What To Bring For Primitive Camping

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You can get back to nature by going camping, but it can be challenging to pack for such an excursion.

It’s easy to overpack and bring too much stuff when you’re not sure what you’ll need. This can make camping more expensive and less enjoyable.

We’ve put together a list of the best things that will help you have an unforgettable camping trip without breaking your budget or weighing down your bag with unnecessary items.

Most people will prefer to go camping at a front-country campsite at a state or national park. There are many benefits including restrooms, potable water, and electricity.

However, many of these campsites are booked up months in advance and thus it’s harder to get a spot.

This is why if you can go primitive camping, you can find more spots to go camping.

Are You Car Camping Or Backpacking

The first step is to determine if you wish to go car camping or backpacking.

If you are car camping, you can bring all of the essentials that make your life more comfortable. If you’re going backpacking, then it’s important to limit what you take so that you don’t have an uncomfortable journey.

Both options are available for primitive camping.

It also helps to think about how many days you’re going camping for. This will help you decide how much food and other items that you’ll need.

Tent Or Hammock

You will want to decide between tent or hammock camping.

Hammock camping isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great way to save money and space in your bag.

You don’t have the same options for selecting sleeping gear as you do with a tent though. If you plan on bringing one of these hammocks make sure the area that you are going to will have plenty of trees.


It’s important to choose clothing items that are lightweight and durable. The trick is picking outfits that can be worn together for several days without getting too dirty or uncomfortable.

Pack a pair of hiking shoes, a camp shirt, and some socks that will keep your feet warm at night. You also might want to bring sunscreen as well as bug spray in case you don’t have any luck with the bugs while camping.


One of the best things about camping is eating. However, if you are backpacking, you’ll need to think carefully about what you’ll want to consume. This is because you have to carry all of the items in your bag.

Meanwhile, if you are car camping, even primitive camping, you can bring along almost anything you want. In particular, if you have a nice cooler.

It’s important to have plenty of water and snacks before you go camping. You don’t want to get caught in a situation where you run out.

You should bring enough food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some snacks during the day.

Make sure that your food is prepared beforehand so it isn’t complicated to make while you’re camping.

Water And Other Drinks

Water is the most crucial consideration for primitive camping because you won’t have access to reliable potable water.

It’s important to bring several gallons of water with you. Then, if you have the ability to purify more water while you are camping, then it’s highly recommended.

If you want drinks that aren’t water, then make sure that they don’t require ice or electricity for cooling. This way your trip will be less hampered.

And remember if you are backpacking, to make sure you bring your filter and water purification tablets to make water safe to drink.

Sleeping Bags And Pillow

The most important thing for backpacking is to have the right sleeping bag and pillow. This will help make your journey more comfortable by allowing you to rest well at night and wake up refreshed.

A great sleeping bag will keep you warm during colder nights and allow a little bit of breathing room while it’s hot outside.

A pillow is a luxury, but it can make your trip more enjoyable as well. It can help you sleep, but also give you something to rest your head on when you’re just hanging around camp.

Gas Stove

Campfires are nice for the atmosphere and to keep warm but they have their limits. If you are going backpacking, then it’s a great idea to bring a small gas stove that can cook your food for you.

Even if you are car camping you want to have a gas stove, but you can bring along your full gas stove instead of a single-burner backpacking stove.

Toilet Kit

The hardest part of primitive camping is answering the call of nature. There aren’t any toilets and you have to take care of business away from camp.

It’s a good idea to bring along some toilet paper and hand sanitizer in your bag when going primitive camping. You can also find small bags to place all the waste in so that it’s easier to dispose of later.

If you are backpacking, you will have to dig a cathole if you need to go poop. If you are car camping you can bring along a portable toilet like the Luggable Loo. You can even bring a pop-up tent that you use for your restroom tent.

Leave No Trace

Please make sure to leave no trace when primitive camping. This means you should clean up after yourself and not leave any trash behind in your camp.

This makes it more likely that the next group of people will be able to enjoy the same area as well without worrying about leaving behind garbage or human waste.

The best way to make sure you don’t leave behind any garbage is to bring it with you. This way you can pack up your camp and bring everything back home with you.

It’s also important not to have fires that are too big, because they will damage the ground nearby. If you can make a small fire pit, then do so instead of burning an entire area down.

Also, when you are primitive camping it’s a good idea to make sure that the tent is not too close to the fire. This will protect you from any unwanted sparks in your direction or embers being blown onto your clothing.

If you have a larger group then it can be helpful to set up an outdoor latrine area away from camp. This way you aren’t impacting the campsite itself and making it unusable for anyone else afterward.

Even though primitive camping can be hard at times, if you follow these tips then your trip will be more enjoyable and stress-free.

Remember that primitive camping is a backcountry experience where you need to rely on yourself and not on the luxuries of home. Be prepared, and you’ll have a great time.

If you want to learn even more about primitive camping then check out our Essential Outdoors Skills course.

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