Camping has always been a popular pastime in America, but the number of people taking to the outdoors to relax and enjoy their surroundings has grown significantly in recent years. In the North American Camping Report, it states that due to the effects of the pandemic on the country and restrictions on travel, more people took to camping, as over 10 million households pitched up camp for the first time in 2020.

However, there are many forms of camping; some take to an RV, meanwhile, others prefer glamping. Then there is cowboy camping, which is as far away from any of those as it could be. To cowboy camp is to get out into the wilderness, pitch up and make a fire under the full moon without a tent or structure to sleep under, evoking romantic images of the Wild West.

Modern popular culture has largely driven that image of the cowboy through movies like True Grit and A Fist Full of Dollars. It has also become popular in video games, with the blockbuster title from Take-Two, Red Dead Redemption 2 selling over 30 million copies, quenching the public’s thirst for the Wild West and cowboys. The online slots on Gala Casino also contain some western-themed titles, including Wild Wild West and Dead or Alive, which further play on themes and imagery related to the period. It’s an era that has always gripped people, which helps feed into the passion for cowboy camping.

While video games and movies like Django Unchained depict the imagery and the themes of the Wild West in digital form, there’s no better way of understanding what it is like to sleep under the stars than getting out there and experiencing it for yourself.

Camp is where your sleeping bag is

Cowboy camping is something that takes up very little preparation because there’s no tent to carry, which means there’s less physical exertion. Not only that, if you’ve experienced a long day of hiking, there’s no need to unpack the tent and then tie yourself in knots putting it up. It is the lightest form of camping you can experience. Also, there are so many more places to stay; there’s no worry about your spot being ‘sold out’ like if you drove to the trailer park in an RV. You don’t even have to find trees to camp under, lay down your sleeping mat, unfurl the sleeping bag, and you’re set for the night.

Connect with nature

As you’re literally outside under the stars, it gives you a connection that is like no other method of camping. Once you’re in your sleeping bag, it’s the only thing between you and nature; it’s the ultimate expression of living with the land. There’s not a better view in the world on a clear night, or if you want to find the perfect spot to watch the sun come up (or go down), it’s your choice; it’s a magical experience that everyone should sample at least once in their life.

Watch the conditions

To enjoy your time with nature, make sure you check the weather forecasts as you’ll not appreciate being woken up by the wind or getting wetter than a beaver if it rains. Also, think of where you’re laying your head and avoid sleeping near standing water as nature which is beautiful by day, could turn into a neck-nibbling insect-filled nightmare when the sun goes down.

Overall though, cowboy camping is a terrific and up close and personal way of experiencing the great outdoors, and we hope you love it too. If you’ve been inspired and want tips around where to visit, what the best camping gear is to buy, then make sure you visit our home page at The Lake and Stars.