Camping is a time-honored American tradition, especially during the summer months. In 2013, an estimated 14% of the entire population over age six (that’s 40.1 million people in the U.S.) went camping. Today, there are more ways than ever to have the outdoor experience of a lifetime.
For people who don’t own an RV, two of the most prevalent options for campgrounds accommodations are either renting cabins on-site or hauling along your own tent. There are many differences between the two, and the choice you make may ultimately depend on a number of personal and practical matters.
So how do you make the right choice? Consider these factors before you head out on your next trip.
Cabin rentals tend to be more expensive than tent campsites. However, if you’re new to camping, don’t let that price fool you. In 2014, people spent over $1.5 billion on camping equipment in the U.S., most of it on backpacks and sleeping bags. Before you can pitch a tent, you need to invest in some quality equipment to keep you safe, warm, and dry all night. If you’re not ready to make the commitment to a lifetime of tent camping, cabins are the smarter route economically, at least to give you an initial taste.
Not everyone finds it peaceful or relaxing to sleep on the hard dirt ground, though plenty of folks do. If you’re more into “glamping,” you might find more comfortable accommodations inside a cabin (though be sure to check out exactly what kind of amenities are offered). You’ll also want to consider the length of your trip and how long you can stand your shelter: campers spend an average 14.9 days camping per year, whether staying in a tent, cabin, RV, yurt, bivy, or even a treehouse. So pick a place where you can settle comfortably for a while!
Especially if you have children in tow, you’ll want to think about the daytime activities you’ll be doing in connection with your nighttime sleeping arrangements. If you’re going to be out having water fun in a splash park all day, you’re going to need a place to lay your weary head and hang your dripping clothes after an exhausting day. That’s why RVs are so popular among campers.
No matter which you choose, tents and cabins offer fun experiences for the whole family. Just be sure to plan ahead and pick the option that best suits your summer adventure needs.