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Signature Camping vs. "Classic" Camping on REI Adventure Trips

Hi!  I notice that a lot of your trips listed on the REI Adventure site involve "camping", but not all of them involve "Signature" camping.  I understand what Signature camping is, but what should one expect when you describe a trip as "classic camping", or just not Signature Campign.  An example would be the Golden Circle bicycle trip.  What sort of camping would be involved on that?

3 Replies

@Jan_71 Thanks for reaching out!

We're going to connect with a member of our REI Adventures team to get this question answered. We'll circle back with the information as soon as we can. Thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Jan_71 Thanks for your patience while we tracked down the answer to this question!

For classic camping trips at REI adventures, standard inclusions are:

  • 3 or 4 person tent (two people per tent)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Group cooking and dining gear
  • All meals
  • Campsite fees & permits

This is different from Signature Camping in that the tents in Signature Camps are typically larger and furnished with cots, floor coverings, and additional amenities.

Classic camping trips are similar to a traditional, 'front country', camping experience in an established campsite with some amenities (not a primitive, backcountry, camping experience). 

The Golden Circle Bicycle trip looks amazing! Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Jan_71 We managed to get some more detail to help answer your question in more depth:

Signature Camping:

Every departure includes:

  • Two guides and a camp host. The camp host’s role is to assist with all aspects of camp set-up and breakdown, meal preparation and, when necessary, act as a third guide out on trail.
  • Tents equipped with cots, allowing participants to sleep off the ground.
  • Additional camp furniture (tent tables, rugs, chairs) for added comfort and convenience.
  • As an example, on all of our Zion, Bryce Canyon and Great Smoky Mountains Signature Camping trips (11 total itineraries), we have access to REI exclusive, private campsites adjacent to the parks and not shared with any other campers. These private sites also have bathrooms with flush toilets and showers.
  • The remainder of our North America Signature Camping trips stay in pre-reserved group sites in national park campground.
  • Upgraded food and beverage options including nightly pre-dinner appetizers and French press coffee or tea brought to your tent each morning.

Classic Camping

  • Two guides on every departure but no camp host.
  • Campsites are either located in national park campgrounds or more primitive sites with vault toilets and no running water (itinerary dependent).
  • No cots (but sleeping pads are provided).
  • More participatory – trip members are expected to set-up and break down their own tents (guides provide a tent set-up demonstration at the initial group orientation).
  • Still hearty and delicious meals but simpler preparations.
  • Provide us with the freedom and flexibility to operate trips in more far-flung, unique destinations where more established, more developed campgrounds are simply not available.

Thanks for your patience as we gathered all this information!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.