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Public-images-osm logo.svg camp_type
IMG 20131028 074000.jpg
Classification of campgrounds by their designation and way of commercial operation
Group: Tourism
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: In usePage for proposal


Classification of campgrounds that are accessible for the general public (tourism=camp_site and tourism=caravan_site) by their designation and commercial operation.

Camping is done in the following types of accommodation:

  1. Standard campgrounds (camp_type=standard) - any campground that is designated and advertised as campground irrespective of the service level provided or the fee charged;
  2. Supplementary campgrounds (camp_type=supplementary) - businesses that provide sites for camping as an opportunistic activity for a fee. The campground supplementary to provision of hotel, hostel, motel, resort or chalet accommodation or running a bar;
  3. Non-designated camping (camp_type=non_designated) - locations that are not set up to offer camping, but are more suitable for camping than other places in the neighbourhood and therefore valuable to know. Informal campgrounds shall only be mapped if there is an important reason to select the place over other places in the neighbourhood. If the place is a spot along the road, chosen just because it got dark or if it is a beautiful wild camp, then it shall not be mapped;

Rationale and Scope

The proposed tags are in particular important in areas with few or no regular campgrounds. They show (sometimes desperately needed) alternative options for camping, but prevent that the alternative is confused with regular, designated campgrounds. Overlanders, people who travel for a long period with their own vehicle over long distances, often in developing countries, need this type of information. The tag is not intended for classification of campground facility levels, access by specific groups or pricing.


Standard campground type: designated camper site in a small town in France
Supplementary campground type: camping in front of a hotel in Uganda
Non-designated campground: public beach in Dubai near public toilets and showers
  1. Standard campgrounds are all types of designated campgrounds. This campground type includes (list is not exhaustive):
    1. Guarded and staffed commercial and park operated campgrounds providing amenities such as drinking water, toilets, showers, waste stations, laundry and/or dish washing, etc.
    2. Overnight (RV) sites: sites that charge no or a nominal fee, have some or no facilities, sometimes limited length of stay, self managed;
    3. Trekking campgrounds: often very inaccessible, no amenities;
  2. Supplementary campground are campgrounds that are opportunistic in nature. They may belong to hotels that have separate facilities for campers (like a separate toilet section), allow campers to use shared facilities (typical in a hostel) or hand a room key out to the camper for use of toilet and shower. Usually there is no separate area for campers, but the parking lot or courtyard is used instead, resulting in little privacy. This kind of service is offered a lot in countries without an established camping network, for example in Latin America and in East Africa. Because not all hotels, motels, etc. offer this service it is important that the hotels that do offer the service are shown on the map. However, it is also important to see that a camping facility is not an established business, but a minor add-on activity. Far from all hotels offer such a service: in a medium sized city in east Africa you may find 15 hotels of which 3 provide this service. Similarly, in the UK many pubs in the countryside have a camping field where campers can stay and use the pub facilities if they wish. A hotel that runs a separate standard campground does not fall in this category;
  3. Non-designated campgrounds exist in areas where you are allowed to camp anywhere except... (like in Sweden) or where no rules exist (like in many countries in African and the Middle East, but where one place is much more appropriate to camp than other places in the neighbourhood, often the last resort if no camping service is offered nearby. :: Non-designated campgrounds shall only be mapped if there is an important reason to select the place over other places in the neighbourhood. If the place is a spot along the road, chosen just because it got dark, then it shall not be mapped; also wild camps that are mainly chosen for the beauty of the environment shall not be mapped. Legitimate non-designated campground examples are:
    1. Places with nearby presence of public facilities: a public beach with free access to toilets and beach showers or a guarded park with public toilets in the neighbourhood in countries where camping in public areas is safe;
    2. Safe heavens: a police station or mission station - In areas with questionable security away from any designated campground a mission station that offers shelter, but no amenities may be the only alternative;


  1. Intentionally the key camp_type=* instead of camp_site=* was chosen for the proposal. Initial discussions about a separate proposal for classification by amenity level are in progress. It is expected that tags like camp_site=basic, camp_site=luxury will be the result;
  2. The proposal implies that the tag impromptu=yes (March 2015: used 488 times) will be deprecated. By our reasoning impromptu=yes is a contradiction in terms - an impromptu campsite is one chosen without prior knowledge of its existence;
  3. The proposal applies to tourism=caravan_site as well. However, the better alternative is that always tourism=camp_site is used with tents=no for caravan sites;
  4. In case of an supplementary camping the node or area of the sponsoring hotel/hostel/motel node or area will also be shown.

Applies to

The proposal applies to nodes and areas.


For rendering the following symbols should be used:

  1. Standard sites or sites that are tagged tourism=camp_site but have no other clarifying tags, should get the blue tent symbol Camping.n.16.png as currently in place;
  2. Supplementary sites should get the grey tent symbol Camping.n.16.grey.png.
  3. Non-designated sites should get the red tent symbol;

Features/Pages affected

The following tags will be affected:

See also