What Is Primitive Camping?

There are two main ways to go camping. You can be comfortable or you can rough it. Of course, there’s a lot of middle ground between these two methods of camping. You can still sleep comfortably at a primitive campsite, after all. If your idea of camping includes indoor bathrooms, running water, and electricity, however, you should steer clear of primitive camping.

If you’ve stumbled across the phrase “primitive camping” while getting ready for a trip, and aren’t quite sure what it means, here’s some information that will help.

What is primitive camping?

Primitive camping means that a campsite is undeveloped. This can apply to both drive-up campsites and remote backcountry campsites. With primitive camping, you have to rely on yourself for everything that you need. There’s little development other than the campsite and the road leading there.

Primitive camping does not mean that you have to leave your lightweight tent and high tech camping gear at home. You’re not relying solely on a tarp and a knife, or scavenging for grubs and berries. It’s the undeveloped campsite that’s primitive, not you.

Don’t expect to buy a bundle of firewood from a ranger or attendant, charge your phone at an electric outlet, and fill up your water jug because none of that stuff is going to be there.

You can expect a fire pit and a clearing for your tent. If you’re lucky, there could be a trash can and maybe a picnic table, but don’t count on it. There certainly won’t be running water, electricity, or indoor plumbing. There could be a pit toilet, but again, don’t count on it.

Be prepared

Primitive camping isn’t necessarily dangerous, but you do need to be prepared. Most primitive campsites have very little beyond a place to build a fire and pitch a tent. If you’re used to camping at campgrounds with full amenities, primitive camping can be a bit of a shock.

It’s important to plan and pack for primitive camping as though there will be absolutely nothing in the way of amenities. No toilets, no trash receptacles, no electricity, no water, not even a fire pit. This means that you will be prepared for everything, even if there’s nothing. If there happen to be some amenities – such as a pit toilet or cell phone signal – that’s just a bonus.

We can help make sure that you have everything you need for your next camping trip. Stop by and see us in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for any camping equipment, camping supplies, or outdoor gear that you may need!

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