Camping Tips for Older Campers

Camping Tips for Older Campers

Summer is the time for family trips, excursions and above all, fun. With no school for a few months for the kids and very few people in the office at work for the parents, it’s obvious why many families take the opportunity to get away. For many families, camping is the adventure of choice. It offers up the chance to unplug, enjoy the outdoors and spend some quality time with the rest of the family. But as we get older, camping can start to disagree with our bodies and leave us in pain and discomfort— we’re looking at you, mom, dad, grandma and grandpa.

Now, we’re not suggesting you forfeit the quality family time just because of a little discomfort, but there are simple ways to make camping more enjoyable without ruining the camping traditions we all know and love.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of camping as well as offer up other general tips on things like chair choice, food storage and campsite selection.

Types of Camping

Tent Camping

Tent camping is the purest and most apparent form of camping. A simple nylon structure becomes home and offers you protection from bugs and nasty weather, but little in terms of comfort and accessibility. This type of camping is best suited for the rawest of campers and for those who have no problem sleeping on uneven ground and shaking off minor aches and pains.

Best suited for:

  • Purest campers
  • Younger campers
  • Campers able to shake off minor aches and pains

Not ideal for:

  • Older campers
  • Campers with limited mobility
  • Campers who need a more supportive sleep

Trailer Camping

Trailer camping is the next purest form of camping. While trailers are available in a range of sizes and styles, the majority of them offer campers a step up from tent camping when it comes to comfort, accessibility and protection from the elements. Unlike tents, where you rely on thin nylon to keep you dry, trailers offer thick canvas or rigid plastic. And when it comes to comfort and accessibility, trailers provide elevated beds made of thin foam cushions— perfect for the slightly ageing camper.

Best suited for:

  • Campers who need to sleep on even ground
  • Campers who require minor support
  • Campers looking to maintain as much of tent camping as possible

Not ideal for:

  • Campers who require maximum support
  • Campers who need all amenities in one place
  • Campers with no experience driving/parking a trailer

Cabin Camping

Much like trailer camping, cabin camping aims to maintain as much of the rawness of tent camping as possible. Cabins offered by provincial campsites usually provide the bare minimum in terms of amenities and luxuries. You'll still have to use the public washrooms and showers and most likely cook your meals over the campfire, but you will be treated to a thin foam cushion when it comes time for bed. This type of camping is best suited for campers with little to no experience driving a trailer, but who still require the basic amenities offered by a trailer.

Best suited for:

  • Campers who need to sleep on even ground
  • Campers who require minor support
  • Campers looking to maintain as much of tent camping as possible
  • Campers with no access to a trailer
  • Campers with no experience driving/parking a trailer

Not ideal for:

  • Campers who require maximum support
  • Campers who need all amenities in one place

RV Camping

RV camping is about as glamorous as it gets. Many offer the same luxuries you've come to expect from your home with the only exception being RVs are mobile. You can expect to sleep on a proper mattress, cook in a capable kitchenette and shower and use the washroom in a miniature version of your home’s bathroom. If you’re the type of camper who needs (or wants) the best of the best when it comes to comfort and accessibility, RV camping is the only choice for you.

Best suited for:

  • Campers who require maximum support
  • Campers who need all amenities easily accessible
  • Campers who need home-quality amenities

Not ideal for:

  • Campers looking for that “pure” camping feel
  • Campers with no experience driving a large vehicle

Bonus Tips

Now that you know what type of camping you’ll be doing, you’re ready to start planning your adventure. Regardless of whether you’ve chosen tent, cabin, trailer or RV camping, we’ve found the following tips useful when it comes to making camping as enjoyable as possible.

Chair Selection

You know where you'll be sleeping, but what about where you'll be sitting when around the fire or at dinnertime? Camping chairs come in all shapes, styles and sizes and it's essential you choose the right chair so that you don't spend your trip in discomfort. Our suggestion is to find a camping chair that allows you to sit upright and with proper posture. We also recommend finding one that doesn’t sit you too close to the ground so that it’s easy to get up and with a high enough backrest so that it’s not digging into your back all trip.

Food Storage

This one might seem obvious to most campers. You keep your food in a cooler, right? Yes, but there are also other factors you need to consider. Even though your food may seem sealed away in your cooler, it can attract unwanted guests to your campsite if not tucked away correctly. And to make matters even more interesting, many campgrounds require that food be stored off-site or elsewhere in a vehicle (some require cars be parked away from your campsite as well). This can make your food challenging to access if you suffer from limited mobility and should be something you consider when choosing where to stay. Ideally, you want to find a campsite that allows you to park your car on your site so that your food is easily accessible and only a few steps from where you'll be cooking and eating.

Choosing a Campsite

Choosing the right campsite is one of, if not the most critical decision you'll make. Because you're outdoors, campsites can come in all shapes, sizes and slopes. Yes, you heard us correctly. While every campsite aims to be as flat as possible, some can be on a slight slope making walking difficult for older campers. They can also be quite rocky or rooty depending on where you are. It's also important to consider your site's proximity to the washrooms and showers to ensure they are all easily accessible at any time of the day or night. If you suffer from limited mobility, we suggest contacting the campsite office before selecting your site. They'll be able to tell you which site is the flattest and has the most accessible path to the washrooms, showers and anything else you might need.

And there you have it, you’re now ready to conquer your next camping trip and make it as enjoyable as possible for every member of your family. Of course, there’s still a chance to leave feeling sore and achy and so if you find yourself in that situation, reach out to us for an appointment and one of our amazing team members would be happy to treat you. Whether it’s a little soreness or a rolled ankle, our team can offer everything from massage therapy to physiotherapy to help you get back up and running again. And as always, if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to email or call us.