Tent Camping – A Lost Leisure?
Many tent campers today are being outraged by the over-popularity of RV use along with prices of Tents and gear. Getting “back to nature” was considered by many to simply be a tent, a fire, and good campfire cooking, while connecting with nature on an up close and personal level. It was an inexpensive way to relax, rest and enjoy the amenities of this wonderful planet we live on.
Years ago, I personally could just grab my gear, head to one of the many “camping areas” within a 100 mile radius of my home and within minutes of arriving I was set up, tent in place & hunting firewood, and enjoying the sites and sounds of nature. As time went on, the “tent” areas began to lessen.
This past weekend, We decided a simple weekend “get a way” was in order. We carefully packed our car (believe me, not easy..its a tiny Toyota Tercel) with a tent, gear (such as a mallet for the stakes, bug spray, soap,etc) a cooler of drinks & prepared meals that easily cook themselves in a campfire and off we went..to one of my favorite spots which is about 150 miles from home. My favorite spot was always this little almost deserted spot by the Gulf that we would pitch our tent by the water, enjoy the scenery and take in the fresh water and beautiful sunshine. Upon arriving, The first thing I noticed was the road was now paved,..and as we pulled into this campsite, I was shocked! There was no possible way to see the water, let alone walk on the beach. The beautiful scenery & beach were now full of RVs blocking any nature left. There was absolutely NO set area for Tents.
So taking things in stride, we left there in search of another camp ground. We called almost every place we knew of , such as “springs” “state parks” etc. Only to find they were booked or did not support TENT camping any longer. We ended back at home due to daylight with nothing more than car lag. The next day we were determined to find a “spot”. We searched the Internet, called many to find the same story , or extremely High prices (50 a night for a camp spot?) some charged you not only outrageous prices, then want to charge you if you make a campfire, or use one of their grills, etc. Until 1. We were thrilled! They took Tent campers, they had spots open, “just come on in” they said. So we did. Looking around I saw Nothing but RVs. and No tents, figuring they must have a tent area somewhere on the grounds. We paid for our 1 night stay, was given a numbered spot and a map. We were placed “squeezed” in between 2 RVs. Surely this must be a mistake…we traveled around the campgrounds, not 1 fellow Tent camper anywhere on the grounds. We took what was given to us and proceeded to camp in what seemed like someones back yard. It seems this park has RVs that spend a good portion or possibly All year parked. We were the ONLY ones awake with a campfire, at 8:30 pm. With absolutely No scenery, etc.
I along with many other “Tent campers” am extremely upset over the lack of “Tent” camping. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the RVs. They are a great way to see the country, without the expense of motels, restaurants, etc. It is not the RV owners that tent campers are upset with, It is the lack of tent areas for us. It seems the camping parks and areas make a little more money off of RVs per night than tents, so Tent campers are being pushed out, to make room for RVs. Not allowed to “camp” or pay a hefty price for the privilege.
So rears my question: Tent Camping – A Lost Leisure?