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Primitive Camping Checklist

Play Like A Man, The Great Outdoors

Why primitive camping?

Warm weather is right around the corner and with it comes for you to have your fill of backyard barbecues, beach trips, and other routine outdoor activities.

If, however, you’re looking for something unique to do such as embarking on an exciting, fun, and challenging adventure, consider strapping on your hiking gear and give primitive camping a try.

Be clear, you don’t need warm weather to try out primitive camping. However, if you don’t have to deal with bitter cold or weather the elements, it may make your experience more enjoyable if it is your first time.

We’ve got all of the information you need to get started, along with a primitive camping checklist so you know you aren’t forgetting anything important.

What is primitive camping?

The phrase “primitive camping” most likely creates a number of images and questions inside a person’ head.

Is it camping like a caveman or Neanderthal? Do campers wear animal skins and sleep in caves? Do campers hunt and kill their food and only speak to their companions with grunts and guttural noises?

No, not exactly (although some primitive camping enthusiasts do hunt their own food!).

The truth is, primitive camping doesn’t have one true definition that people accept. However, there are several common qualities that primitive campers do agree upon in defining the activity.

First and foremost, primitive camping must take place in the wilderness. Not just a common campsite that charges a fee or campground with preconditioned camping sites.

A primitive campsite is a campsite that is etched out of the wilderness by sweat and elbow grease, only after hiking away from civilization to get to it.

The second common standard for this type of camping is that electricity cannot be used.

Camping in the backyard “wilderness” and using a 100ft extension cord to power your juicer or stereo does not qualify as primitive camping, nor should you be able to plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter or car battery.

In fact you should not be near your vehicle or RV at all.

Another common aspect of primitive camping is that is attracts adventurers who are minimalists and survivalists who can rough it and slum it without normal camping accommodations, such as running water from a faucet, or bathroom facilities or outhouses.

Nor do these campers use as much equipment as normal campers, and they try to disturb the wilderness around them very

Primitive Camping Checklist

The following is a checklist of the most essential items for a primitive camping adventure. It’s important to remember that primitive campers hike will all of their gear in their packs, so they generally take only the necessities!


Tent– make sure to bring a tent that you have experience setting up. It would be terrible to hike all the way to your campsite and not know how to assemble your tent!

Air Mattress w/ Hand Pump/Padding– optional item, but, the ground can be hard and uncomfortable.

❏ Sleeping Bag/Blanket/Pillow

❏ Tools- such as an ax, hammer, and shovel to chop wood, hammer tent stakes, and dig latrines.


Camping Stove/Small Propane Tank– sometimes it’s too dangerous for campers to start their own campfires in the wilderness, or it is illegal, so it may be wise to bring a small stove and propane tank to cook food.

❏ Cooking Utensils (tongs, skewers, wire brush, cutlery, etc.)

❏ Water Bottle- you may also consider investing in a camel style water backpack.

❏ Non-Perishable Food Items

❏ Plates

❏ Bags

❏ Matches

❏ Comfortable Hiking/Camping Attire

❏ Bug Spray

❏ Sunscreen

❏ Journal and Pen

❏ Camera

❏ Books

❏ Personal Care/Hygiene Products


❏ Fishing Equipment

First Aid Kit


Five Helpful Primitive Camping Tips

1. Never go primitive camping alone, you never know when an emergency may occur.

2. Make sure you bring matches or a way to start a fire.

3. Take some time to train, learn, and prepare before you go on an extraneous primitive camping trip.

4. Don’t leave any trash or equipment behind. ALWAYS LEAVE YOUR CAMPSITE CLEAN!

5. Keep your back as light as possible.

6. Bonus Tip: Never forget to have fun, take stock in your life, and enjoy meditating within mother nature.



Primitive camping isn’t for everyone, nor for the faint of heart.

Realistically, however, you do not need to be an expert survivalist to experience it.

With the right preparation and some determination, anyone can have a great primitive camping experience.

In fact, it could be an excellent activity to bring the family or kids on, as it teaches resourcefulness, respect and admiration for nature, and that hard work can reap beautiful rewards… such as looking up at the starry night sky – – a world away from the noise of the city, distractions, and all of the things we tell ourselves matter each day.