Whatsuppp er'one?! How's life lately? Me, I've been busy as hell! Huhu... But Yay! This post has been in my backlog list for such a long time already and I finally decided to write it down! Ok, great! 
So, I will be sharing with you my camping experience outside the Philippines - and it's in The United States of America, in California to be exact. 

Philippines and America have a way a lot more differences most especially in the culture. I didn't think of anything or I didn't expect anything about how our camping will go and I just realized the differences, during the camping day itself- and the differences are impossible not to notice because it's huge. On this post, I will only post photos from America and let me do the honour to explain it to you one by one :) 

1.) America provides more safety and plenty of information than in the Philippines.  

In America, they have an entrance fee per car, but in our case, my cousin have a membership pass where he can use that card unlimitedly for I think a year and he can use it in any campsite in California and the States nearby. It's not just an entrance fee, it's for their records. Hmm, before you can set up your tent and go camping in America, you will have to go to one of their shed offices or more likely a mini museum to ask wether there is still a place for camping on a specific area or if it is already full. They record all the people who goes in the camp sites. You have to fill up a form, get a camp site area number, and then submit back the form again. It's a must! So that if ever that you get lost or whatever happens to you, they have a record that you were just around the area. Inside their reception offices, they provide all the neccessary information and facts that you need to know. They even have souveneir items for sale. I may say that they are way way more developed than here in the Philippines. 
These are the actual foot prints of the animals in what I so called their mini museum reception. 

In the Philippines, based on my experiences, we just pack our bags and go to a secluded place without anyone knowing where we are. There's no reception place where you will log in or get tracked or what-  unlike in America. In the Philippines, there are no information provided as well. Well, I find it still more fun in the Philippines because I feel like there is more freedom here like we still have the old school kind of camping where there are no rules except for one -to live nothing, only foot prints. In the Philippines, you yourself should find out and figure out such information because we don't have that mini-museum reception areas here. In the Philippines, we win by experiences that will be gained. In America it's more like a touristy thing, well in my opinion. Although, when it comes to safety and earned knowledge, America wins. 

2.) Wild and exotic animals are normal in America than in the Philippines.

Yep! I find it really cool and real scary- but sure, you can encounter wild animals that we couldn't see in the Philippines  like squirrels, foxes, deers, and even bears! 

I really wished to see or encounter a bear but we didn't. Though my cousin Jomyel, told us a story where they saw a baby bear. It is not harmful if you know what to do if ever that you encounter them. 

I saw squirrels and deers but wasn't able to take photos of them, sorry. Hmm so what about in the Philippines? Well, I never encountered such animals but they say that there are snakes- yeah for sure. But I think we have more insects than mammals. Like I've seen butterflies, dragonflies, bugs, mosquitoes, and... Dogs! Hehe... 
See those bear signs? I'll tell you more about them, just keep reading :) 

3.) Guard your food all the time! 

Yup! Bears doesn't really eat people- but they get people's food! They will even break your car window's glasses if they smell that you have foods inside em.  

See that brown metal box at the back of our black and red tent? That is where you are going to place all your foods and stuff so that the bears couldn't steal it. It's a must to keep your foods inside! Yes again, it's a must! :) So unlike in the Philippines where you could just get drunk all night and directly go to sleep, in America, you have the responsibilty to keep all your things and mess before going to sleep. Yeah, discipline. Americans are more disciplined than the Filipinos. It's an obvious fact. 

4.) In America, there's a boundary and you can bring your car just besides your tent. In the Philippines, you cant. 

In the Philippines, our usual set up is to park our car somewhere in the foot of the mountain or somewhere near the road where you can park it- then get all the neccessary stuff outside the car, put it in your backpack and do the backpacking all the way up in the camp site. Yizz! It's way a lot more effort! Like real effort and exhaustion. In America, you can bring your car or RV all the way up and set up your tent besides your car. And, there are boundaries where you will have your own area where in every area there is a table, a griller, a food box(the one I'm talking about above), and a space to park your car or set up the tent. That's the reason why the campsites are getting full because there's a limit. Unlike in the Philippines, you could just set up your tent anywhere and even meet random people and strangers because there are no boundaries. You can set up a bonfire anywhere while in America, they already have a provided basin for the bonfire, and guess what? You can even buy woods specially made for bon fire. In the Philippines, you need to hunt and gather woods first before you can start a bonfire. Yeah, to make it short, everything is already provided in America - like it is more accessible when it comes to camping. There are a lot of camping stuff that you could buy in the market. While in the Philippines, it's only you and yourself, and again,for the adventure and thrill seekers like me, I find it more fun in the Philippines. But if you are the kind of person that is more relaxed and chill, well, America would be the best! :) 
See those pick-ups with RVs? Uggh, I could live like that! It became one of my bucket lists! To just travel around the Philippine without a stable home because I bring and drive my home with me. Hehe... 
5.) The population of campers in America is more diversified than in the Philippines

