The term camping may also be used for those who live outdoors out of necessity (as in the case of homeless people) or for people waiting in very long lines (queues). It does not, however, apply to the lifestyle of societies whose technology does not include sophisticated dwellings.
Camping as a recreational activity did not become popular until the early 20th century. It was (and is) a response to the increasing urbanization and isolation of Western society. Camping is often associated with a sense of nostalgia or of romanticism for 'the times of our fathers'. It simultaneously evokes images of 'oneness with nature' and 'man against nature' - independence and self-sufficiency.
Camping may be an end unto itself, but often it is in conjunction with other activities, such as hiking, swimming or fishing. (It may be combined with hiking either as backpacking or as a series of day hikes from a central location.)
National parks and other natural areas of interest are popular venues for camping. Most campers prefer to use campsites with special facilities such as fire rings, bathrooms and utilities. (For more on facilities, see the campsite article.) Indeed, camping is often restricted by law to designated sites in order to prevent campers from damaging the environment, but not all campsite offer similar levels of development.
Common tent camping equipment includes: