Get Out and Go Camping

When was the last time you were camping? Been a while, right? Now that the world has shut down and we are told to “Social Distance” ourselves, what are we to do and what is the best way to do it…hmm…stay cooped in the house for the next 30 days binge-watching TV, I think NOT! It’s time to start thinking about all the available Outdoor Activities still available. Hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, backpacking, geocaching, the list is endless! But let’s focus on “camping and the primary, as all the primary activity can be done form a campsite as “home-base.”

Camping without Campgrounds

Primitive Camping on the Peace River, Florida

With all the government managed parks shut down to the public, this doesn’t mean that we can’t still go camping! We may not have the luxuries of running water, a potty & shower, electricity, or WiFi & Cable, we can always be very comfortable with some modern amenities. But where, but how?

Primitive camping, boondocking, dry camping, wild camping, or free camping, no matter what you call it, camping is a way of social distancing ourselves, but still, have a lot of fun at the same time. Many people associate primitive camping as being out in the wild on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land or State Forest Land, and it kind of is.

A lot of people think that primitive camping is all about camping the way they did back in the 1800s, some even include the clothing and dress the part. While some may participate in that manner, most prefer modern camping equipment and even their advanced technologies with them while camping. With the right equipment, camping doesn’t (shouldn’t) have to be uncomfortable. Camping with another family is very possible and still maintain social distancing. The outdoors is vast, there is lots of space to spread out your tents and maintain distance.

Camping Without Amenities

Hand-Pumps are available at some sites, but the water still needs to be filtered.

Primitive camping is basically camping without the luxuries of running water, a potty & shower, electricity, or WiFi & Cable. I’ve done a fair amount of camping over the years, and the modern definition of primitive camping, at least the one used by most outdoor enthusiasts, are those sites/locations that don’t have luxuries. Truthfully, not having electricity when camping isn’t an issue for me, but I do make sure I have water available and close by. This could be a stream, a pond, a lake, and some places have permanent hand-pumps at a neutral location. Then, on the other hand, when camping out of my vehicle, I do bring my own water using a collapsable 5-gallon water carrier or two.

Over the years, I’ve done my share of tent camping in the mountains, on islands, in National Forests, in open fields, on beaches and even on private land, all in what would be considered primitive camping conditions. Most places in the US I have utilized do not require any kind of permit, you just hot the roads and find a cool spot and pitch your tent! Whatever conveniences I had, were those that I brought with me.

Regardless of where you camp or how (backpack in or drive up), lots of people like the convenience provided by propane stoves, a good tent, a comfy cot or air mattress, and a suitable sleeping bag. Add in a cooler, a lantern, and a few other essentials, and you have the basics for a grand “primitive” camping trip.

A few creature comforts

Tasty and spicy hunter’s stew on bonfire

Cooking over an open fire is great for some things, but you can’t beat the convenience of lighting a propane stove to cook on, or a having a good propane lantern to light up the site. And I will admit when camping out of my truck (in the bed of my truck) I do love a queen size air mattresses over a thin sleeping pad…talk about comfortable camping. It fits perfectly inside the bed of my truck and in some of my bigger tents, which is just perfect for two people and has enough room to “get jiggy-with-it” once the lights are out.

Ok, so maybe it’s not that primitive based on some people’s definition, but it is fun getting out and sleeping in a tent in the outdoors. So leave me to my modern camping conveniences and a good size tent, and I’ll be happy with the modern definition of primitive camping.

Camping For Health

Happy family on a short hike exploring the forest

Camping offers many family health benefits while still being lots of fun for the entire family. Even the family dog can benefit from camping. Of course, the benefits will vary according to where and what type of camping you decide to do.

The location of the campsite will also make a difference in the amount and type of exercise the family will get. For instance, if camping in the mountains, you can get in some hiking or biking up and down steep slopes. If it’s by a clean river, creek, lake, or ocean, then the family will mostly be getting exercise by swimming, hiking, fishing, or kayaking. If camping in a desert area, there’s hiking, biking, or rock climbing. The best exercise is provided by camping in a mountainous, forested area near an unpolluted creek, river, or lake. However, if you can’t go far from home, then just camp out in your own backyard, and imagine you are in one of these types of locations.

Spending time outdoors, especially in mountainous or forested areas near a source of water, can significantly improve everyone’s mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It gives every family member a chance to reconnect with nature, themselves, and each other. It provides a relaxing atmosphere in which each person can get healthier while still having lots of fun. Camping is a great, pleasant, inexpensive way to exercise while having quality family time together.

Nature’s Classroom

Nature education can be as beneficial as classroom learning.

Camping offers many family health benefits while still being lots of fun for the entire family. Even the family dog can benefit from camping. Of course, the benefits will vary according to where and what type of camping you decide to do.

The location of the campsite will also make a difference in the amount and type of exercise the family will get. For instance, if camping in the mountains, you can get in some hiking or biking up and down steep slopes. If it’s by a clean river, creek, lake, or ocean, then the family will mostly be getting exercise by swimming, hiking, fishing, or kayaking. If camping in a desert area, there’s hiking, biking, or rock climbing. The best exercise is provided by camping in a mountainous, forested area near an unpolluted creek, river, or lake. However, if you can’t go far from home, then just camp out in your own backyard, and imagine you are in one of these types of locations.

Spending time outdoors, especially in mountainous or forested areas near a source of water, can significantly improve everyone’s mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It gives every family member a chance to reconnect with nature, themselves, and each other. It provides a relaxing atmosphere in which each person can get healthier while still having lots of fun. Camping is a great, pleasant, inexpensive way to exercise while having quality family time together.

Renting Camping Gear

Choosing sports equipment and looking an the sleeping bags and tent prices for their next outting.

The scale of investment required can be a significant factor for some families when considering camping, in that, I recommending renting the equipment over buying it, at least at first. There are some big and small things that you will need when you go camping. Buying everything in a single shopping spree may prove to be quite beyond the average budget. Moreover, in these hectic times, you may not likely to go camping more than once or twice a year. The rest of the time the equipment will stay stored away in your garage. From this viewpoint, making a considerable investment does not seem very advisable.

Renting your gear is not only more affordable, but you are also likely to get to use higher quality products. Shops offering the rental equipment get the best available gear because they want it to last longer and give a good return on their investment. Renting is also very easy and much less time-consuming than going shopping for new products. Once you have made a checklist of all that you need, you can just contact the rental company to reserve the necessities. Most of the rental companies offer the additional service of shipping the equipment directly to where you need it. Therefore, you don’t have to bother with lugging it along when you travel. Furthermore, there are no long conversations with your spouse about how much all that dust-collecting gear cost and where you’ll be storing it!

Where to Rent Camoing Gear?

Outdoors Geek who for more than 25 years, has been testing hundreds of outdoor products. Outdoors Geek’s mission statement is “Inspiring Love for the Outdoors!” They are a family owned and operated business located in Denver Colorado who only carries top brands like North Face, Gregory, Marmot, Big Agnes, MSR and more. Their Rent it, Try it, Buy it programs are your best way to gear up and are the number one resource for all things camping and backpacking.

You have the ability to pick from a huge selection of individual gear or choose one of their pre-made packages. Select the number of days you want to use your gear, add in the dates of your trip, and you’re done.

Chris Sgaraglino

Over the past 35 years of my adult life, I have gained a very diverse portfolio of adventures from which I have been blessed to be a participant. This wealth of experience and knowledge has defined my character, my morals and values and my healthy respect for people and the great outdoors. It is a true definition of an Outdoorsman!

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    All Trails Lead to Riches!

    All season long, I am outdoors testing new products and consider them for reviews, some I keep, many I don’t. For the ones I don’t keep, once reviewed and photographed, I give them away to followers of The Outdoor Life blog who have subscribed to my newsletter! Products are typically for Biking, Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking, Camping, and other outdoor activities. Once I accumulate 3-4 items, I use an online random picker and select a name for each item, email you for your address and send it on its way. No strings attached!