Some of my fondest childhood memories were tent camping. Whether locally, (almost in our back yard), or in wilderness areas – tent camping was always an adventure. Scouting and my parents taught me the basics. From finding a good place to set up my tent to practicing “leave no trace”; from cooking over a camp stove or fire pit to the hours of exploring we enjoyed…tent camping is a great way to get outdoors.
We would camp year round – including in the middle of the cold New England Winters. Backpacking and tent camping is a great way to see the beauty of our region. The challenging terrain and changing New England weather test your outdoor skills and preparedness.
According to the American Camping Report from 2014, produced by Coleman Company and the Outdoor Foundation – more than 40 million people tent camped in the US in 2013. This is about 14% of our population. The report goes on to state that the average camper traveled 186.7 miles for camping trips. Hiking, outdoor cooking, photography and fishing lead the list of activities campers pursued.
At the AMC we have a terrific history of supporting and advancing camping. There are plenty of AMC tent camping options: from outpost campsites in AMC’s Maine Woods (now 70,000 acres!), platform tenting experiences at one of our camp sites in the White Mountains, or the growing close to home tenting options. Adults, families and youth groups are all taking advantage of camping as an inexpensive way to get outdoors. In the White Mountains of NH alone, we had over 15,000 people stay with us last summer at our tent camping sites.
AMC’s Volunteer Managed Facilities offer another great way to experience tent camping. We offer many cabin wall tents opportunities, including at AMC’s Three Mile Island in Lake Winnipesaukee, on Echo Lake at the foot of Acadia National Park in Maine or soon at our new Harriman Camp in New York. These wall tents are erected on wooden platforms and typically have folding cots and mattresses. Wall tents are an easier way to get introduced to the wonder of tent camping without the added work of carrying in your tent and the required set up and take down of camp.
We’re also working on several new remote campsites throughout the region. Plans are underway for new remote outpost campsites including at AMC’s Maine Woods. Remote sites add to the adventure of any wilderness trek. In addition to the wilderness, we’re also working on close to home camping opportunities. One example of a new close to home tenting camping sites will be those we are planning for the Connecticut River Paddlers Trails,with our partner The Trust for Public Land. Canoes and Kayaks will pull up to these new camp sites along the mighty Connecticut – offering some beautiful camping just a paddle away from cities like Springfield and Holyoke.
In all of our camping options we strive for sustainability and low impact on the land. From thoughtful trail layout to composting toilets; from bear boxes to a nearby water source, it’s important for us to provide a well designed, sustainable and intuitive campsite. Ultimately, we hope to work to inculcate an ethos of outdoor citizenship that will last a lifetime.
For camping options, skills building, training, books, maps or guides, please visit us at http://www.outdoors.org See you on the trail!