Camping can be described as an outdoor recreational activity where by people, often referred to as campers leave their homes and spent time in a natural environment (Cole 10).
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Campers around the world usually establish a campsite using tents, caravans, mobile homes or cabins where they stay for several nights before returning to their homes (Cole 10). Camping is less expensive compared to other recreational activities has increased in popularity during the last century. Camping provides people with the opportunity to break from their monotonous city lives and experience the natural environment.
There are several other reasons why people indulge in camping activities. Camping also impacts the society and the environment in a variety of ways that can be described as positive or negative. This paper seeks to conduct a cause and effect analysis of camping. Specifically, the paper will discuss why and how people engage in various camping activities. The paper will also identify the positive and negative impacts of camping.
Reasons for engaging in tourism activities
As identified in the introductory part, there are various reasons why people indulge in camping activities. Most people go for camping to enjoy the outdoors and the scenic beauty provided by natural environments (Cole 11). Many people lead very stressful fast lives in big cities and always yearn for an opportunity to escape these routines of their ordinary lives.
Camping provides a perfect answer for people who need to relax their minds, strengthen their bodies and reinstate their spirits. Camping has been incorporated in many youth programs around the globe such as the scouting movement and is important in the teaching of teamwork and self reliance skills (Cole 13).
The choice for camping as a recreational activity has been reinforced by the increase in leisure time by different people. Statistics indicate that about one quarter of the United States population engages in camping and hiking as a recreational activity. Camping is also favored due to its cost effective nature, and is sometimes used as a cost effective form of accommodation for people attending big open air events such as religious festivals and sports events (Cole 13).
Effects of camping
Camping primarily affects the local environment and the economic status of the parties who own and control the camping sites. There might be some effects on the society that comes as a result of mingling between the campers and members of the local community. Effects of camping can be categorized into positive and negative effects and also primary and secondary depending on the nature of the effect and the stage at which it occurs.
Effects on the environment
Camping can have both positive and negative effects on the environment and ecosystems. Primary positive effect of camping is that it provides an incentive for conservation of natural environments and ecosystems. Many governments and private companies conserve their parks to attract more campers and tourists. Thus the conservation reinforced by the fact that some revenue will be generated from the parks or campgrounds.
The negative environmental effects of camping are many and varied. The most obvious is the littering that results from the disposable items carried by campers. The solid wastes are a significant source of aesthetic degradation and they may also find their way into water bodies and cause pollution.
Camping activities such as lighting bonfires, launching of fireworks and cheering cause a lot of stress to animals and other organisms within the eco system. The noise and commotion created often results into a significant change in the behavioral patterns of animals (Cole 17).
Camping also negatively impacts the soil and vegetation on the travel routes, picnic sites, campsites and viewpoints (Cole 23). Trampling caused by campers usually results into abrasion of vegetation, compaction of soil and abrasion of organic soil horizons (Cole 23).
Plants are often damaged by trampling resulting into reduced plant height, stem width and the number of plants with flowering capabilities. The changes significantly affect the reproductive capacity of the plants. Trampling causes soil compaction resulting in reduced porosity (Cole 24).
The in turn reduces the capacity of the soil to hold water. Compacted soil has less water infiltration rates and this leads to increased chances of runoff and soil erosion (Cole 24). The loss of organic litter has a direct impact on the plant and animal populations as it destroys microbial habitats and plant germination substrates (Cole 25).
Camping sites are usually established in parks owned by the government or private companies. Campers are required to pay some fee in order to access these parks. Some campgrounds have high visitation levels and have been properly designed into reliable business ventures.
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Members of the local community benefit from the camping activities as they are employed as guides or have a stake in the parks that are used as camping sites. Areas that are frequently visited by campers have other facilities such as supermarkets to provide essential needs. Therefore, camping, in one way or another impacts the economic status of the local community (Cole 37).
Camping activities provide limited opportunities for cross cultural interaction due to the fact that camping sites are often in secluded areas that are usually far from human settlements. However, favorite camping destinations offer unique environments that give memorable camping experiences.
Such camping sites are frequented by campers to an extent that there is a significant level of interaction with the local community. The interaction with members of the local community provides campers with the opportunity to explore different cultures and draw comparisons with their own. Camping also strengthens the bonds of friends, family or any other group of people who often go camping together.
Conclusions and recommendations
This paper sought to conduct a cause effect analysis on camping. The paper has described the reasons why people engage in camping, it has also described the various positive and negative effects of camping. It has been established that people basically go for camping as a recreational activity.
The positive effects of camping are that it refreshes people, encourages conservation, and provide a source of income for people. The negative effects mainly touch on the environment, especially in regard to pollution, vegetation destruction and soil compaction. It’s imperative that camping activities take into account the importance of environmental conservation.
Therefore solid waste that results from camping should be appropriately disposed off to minimize the harm on the environment. Activities such as fireworks, singing or cheering should also be done away with or minimized as they cause stress to animals. The use of parks for camping activities should be spatial distributed to minimize the harm on vegetation and soil (Cole 27).
Cole, David. Ecotourism . Utah: Department of Agriculture, 2003.Print