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May 4, 2010

Camping for Everyone: Writers and Artists

Filed under: Campground Destinations,Camping — Tags: , — Simos @ 6:48 am
An inspiring view from Davis Canyon, Utah

An inspiring view from Davis Canyon, Utah
Photo by: Erik Marr (Stock Exchange)

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to AllCampgrounds!

In this continuation to our “Camping for Everyone” series, we’ll talk about camping opportunities especially for writers and artists. Now, this might seem a little odd at first; why can’t these folks go camping anywhere? And, of course, they can. But one of our goals is to show non-campers that “special” camping experience for them, one that can help them proudly say that camping is a hobby. For those with a creative spirit, that opportunity is waiting!

Do you know your options? They may not be as prevalent as they once were, but “retreats” are not unknown in the world of the creative. Writing groups in particular often organize retreats for small groups of members to go out into the wilderness (for varying definitions of “wilderness”) and share the creative process together for a while. There are several companies serving small and group retreats like this, often with tent camping and cabin facilities. Check out Venture Retreat Center for an example.

What do you” need” to create? If you’re going on a trip you hope will be creatively fruitful, don’t forget to bring the right tools for the job. For artists, this may mean paints or pens or clay or whatever you need to work in your medium; for writers, it can mean anything from a large notebook to an antique typewriter to a laptop. Be aware of how much space you need and your accommodations; do you need to pack your supplies in a sealed, weather-proof container? If you’re writing, will you be able to work longhand or do you need batteries or other equipment? Will your supplies “hold out” for the duration of the trip? How will you get the final product home without damaging it?

Social or solitary? The traditional “artists’ retreat” has been a social event, but it’s up to you whether this is your best option. In all campsites, there are many degrees of social or solitary behavior to choose from. You may select a lone cabin or one in a small group; if tent camping, you may pitch near plenty of “neighbors” or go deep into the backcountry. The only caveat is that nature can and will intrude the further away you get from modern, developed sites. If you need monk-like solitude at will (and many creators do!) then look for sophisticated franchise campsites such as Kampgrounds of America. These provide modern conveniences and plenty of privacy in a wild setting.

Now or later? Ask yourself if you’re planning to do your creating during your trip, or just let the beauty of nature inspire you to work on your projects once you get home. If you can hold out, you might get more out of your visit by spending as much time as you can “present” in nature, only stopping to take notes, do quick sketches, or set up other mental “signposts” for your future work. Plenty of camp grounds also offer events and activities you could take part in to relax and get your juices flowing. If you’re going to keep producing, make sure you’ve chosen a place where the weather and natural conditions outside your door (or flap) will be favorable to you. Don’t forget to take plenty of hikes, go fishing, or enjoy whatever else the land has to offer.

Where do you want to go? If this is your vacation, you can go anywhere you want. And if you’re looking for motivation as an artist or author, you may well want to set up camp near some important site that means a lot to you. To name just one example, Hemingway House in Key West, Florida is convenient to a number of areas that offer RV and tent camping: for example, Dry Tortugas National Park. Just about anywhere you can name has a place to go camping close by. Look for ways to bridge the natural and creative worlds!

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