How to: Day Camping in South Korea with the Kims

Day Camping in South Korea

I am not a camping fan, but since arriving in South Korea, I’ve been eager to try day camping. I don’t particularly appreciate roughing it. But I don’t have to worry about that with day camping. Day camping (or tent picnicking) became a popular recreational pastime in Korea during the pandemic when social distancing made regular social activities impossible. Today, we have the pleasure of joining the Kim families, including Kim Jin and Kim Moon Duk, along with his wife, for a day camping adventure in Sangju.

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You might recall Kim Moon Duk from my blog post about attending a Korean Wedding. We were fortunate to receive an invitation to his son’s wedding in 2021, during the pandemic’s peak, when such gatherings were restricted to a few guests.

Our friendship with both families has enriched our time in Korea, as they often include us in their exciting adventures. And today we’re pre-gaming the Chuseok Holiday at their favorite camping site for an afternoon of day camping in South Korea.

Tent Picknicking in South Korea

Mr. Kim picked a beautiful location in the middle of nowhere. It was by a small creek that tumbled down several small waterfalls. The sound of the water tumbling over the rocks was a perfect accompaniment to the BBQ.

The Kims had a lot of gear in the back of their car. The tent and food were practically set up by the time we arrived. But the setup included a large tent, a grill, and a small gas stove. The setup was so complete that she could cook everything right there on site. What you can do with a few pots and pans, a grill, and a mixing bowl is impressive.

Picnic Meal

Mr. and Mrs. Kim prepared a bevy of Korean foods, including LA galbi (or short ribs), Korean beef, kimchi, spicy morning glory, fried kimchi cakes, beef tofu soup, fried egg pancakes, japchae (sweet potato noodles), jeon, sweet rice wine, and beer. For dessert, we ate sliced apple-pear and oranges. It was perfect.

Waterfalls and Snakes

I’ve hiked all over South Korea, and today, I saw my first snake. It wasn’t just a snake, either. It was a poisonous baby viper. Thanks to my improved eyesight, I saw it from a distance, took a picture, and looked it up on Google Lens. The snake is called a Gloydius brevicauda or short-tailed pit viper, found in China and all over the Korean peninsula.

Did you know there were vipers in South Korea?

I could definitely embrace this style of camping. While day camping technically requires a tent, a picnic offers a similar experience, and many people enjoy that option as well. Additionally, there are numerous trailer parks, glamping sites, rental tent grounds, and pavilions with grills where you can savor a meal and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.

There was a quaint temple up the hill from our campsite, but everyone was so full that I couldn’t convince anyone to join me for a hike. Considering the presence of pit vipers in the area, I opted to forgo the temple visit and took a leisurely stroll along the Nakdong River BIking Trail instead.

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Day-camping-in-korea_20230923_232227_0000-519x692 How to: Day Camping in South Korea with the Kims


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