Primitive camping sounds invigorating. When people think primitive, they think bare minimal essentials, if that, and when it comes to camping, the idea of going back to the bare basics is exciting.
So, what is primitive camping? Also known as dispersed camping, primitive camping is the act of camping outside of a designated campground. It also means nothing fancy, so think tent, fishing rod, and no electricity or bathroom facility.
Primitive Camping Check-list
While primitive camping generally means bring little, there are a number of things you will want to have on you once you leave behind the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind and head out into the wilderness. Below are 10 essentials that should be in every camper’s packed materials.
1. First Aid Kit
Whether you’ve decided to go on your primitive camping trip alone or if you decided to go with a group, the most essential thing you need to remember is a first aid kit because one wrong step and you could find yourself with either a minor or dangerous injury that needs to be treated before you can get help.
2. Mess Kit
A mess kit is a lightweight, portable kit that includes most, if not all, of your outdoor food prep essentials. When you head out into the wilderness on your primitive camping trip, you won’t have the space to carry around bulky pots and pans, and these kits help solve that problem. They generally come with at least one pot, a pan a cup of some sort and a spork all in a mesh bag for easy transportation.
This is a non-negotiable whether you are going on a traditional camping trip or choosing to go primitive. You need to know the area like the back of your hand and having a map will help you navigate the wilderness as you head out on your hikes. Yes, there are ways to ensure you make it back to your campsite, but why risk it? Especially when maps are often easily foldable and fit into your backpack or pocket.
4. Some Form of Hydration System
When going primitive, you aren’t going to have easy access to water fountains and the likes. While water bottles and jugs are helpful, many camping stores carry hydration packs that work like backpacks filled with water and have a hose and spout near the shoulder for quick access when out navigating the wilderness.
Knives are considered a universal tool. From protection to catching food for the day and even aiding in first aid if needed, a knife is an essential part of any camper’s materials.
6. Tent/Ground Mat
When primitive camping, you won’t be sleeping on fancy cots or in cabins or RV’s. You’ll need to provide yourself some form of shelter, and in order to avoid disturbing the natural setting too much, you’ll want to bring a tent and some form of a ground mat to keep you up off the ground and out of any puddles in case it rains while you are out.
Lighters have a variety of uses from providing light to starting your campfires. Lighters are small enough that you could pack a few without noticing them in the bulk of your packed materials, and you’ll have some piece of mind knowing you have something to help keep you warm once you get settled into your campsite.
8. Warm Clothing
Layers are important when primitive camping. The weather is unpredictable and can change in an instant. Lighter layers will help keep you cool, but it’s guaranteed that you will need warmer layers once the sun goes down. So, make sure to pack warm clothing, even in the middle of summer.
A flashlight is a great tool when camping to help provide you light when moving around either inside a tent or if you have to venture away from your campsite for any reason while it’s getting dark. Even better, the flashlight can become essential if you lose track of time while out hiking and the sun starts to go down.
10. Garbage Bags
The number one rule of camping is to take nothing form it and to leave nothing behind, and that goes for all your garbage. When primitive camping, you won’t be supplied with ways to dispose of your trash, and in order to protect the wildlife, you need to bring your own garbage supplies. The only things you should be taking after your trip are photographs and everything that you arrived with.
Take Nothing and Leave Only Footprints in The Dirt
While primitive camping may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is an amazing experience for those who want to get away or get closer to nature. Just remember the cardinal rule, “take nothing but pictures/memories, and leave nothing but footprints in the dirt.”