What I noticed in America even during my first Hike in Hollywood(see article here), you can easily notice that hikers and campers are different set of people. There are families and even kids! And guess what? They even bring their babies with them! I was so amazed with the backpacks designed especially for the baby hikers. The backpack is big enough with a roof, for the babies. Yes, babies do hike too! There are also a lot of old people and I guess old people love to hike more than the middle aged people. 
See this RV here? A couple maybe on their 60s are the one who uses it. And I find it so so sweet!

Well, families do usually hike in America, it is normal for them most especially in the west part because they are surrounded by mountains. Almost every families that I've encountered in America, have their own tents and camping stuff. And this time, America wins! Because in the Philippines, only yound adults and middle aged people, hike and camp. Well, an exception to my dad, he is already in his 60s and he still goes up in the mountain. And yeah, my grandma, she's 75 years old and we still managed to hike the Mt. Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia :) 

6.) There are packed foods designed for Camping in America. 
Okay, first, let me introduce to you my team or group! Hehe... The guy is my cousin, and the girl, Erika, is my boyfriend's friend's sister. Haha! It was my first time to meet her during my Hollywood hike and she eventually became my travke buddy in America. Hehe...  Okay, see the 3 layered packed food in the middle of our table? Those are packed foods in different sets, especially made for camping. Like I find it so cute, in one pack, there is a meatloaf for example, together with biscuites, then cheeze, etc. I told you, everything is provided in America. 
My cousin, or most probably all the campers in America, are way more prepared than the Filipinos. There are plenty of available foods for camping, while here in the Philippines, we are just used to bring canned goods mehehe... But guess what? Americans are used to throw foods without any second thinking which I find really really bad. But that's normal there not even in camping. Like there are A LOT OF FOOD BEING WASTED. In the Philippines in general, it's a NO NO! We even give the left over foods to the dogs just to make sure that there is no food being wasted.

7.) In America, they use airbeds! In the Philippines, we use "banig".

Hehe of course I will not forget to include this. I never think of bringin or using an airbed in one of our campings here in the Philippines. Then I realized, yeah, why not?! Haha! I had the best and the most comfortable sleep in America :) Besides the airbed, we top it off with comfy sleeping bags. Thanks to my very sweet cousin. Hihi.. 
In the Philippines, we just use a picnic matt or a "banig"- a Filipino version of mattress that is made of abbacca. Or sometimes, we just use barely nothing but blankets. Like when we're in the beach, we feel the sand as our mattress. 

8.) Roads and trails in America are pavemented. In the Philippines, mostly are rocky roads! 

Yes this is a true story! In the Philippines, - how many times did we experienced the thrill of the rocky roads? All the time! That's why we started dreaming of a pick up car - Ford Ranger, so that we will not have a hard time in rocky roads anymore. Not only the roads are rocky road, even the trails are undeveloped. Thus, obviously, it is way much more thrilling to hike in the Philippines since the trails are not cemented; it is still in its original form of nature, because...

In America, even during my first hike there, trails and roads are all pavemented and developed. I find it less thrilling - like you can never be lost because they even already have plenty of signs - unlike in the Philippines, you need a guide because there is a high chance that you will get lost. Well, they say that there are trails there that are like in the Philippines- but it's not usual.  In the Philippines, it is just normal. So, like what I've said, in Ameica, it's like a touristy thing so everything is developed. But I am not saying that all of the camp or hiking sites in the Philippines are not developed; in my case, we always go to unspoiled and remote areas - that's why. But there are also places here in the Philippines most especially the popular sites or spots, are already developed with pavements already. But then again, Philippines won if you're an adventure and thrill seeker like me. Hehe... 

America and the Philippines are way way much different. But both have the pros and cons and there is no winner here because every people have different opinions and perception. But the view in America, is amazing! Like amaaazing! Or maybe because I'm just so used in the Philippines and canyons are new to me. But hey, it's breathtaking :) This experience, the camping and hiking experience outside Asia, made me feel like there are still more to life and more to see in this world. So if you are not yet traveling as of this moment? I encourage you to pack your bags and start traveling now! First time? Don't hesistate to give a call! DLC Backpackers - Your Travel Expert will be there to help you with any of your travel needs! :) Call 216-0795 for inquiries or free consultation to one of our travel experts! :) 

Okaaay! I'm done here! This post is getting longer and longer! Hehe... Stay tuned as I post the places that I've been and hiked in America :)

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