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Let’s Go Camping!

House on Wheels for Rent, a television program where actors live in a camper van, was aired this September. The number of shows about camping like Camping Club and Spring Camp has increased in recent years along with the rising camping trends in Korea; there have been nearly 7 million campers this year. As the autumn weather is so nice, some Kingos might have already gone camping as well. Therefore, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) will introduce some camping trends, explain the reasons behind its popularity, and suggest a few precautions.

About Camping

According to the Korean Agency of Camping & Outdoor Industry, camping refers to an activity where people stay outside of their house to take a rest or do outdoor recreation using a tent, a travel trailer, or a camper van. Traditionally, when some people have thought of camping, they might have the stereotype that they should pitch a tent in the forest and spend the night there; now, there are new types of camping as camping equipment has developed along with the growing desire for a convenient trip.

Recent Camping Trends

1. Car Camping

Car camping is a type of camping that uses a car instead of a tent. While auto camping simply means camping using a car or a vehicle for visiting a campsite, car camping indicates camping that happens inside a vehicle, and this includes a camper van. It has become popular as it is cheap and convenient. There is no need to buy a tent or to find a campsite. Nowadays, car camping has become a trend itself through YouTube and other social media platforms. The car camping trend does not seem like it will disappear anytime soon.

Car Camping (pds.joins.com)

2. Glamping

Glamping is a combination of the words “glamorous” and “camping”. It refers to luxurious camping that minimizes all the bothersome work that one might expect from normal tent camping. A glamping site is fully equipped with strong, expensive tents and other necessary camping gear such as barbeque grills, so visitors only need to come over and enjoy the camping. It even provides a hotel-like environment through amenities and appliances like beds, and televisions inside the tent. Thus, campers do not need to buy many camping supplies. Although the rental fee of a glamping site is quite expensive, glamping is suitable for those who have never tried camping or those who just want to experience the gist of camping without all the worries and work.

Glamping (post.naver.com)

3. Unique Campgrounds

Unlike traditional campgrounds located near mountains, forests, or beaches, newly made campgrounds offer a special experience to campers. As the number of campers grows, campsites are trying hard to attract more people by providing differentiated services. For example, there are campsites with various concepts: library campsites (campsite with books), campsites with fishing, and an observatory campsite where people can observe the stars. These efforts work well among Millennials and Generation Z who are dying to take good Instagram photos.

Campground with a Library (5gcamp.com)

Why has Camping become So Popular Recently?

Increased Interest in Healing Travel

The balance between work and life and the appreciation of relaxation have become a new lifestyle. More people have begun to spend some time alone, isolating themselves from the noises and stresses. Like this, with the recent trend of putting more emphasis on healing, the number of people who go camping on their own has grown. Also, “spacing out” while staring at the campfire is popular among campers. People say that the fire crackling sound is similar to white noise, making them feel relaxed. According to an interview with a camping fanatic Mr. Goo from Joseon Biz, he said, “I feel relaxed when I stare at the campfire in the forest, away from the busy city life.”

Changes in Travel Style Due to COVID-19

As traveling abroad has become difficult due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), domestic travel has risen. Tired of being stuck at home, people started to find ways to travel while still following social distancing rules, and one of the answers was camping. The report by the Korea Tourism Organization indicates that the rate of national campsite reservations has grown over 40% in 2021 compared to 2019. Also, according to the Korea Trade Statistics Promotion Institute, the amount of imports and exports of camping gear peaked last year at $3.9 billion. As shown from these statistics, the camping industry is booming amid the pandemic.

Staring at the Campfire (belltent.com.au)

Enjoy Camping While Paying Attention to Safety and the Environment

As outdoor camping is booming, environmental and safety problems have also risen. Some people throw out trash and pollute nature during camping. Using instant foods and other camping supplies creates waste such as vinyl and other disposable packagings. To protect the environment, campers should follow the “Leave No Trash” culture. Acts to minimize the human influence on nature, such as camping only in designated places and preserving wildlife, should be considered. Besides this, people need to be cautious about dangers in campsites. In particular, as fire accidents can occur during camping, people must take extra care when using fire. Campers should be careful when having a fire and keep safety rules such as not using a large burner for a portable cooking stove.

For Safe and Eco-friendly Camping (blogs.mtu.edu)

Previously, there was a stereotype among some people that camping was only for middle-aged men; these days, the age range of people enjoying camping has widened. If there are any Kingos who have not gone camping yet, why don’t you think about going camping this month before it gets too cold?

강민주  romaine@g.skku.edu

<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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