way too anxious to put myself in a position like this. I would constantly be worried about something terrible happening to someone on the trip and having no access to a hospital or anything.

And I know people would laugh at me for that, saying I was being ridiculous, but hey, that’s me. On the other hand I absolutely understand the desire to be way out there, so close to nature, so far away from the sprawl.