The Ultimate Camping Quiz

Nathan Chandler

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

At its core, camping is a bit odd. Humans leave their established dwellings to set up smaller, flimsier shelters in areas with fewer (if any) conveniences. Yet the practice is incredibly popular. How much do you know about camping and camping gear?

A "three-season" tent is good for all but which season?

Three-season tents are good for spring, summer and fall. They generally aren't solid enough for winter use, unless you like waking up with piles of snow on your face.

A "one-season" tent is only good for which season?

One-season tents are meant only for the most pleasant conditions (usually summer) in which you're sure that you need only minimal shelter.

What's a vault toilet?

Vault toilets are common at developed campgrounds. They are essentially outhouses or pit toilets. Some have toilet paper, some don't -- but none of them have flush capabilities.

What's the purpose of a guy rope?

Guy ropes attach to the exterior of the tent. You stake the guy rope to the ground, and the overall effect is much better stability in high wind and rain.

What's a "cat hole"?

When nature calls, dig a small hole, called a cat hole. Cat holes are really important to preserve camping areas for other people, otherwise, the buildup of human waste becomes a real problem.

Why does a sleeping pad's R Value matter?

R Value indicates how much insulation the sleeping pad provides. In cooler weather, a higher R Value can be the difference between being comfortable and downright miserable in your tent.

Which piece of equipment might feature a "bathtub floor"?

Many tents are equipped with so-called bathtub floors, in which the waterproof floor extends a few inches up the sides of the tent. The purpose is to keep water outside where it belongs.

What is "car camping"?

Car camping generally refers to camping in areas that are accessible to cars. The vast majority of campers choose this style of camping because it's easy and convenient.

Why should campers use bear lockers?

Many campgrounds in bear country provide bear lockers, which are good for storing food and strongly-scented items that attract bears. Bears and campgrounds are a very bad combination for both animals and people.

What do you put in your "chuck box"?

The chuck box is a central place to store all of your cooking utensils and the like. Some people call it a "grub box."

What's a primary aspect of "dispersed" camping?

Developed campgrounds have things like toilets and maybe even showers. Dispersed camping does away with almost every modern convenience and often the sites aren't even marked. It's also often free.

Where are you most likely to find dispersed camping opportunities?

National forests, as well as areas administered the Bureau of Land Management, often allow dispersed camping for free. Dispersed camping offers few luxuries other than the ones you bring along in your car or backpack.

What is "cowboy camping"?

In cowboy camping, you completely forego a tent, instead simply sleeping under the stars. Cowboy camping is faster and easier than setting up a tent, but it exposes you to the elements ... and possibly an unforgettable night sky.

"Fill-power" is often used in reference to what?

Different types of products, from coats to sleeping bags, have various fill-power (insulation) ratings. You definitely want more fill-power for colder weather.

Ultralight camping equipment appeals primarily to which sort of camper?

Backpackers carry all of their equipment on their backs and then head into the wilderness. They obsess over the weight of each item, knowing that every additional ounce means less fun and more work.

What's the purpose of no-see-um netting?

No-see-um netting is the fine netting used in tent construction. It keeps out even tiny bugs, many of which will try to bite you if they can penetrate the interior.

"Glamping" is an especially luxurious type of camping.

The term glamping combines "glamorous" with camping. Glamping is a popular trend that offers upscale tent accommodations for campers who have money to burn.

Down sleeping bags are typically the best choice for camping.

Down sleeping bags are incredibly warm, but they can be bulky and heavy, too. Plus, in warmer weather, their substantial insulation might actually make you uncomfortably hot.

Shock-corded poles are an essential component of which product?

Many tent poles are hollow and connected by an elastic cord. Shock-corded poles are easy to use and make tent setup (usually) a snap.

It's a great idea to drink water straight from that clear, beautiful mountain stream.

Giardia is a protozoan that lives in many streams, even those that seem fresh and unpolluted. Swallowing untreated water that has Giardia can cause horrible intestinal problems than can linger far longer than you want to believe.

"Backcountry" refers to which type of camping location?

If you're heading into the backcountry, you're heading to wilderness locations. Experienced backpackers are big fans of the backcountry, but unprepared novices should probably start with car camping.

What might you put in your tent's vestibule?

The vestibule is the covered area just outside the tent door. It's a convenient place to put items like your dirty shoes so that you don't track mud inside the tent.

Where would you find a "draft tube"?

The draft tube is a collar of material added to some sleeping bags. These tubes can prevent cold drafts from traveling throughout the bag, making you shiver throughout the night.

If you "bivouac," you are setting up a major campsite.

To bivouac means to camp with very little (or no) shelter. You should only bivouac if you know that the weather is going to cooperate, or if you're comfortable being perhaps very, very uncomfortable.

Boondocking is a term often used for which style of camping?

Boondocking generally refers to RV or van camping, but without any sort of water, electrical or sewer hookups. It's also called dry camping.

A "rain fly" is part of which item?

The rain fly is the outer covering for your tent that keeps out precipitation. Many, many camping trips have ended prematurely when forgetful (or overconfident) campers neglect to attach the rain fly.

You can drink "potable" water.

Many campgrounds offer potable (drinkable) water. But many campsites don't. Be sure the water is safe to drink before you start chugging it on a hot summer day. Unless, of course, you enjoy explosive diarrhea and other intestinal problems.

Which of the following makes for a great fire starter?

In a pinch, potato chips and similar foods are actually great fire starters. Gasoline is more fun, of course, but also hazardous to your health.

Don't leave food in your tent at night.

Food attracts all sorts of critters, from bugs to bears, and you don't want any of these creatures in your tent. Store your food in sealed containers away from your tent, and if you're in bear country, educate yourself on the proper techniques for this process.

Why should you think twice about setting up your tent under a tree?

"Widow makers" are dead limbs that fall from trees, often in breezy weather. Don't place your tent under trees that appear to have weak or dying branches unless you want to risk your neck.

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