Depending on your level of camping experience, the term primitive camping may mean a lot of different things. If you go to a primitive campground, most of the time that just means they don’t have any amenities like electricity, running water or flushing toilets. But you can take it as far as you like.
What Is Primitive Camping?
To some, primitive camping may mean going out into the woods with just an axe and a gun to see if they can survive. Personally, that sounds like way too much work, as I like to enjoy myself when I’m camping. So my definition of primitive camping is driving up into the woods and carving out a camping spot – everything we need is in my truck. If you’re brand new to camping, this may not be the first trip you want to take.
What To Bring Primitive Camping
By definition, primitive camping is a bit more dangerous than RV camping or going to a campground with full amenities. If something bad happens you’re further away from civilization and it will take longer to get medical attention if needed. Be sure to have a first aid kit along with the knowledge of how to use it on a camping trip like this.
You’ll also need to bring up all your own water, not just drinking water either. You’ll need water to clean dishes, cook with, as well as to stay hydrated. We have a 5 gallon jug that we fill up to use mostly for cleaning and cooking. Then we take a flat (24 bottles) or two of bottled water to drink. This amount will usually get us through 2-4 days of primitive camping.
Using paper plates, paper cups, and plastic forks & spoons can make things easier. Instead of doing any dishes you can just throw the paper in the fire and the plastic in the garbage…easy! Keep in mind that you’ll still need water to clean your pots and pans though.
The next thing to think about when primitive camping is the lack of electricity. If you want coffee, then you’ll need a camp stove and a percolator instead of the usual plug-in coffee pot. There’s no microwave either, so all cooking will have to be done over the fire or on a camp stove or barbecue. To cook over the camp fire, you can use pots/pans, cooking sticks, or wrap food in aluminum foil and put it in the coals.
Lastly, you’re going to need to set up some kind of bathroom. There are a variety of camping toilets that you can buy for this, or you can makeshift your own from a 5 gallon bucket, it all depends on how fancy you want to get. If the trees are thick then it may be fine to set it out in the forest a little ways, or you can hang a sheet to give some privacy. Just remember to keep things clean – always bury everything and don’t litter!
Primitive camping definitely isn’t for everyone, but it does have it’s advantages. In most cases it’s cheaper and more secluded than a campground. After all, plumbing, running water, and electricity cost money, so someone’s gotta pay. Just be sure to be prepared if you decide to “rough it” out in the woods for a weekend. Remember, on a trip like this you should only bring the camping essentials and not a bunch of extra stuff.