Camping at a Family Campground vs. Camping in the Wilderness

You’ve decided to get back to nature and to go camping. You ask yourself, “should I take the family to a family campground or try to create our own camp site in the wilderness?” There are vast differences in the two styles of camping, and it depends on your level of knowledge and comfort when you take that camping trip. What are the differences between camping at a family campground and camping in the wilderness?

First of all, you have to prepare differently for each type of excursion. For camping in the wilderness, or primitive camping, you have to be willing to do everything yourself. From finding a proper campsite, out of a flood zone or river basin, to pitching your tent, building your fire pit and finding your own restroom facilities. It takes the confident independent camper to be able to survive wilderness camping, so make sure that at least one person in your party has this experience.

“Roughing it” is one of the best ways to connect with nature; however. Remember, in the wilderness, there are no showers, and there are no restrooms. Family campgrounds offer amenities that allow you to “rough it” comfortably. You still have to set up your own tent, however the fire pit is built for you (there may also be a grille nearby); bathrooms are close by as well and a ranger is always around to check on you or help you in any way. Even though these campsites can be a bit cushy compared to primitive camping, you are still roughing it.

If you are camping with children, you might want to seriously consider a family campground. As you know, children and camping have two things in common, they both take patience. Make it easy on yourself by having the amenities of a family campground close by. No matter where you choose to camp, you’ll need to bring along the necessary gear for camping with your family like extra clothing and shoes, as they are sure to get extra dirty, insect repellent, sunscreen, a first aid kit, raingear, games, flashlights and bedding.

If you are a first time or inexperienced camper, try a family campground until you are completely comfortable to rough it on your own. Until you feel confident to take on nature at its utmost, enjoy your bonding with nature at a family campground.

Margie Dettman is the owner of Jellystone Park in Natural Bridge, a family campground in Virginia. The staff at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is ready and able to assist campers with any questions they may have for tent camping or RV camping.