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World’s Most Thrilling Camping Destinations

Grab your sleeping bags, coolers and marshmallows. Camping season has arrived! But we’re not talking your typical camping destinations. Climb outside your comfort zone with these mind-blowing camping adventures.

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1. Camp on Antarctica

Once upon a time the South Pole was only frequented by penguins and researchers. But now intrepid campers can follow in their footsteps and gaze upon the untouched splendour and quiet solitude of Antarctica. Adventure Network International warmly invites travellers to their Union Glacier Camp based in the Southern Ellsworth Mountains. ANI ensure that all their guests are treated to exquisite hospitality. Their comfy tents, based on the design used by Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition, are heated naturally by 24-hour sunlight. Meals are freshly prepared on site, enabling guests to concentrate solely on ice climbing, cross-country skiing and exploring. ANI’s full service camp is open during Antarctica’s summer – November through to January.

(Photo courtesy of ANI)

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2. Camping on a Volcano, Guatemala

Who needs a run-of-the-mill campfire for toasting marshmallows when you have a blazing volcano? Sleep on the slope of an active volcano in Guatemala. Fuego’s most recent eruption occurred in May of 2012, when an explosive mix of searing hot lava, ash and rock propelled violently into the air. O.X. Outdoor Excursions makes this once-in-a-lifetime camping experience a reality. And if Fuego is a little too temperamental for your liking, try Acatenango – Fuego’s dormant neighbour. This volcano offers breathtaking views of all the fiery action next door.

(Photo courtesy O.X. – Outdoor Excursions)

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3. Camp Under the Northern Lights, Northwest Territories

Journey north – far north – to witness Mother Nature’s amazing light show. Here’s an arctic camping trip that will give you chills – in a good way. Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures takes you beyond the brink to the isolation and vast beauty of the Northwest Territories. They’ll supply the charter flights, food for you to prepare, tents and maps. You just have to pack your pioneer spirit, a sleeping bag and the guts to rough it in Canada’s untouched north. Nightly performances of the northern lights are subject to clear skies and ideal weather conditions.

(Photo by David Olson, courtesy Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures)

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4. Camping in the Trees at Waldseilgarten, Bavaria, Germany

Sleeping in the trees is no longer just for the birds. Germany’s Waldseilgarten adventure camp swings you from the treetops for a camping experience like no other. Dangling from a single rope that’s tied to a sturdy tree branch, your private hanging tent is just large enough to create a comfy mid-air cocoon. Catch forty winks while you sway in the gentle nighttime breeze. Too extreme? Try Waldseilgarten’s tree platforms instead. Suspended between several trees, these wooden platforms have more support and provide an easier escape route when nature calls.

(Photo courtesy of Sarahdavejo/Flickr)

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5. Camp on Australia’s Outback

Australia is famous for its indigenous creepy crawlies, but why should a few snakes, crocodiles and spiders deter you from an amazing camping trip? The land down under is home to many poisonous critters that love to cozy up to unsuspecting campers. But isn’t that part of the Australian outback’s appeal? Encountering an angry croc or venomous funnel web spider might make a great photo opportunity, but be sure to pack your common sense along with your camping gear. Stitches, broken bones or poisonous bites are souvenirs that you don’t want to bring home.

(Photo courtesy of Rgs_/Flickr)

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6. Camp in the Sri Lankan Rainforest

Welcome to the jungle! Let brightly hued birds, rushing waterfalls and peerless beauty welcome you in Sri Lanka. Thanks to Kitulgala Adventures, campers can dive into a refreshing break deep in the heart of unspoiled rainforest. Arrive to discover your tent already pitched on the water’s edge and a wide variety of activities waiting for you including white water rafting, waterfall abseiling, walking trails and bird watching. Kitulgala Adventures prepares all your meals and will even organize a picnic for trips deep into the rainforest.

(Photo courtesy Sri Lankan Expeditions)

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7. Elephant Camp in South Africa

Pack your trunks! Your slumbering neighbours aren’t fellow campers, they’re elephants. Black Tomato’s Pafuri camping getaway takes you up close and personal with the local wildlife. Situated within Kruger National Park in northern South Africa, you’ll be treated to an unrivalled safari camping experience. Fall asleep to the rare soundtrack of roaming African animals – a refreshing change from the curious raccoons and bumbling bears that populate Canadian cottage country.

(Photo courtesy of Black Tomato)

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8. Camp with a Ghost on Big Sur, California

Time to rally around the campfire for toasted marshmallows, hot dogs and a spine-chilling ghost story. During the light of day, you might scoff at the idea that the Fernwood Campground in Big Sur, California can out spook most tent-pitching destinations. While the beautiful forest and crystal clear rivers seem harmless in the bright sunshine, they tell a disturbing tale in the dead of night. A ghostly Native American figure sporting a corn mask apparently haunts the campground terrifying unsuspecting campers who cross his path. Legend states that this land was once considered sacred by the Esselen Indians and was possibly a hallowed burial ground.

(Photo courtesy of kqedquest/Flickr)