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Glossary of Camping Terms

Are you new to camping? If you are unfamiliar with the terminology being used by campers, then check below for an explanation of the most common camping terms and phrases.

3-season tent
A tent intended to be used primarily in the spring, summer, and fall.

4-season tent
A tent built to withstand the rigors of winter.

A-frame tent
A style of tent that has a pole supporting the middle of the tent while the tent walls drape over the pole in an A shape.

ACE
The Army Corps of Engineers operates over 2,500 recreation areas in the U.S.

adventure camp
A summer camp where kids learn about the outdoors and partake in adventures like backpacking, camping, canoeing, hiking, kayaking, sailing, and skiing.

backcountry
Remote uninhabited areas of public lands, national parks, and forests.

backpacking
Hiking into the backcountry with all of your gear on your back.

bathtub floor
A one-piece (seamless) tent floor where the edges come a few inches up the sides before connecting with the tent walls.

billy can
A coffee can (any clean food can with the lid removed) used to boil water or cook food over a campfire.

biodegradable soap
A soap that decomposes naturally and is not harmful to the environment.

camping lantern
A portable light with one or two mantels that are fueled by propane or some other fuel.

CCC
The Civilian Conservation Corps hired young men from 1933 to 1942 to revitalize America's forests.

charcoal chimney
A tool used outdoors to start charcoal for the grill.

checkin/checkout procedures
What to expect when you arrive at the campground, and what to do before you leave.

clips
A way to attach a tent to the poles.

day camp
A place for kids to enjoy outdoor events and recreation with other kids under parental supervision.

dehydration
Excessive loss of water from the body.

ditty bag
A drawstring bag used to carry items.

dome tent
A round or oval tent with flexible poles that connect from side to side through the apex of the tent.

double-wall tent
A double wall tent uses a rainfly over the tent, whereas a single wall tent does not.

Dutch oven
A cast-iron cooking pot (with lid) that you cook with outdoors over charcoals.

factory taped seams
Many quality tents come from the factory with taped seams that have a waterproof material placed between overlapped seams, which are then double stitched.

family tent
A tent that is large enough to accommodate your entire family.

fire rings
An iron ring with a grate used to contain campfires.

foil dinner
A meal that is wrapped in foil and cooked or reheated on a grill or next to a campfire.

footprint
A custom sized ground cloth for your tent.

free standing tent
A tent that requires no ropes or stakes to support the tent.

frostbite
Skin that is damaged by exposure to freezing temperatures.

gear loft
A gear loft is a piece of mesh cloth or net that ties to loops suspended from the top of a tent and serves as a small storage area for lightweight items.

Gore-Tex
A water-repellant, breathable material that allows body vapor to pass through while keeping rain out.

GPS
An electronic device known as a global positioning unit that uses satellite triangulation to detemine your longitude and latitude.

gray water
Water that has been used in the sink, shower, or laundry.

grill brush
A wire brush used to scrape and clean grills.

grommet
A reinforced metal eyelet used to secure the ends of tent poles.

guy-out loops
These are used to attach guy-lines for securing your tent.

heat stroke
A severe form of heat illness caused by excessive heat and dehydration.

hypothermia
A condition where your body loses more heat than it produces.

iron ranger
A fee collection box used at campgrounds that do not have full time attendants.

leave no trace
It simply means that you should clean up your campsite before you leave.

mummy bag
A sleeping bag that is tapered at the ends to reduce air space and to conserve heat.

noseeum netting
Normal mosquito netting has 200 holes per inch, whereas noseeum netting has 625 holes per inch.

noseeums
Noseeums are nasty little bugs typically found near the ocean and around rivers, lakes, and swamps.

NPS
The National Park Service preserves the natural resources of the US for the enjoyment and education of current and future generations.

poison oak/ivy
Obnoxious plants that can cause a nasty skin rash.

polyurethane coating
Durable material coating used to waterproof a tent floor and rainfly.

poncho
A hooded water-repelling garment used for a raincoat.

post and grommet
A hooded water-repelling garment used for a raincoat.

primitive campground
A campground without any amenities like bathrooms, electric, and water.

private campground
A campground that is a privately owned business.

propane canister
A portable container that holds about one pound of pressurized propane, which is used to fuel campstoves and lanterns.

put up shade
Erect a screen room or tarp so that you can get out of the hot sun.

ripstop nylon
A fray-proof material used in tent walls.

s'mores
A campfire treat made by placing a piece of chocolate and a roasted marshmallow between two graham crackers.

screen room
An outdoor structure made of tent material and noseeum screening that provides shade relief from the sun and refuge from bugs.

shock-corded poles
Tent poles that come in sections and are held together by an elastic cord that runs the length of the pole.

single-wall tent
A tent without a fly and walls made of non-breathable materials.

sleeping bag
A roll-up bed used for camping that is made of various insulating materials.

sleeping pad
An insulating cushion used beneath a sleeping bag.

stake puller
A tool used to remove tent stakes from the ground.

stuff sack
A cloth or nylon bag used to carry a tent or other piece of camping gear.

summer camp
A place where kids go to enjoy supervised recreation.

tent poles
Aluminum or fiberglass poles that are used to erect tents.

tub floor
A tent floor made from one piece of material, which continues up the walls about six inches before being sewn to the walls.

ventilation
A means of removing body moisture to prevent condensation buildup inside your tent.

vestibule
A covered area outside a tent door. Vestibules are usually found on backpacking tents and are used to store wet clothes or extra gear.

water resistant
The ability to resist, but not completely repel, water.

What is Glamping?
Glamping is an elevated luxury camping resort. Not only is it as fantastic as it sounds, but now you can add some glamour to your camping trip.

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