Camping – do you prefer stealth/wild camping, or campgrounds? What are the ups and downs of each?
The only real preference is that there are no bears near us. I’ve gone up to eleven days without a shower. Weeks without deodorant. I missed brushing my teeth more than I’ve wanted. The more a person can be scummy, the better off they are. Camping is a luxury. We’ve slept on concrete sidewalks in the rain. We’ve unrolled our sleeping bags just off of a 4X4 trail because that’s all we could do. I’m starting to believe less and less in “camping.” That time of the day could be called sleep time. There’s eat time. Bathroom time. Ride time. Smell the roses time. And plenty of “what the hell is going on – is this really real?” time. Camping is more of an adjective than an activity.
Primitive camping is a lot of fun, and obviously the cheapest. I loved that about Alaska. You can pretty much camp anywhere so long as you’re brave enough. You get the best views and it’s all yours. The Provincial campgrounds in Canada (free firewood!) and the ones in the U.S. National Parks are really nice. But it’s also nice to have access to showers. Every three or four days is pretty average on this trip and you get used to it over time. But there’s been a handful of times we’ve had to go a week or more and that’s really pushing it for me in terms of what I can handle. I’m just scaring children at that point. But let me tell you, that is an epic shower on day nine. Those are the best showers.