Camping allows us to spend time outdoors, in nature, with our loved ones. It can serve as an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It can vary from rugged tenting in the wilderness, to RVing at a full resort style establishment, and everything in between. There is something for everyone and finding what works best for you is key. Is reading your favorite book lakeside by day and cooking s’mores at night your thing? Or would hanging off the side of a mountain in a tent under the star lit sky fit you best? Finding your camping style is like chemistry.
But just as important as knowing your camping style is knowing your type: seasonal or transient? First, in case you don’t know what seasonal camping is….. “Seasonal Camping means leaving the RV on one campsite for an extended period of time, most commonly the summer camping season.” (Courtesy https://gorving.com/SeasonalCamping/) So, seasonal campers are those people who leave their RV/camper/tent on a specific site, and camp for an extended period of time. Many campgrounds offer seasonal camping, either for a season or year. There are usually designated areas where seasonal campsites are located, however this is not always the case.
Most campers begin their camping expeditions as “transient”, as they stay somewhere for a short time, or pass through. This is a perfect way to experience new places, and explore. And for many people, camping may become more than a hobby, it will become a lifestyle. And the question of becoming seasonal may surface. So how do you know if and when it’s right for you? Well here are some tips to help you make your decision..
- Is there one campground or geographical area you really enjoy camping at or near? And you can’t wait to go?
- Do you return to above place quite often throughout the season/year?
- Are you spending more time setting up, traveling and breaking down than actually camping?
- Are you taking time off work to set up/break down/travel?
- When you add up travel expenses (gas, tolls, etc), daily camping rates, food costs, is it more than a seasonal site cost?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, it might be time to consider becoming a seasonal camper. Or quite possibly, it happens more like it did for Jade..
How Jade (a.k.a Jim Grimes, co-owner of DPC) became seasonal:
After so many years camping as transient, exploring different states, areas and campgrounds, we found Duck Puddle Campground. We had camped for two years consistently at DPC. I will never forget the night I knew seasonal was for me….It was a Friday afternoon, when we started the typical routine of chaos. Packing up the car with our 5 screaming kids, with enough stuff for a week in Alaska. As we connect vehicle to trailer, “is it level”…kids are still screaming and now my wife has joined in. Then I have the absolute distinct pleasure of realizing the water pump failed. After listening to “have we left yet, I have to pee…. I am hungry”. I now have to figure out how to change the water pump. So I had to abandon the loaded packed vehicle of people screaming, to my dismay J to pick up water pump. Upon returning, mass hysteria continues. It takes an hour to change pump, with many F(*&& bombs in between and maybe a few hurling wrenches into the neighbor’s yard. Now we depart…..Fire up the vehicle up with my bleeding greased arms and hands, I say “this is wonderful, Lets go camping kids”. As we drive, the questions continue “Are we there yet, can we stop to eat” . After the usual 9 stops and buying stock in McDonald’s we arrive in the dark at DPC, and its raining. Its time to back in, disconnect and level the trailer, did I mention its dark and its raining. My wife attempts to direct me, however her instructions and hand gestures remind me more of a conductor for the Boston POP’s . Meanwhile I am using the braille method to avoid trees. Kids are now demanding to get out of the car, and soon add their own directions as well as comments/suggestions about the site we chose and my driving skills. We finally manage to get camper set. Now its time to unload and set up camp. Realizing naturally we forgot flashlights, setting up by the dim light of a lighter would have to do. And its raining, as I mentioned, so our light source quickly becomes limited. The screams now move to the inside of trailer. I hook up water, electric and sewer…..because my wife thinks the children need a bath at 10 pm. Good news is the rain naturally washed off the grease and blood from my arms and hands, so I should be good. As I grab a cold beer out of cooler, set up a folding chair under the awning, sit down to relax for the first time today, I hear a dull creak and then discover myself back flipping over chair with beer slowly pouring over my chest, in slow motion. And as I lay there I think to thirsty self, this process of setting up for a weekend of camping begins to resemble a combination of a scene out of National Lampoon’s Vacation and the Shining. And a moment of enlightenment happened as an inner voice asked me “there’s a better way…its right in front of you…LEAVE IT” . Fast forward to morning, I am at the office inquiring about seasonal and signing up for the 1981 camping season. And we have never left! Then we bought it, but that’s a different story!