Camping has been one of my lifelong hobbies. I've camped times and times back in Indonesia and Washington state. Occasionally, I've also camped in U of M libraries during finals week and let me tell you that it's purely comfortable on top of being free; so do camp in our libraries when possible.
I'll leave camping in libraries aside for now and will probably talk about it when the next finals week come, this will give me a reason to procrastinate.
This year, I've been to 2 camping trips with several of my friends. While our groups planned our trips independently, there are also several on and off campus organizations which organize camping trips throughout the year; the means through which you'll go camping is entirely up to you. By comparison, camping trips set up by organizations are generally more expensive. I spent about 40$ on my first trip (2 nights) and about 100$ on the second (3 nights), going with the organizations would otherwise cost you around 200$ for the same number of nights. Another thing to consider is how much freedom do you want in your trip. If you have your own set of activities that you absolutely want to try, then planning your own trip would be a better idea.
That is to say, be very thorough if you are going to plan your own trip. It is very recommended that you have at least 1 experienced camper within your group. On top of being knowledgeable in planning camping trips, s/he would also be able to ensure your group's survival in the wild. Never underestimate the factor of safety required for this kind of activity; many serious accidents happened to unprepared groups of campers on trips that were seem to be going very smoothly otherwise.
With that said, some of you incoming international students might know that Minnesota is a state of 10000 lakes and 0 mountains. The lack of steep slopes and curviness however, does not make it any less appealing in proportion as can be seen in snaps of our trips below:
1st trip, St. Croix National Park
2nd trip, Voyageurs National Park
At the risk of being shameless, below is a video of our 2nd trip in Voyageur, it was meant to be for personal views so apologies in advance if some parts don't make sense. Actually, I guess most parts won't make sense to you but I'm too lazy to make a new one.
Editing by: Jin Tongtong (Tina)