What Is a Primitive Campsite?

If you enjoy camping in its true essence, primitive camping is for you.

It gives you an opportunity to tune in yourself with nature, leaving behind all the modern-day world and its stressors.

If you have all the luxurious comforts of home at your campsite, what’s the point of this adventure?

However, with primitive camping, you will enjoy camping in full swing and in its truest sense. If you don’t already know, you probably want to know what is a primitive campsite?

Today, we will leave no stone unturned, briefing you about the critical things you need to know about a primitive campsite.


What Is a Primitive Campsite?

Let us start by officially answering the question.

A primitive campsite is a remote area with limited resources or basic life comforts, such as running water, electricity, cell phone reception, and flushable bathrooms.

It is basically the opposite of a luxurious campsite that resembles a five-star hotel room.

At a primitive campsite, you have to manage everything for yourself. It is like going back to the Stone Age when it was all about survival.

Is It Worth It?

Now, why would anyone put themselves in such conditions? Well, there are many good reasons to go primitive camping, first being the full-on adventure you get to experience.

People love primitive camping because it is different; not everyone can do or face the pressures that come with it.

So, basically, primitive camping is only for the people who like to take up a challenge.

Instead of doing what everyone does in a common campground loaded with facilities, you do the complete opposite.

You find a secluded area in a forest or state park without neighbors, and make it your home.

Make sure to come prepared as you won’t have anybody around to come for your help.

Sounds crazy? It surely is.

Self-reliance and independence are the key factors of this game. Think of it as going to a battleground.

Of course, you need a few things to take care of yourself, but you cannot take everything with you.

Things You Would Need at a Primitive Campsite

While you would not want to overpack, you certainly would not like to forget something very important.

Hence, it is crucial to strategize, manage, and bring along the major things that you will need during your stay at a primitive campsite.

Let’s look into the things you should take with you on a primitive campsite.

1. Camp or Tent

Of course, you know that you need to bring your tent. Why would we even mention it?

It is because we need you to ensure that your tent is not extremely heavy. What if the spot you chose for camping does not allow vehicles?

In that case, you would need to take your stuff and go to the remote location on foot.

Also, if you are planning to camp in a national park or a place where wildlife can be expected, consider taking a rooftop tent.

This will help you in staying a little safer by staying off the ground.

2. Food Supplies

Primitive camping or not, you need food when camping, and there should be no mistakes in this regard.

Bring everything you would need to prepare a meal. Still confused? Let’s have a more in-depth look.

The first thing you need to survive is water. If the place you are heading to does not have a running water source, take an adequate amount of water with you.

On the other hand, if the place has a running water source, take water purification tablets along.

You need to make sure that you remain well and healthy, and ensuring that you have clean water to drink is the key.

Next, take all the types of food that you can eat or would like to eat at a campsite.

If you have plans for hunting or fishing, take the appropriate gear with you.

Also, keep a replacement food in mind, just in case the hunting or fishing doesn’t work out.

Furthermore, other than the actual food, you need many other things to prepare that meal.

Think strategically. How would you start the fire?

What cookware will you use for cooking your food? Would you need any utensils?

Answer all these questions and make a plan.

Now, execute this plan and try to keep all these things as simple as possible.

Make sure not to take any extra stuff as it would be of no use and will only add to the weight you would have to carry.

This is especially important if you are backpacking.

3. Emergency Kit

Going out in the wild can cause bruises, cuts, bites, and sprains anytime. This is why you need to be well prepared.

Take a basic first-aid kit with you that should include bandages, ointments, and the likes.

Also, take out a few minutes and learn how to treat common injuries.

4. Backcountry Permit

This might not be a must-have at some places, but a few managements require a backcountry permit before allowing you to camp on their grounds.

This is especially true in the case of national parks. Then again, this does not mean that you need any kind of reservation.

Make sure to check with the park officials if they need you to acquire any permit.

5. Extras

Apart from the things mentioned above, there are other stuff you would need during your stay.

These include toilet paper, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, a map of the park, a pocket knife, mosquito repellent, and a sleeping bag.

If you have a little more space, you can also consider bringing a flashlight, waterproof matches, rain gear, and a portable stove.

These things can help you save the day in worst-case scenarios.

Top Places to Go Primitive Camping in the U.S.

The best thing about primitive camping is that you can explore an area that only a few have seen.

Then, the next time you have an explorers’ gathering, you would have a lot more to share.

Here are some of the greatest camping spots in the U.S. for primitive camping. If you go prepared, you will love them.

1. The Great Smokies, TN

The Great Smoky National Park has a way with beauty and nature. It is enriched with a lot of great secluded spots so that you can enjoy some alone time.

The natural beauty and greenery will make you feel lost.

2. Canyonlands National Park, UT

Another favorite spot to enjoy some days in solitude lies in Utah. A fantastic campsite can be found in the Chesler Park 1, otherwise known as CP1.

You might have to hike a lot more than you expected, but the bewildering beauty of this spot will make you forget everything.

3. Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Next on the list is the Rocky Mountain National Park, which is based in Colorado. Our favorite parts of this park include Glacier Trail and Andrew’s Creek.

Also, there is a water source nearby you can hike to and set up camp in.

4. Olympic National Park, DC

The capital allows what no place else does: beach camping. The coast of Olympic National Park is a local property.

Also, there is no time of the year restrictions; you can access this spot anytime. Furthermore, you can cancel bringing water from your to-bring list.


We hope you already have the answer to what is a primitive campsite by now.

Primitive camping might not be for the weak-hearted, as it requires a lot of courage to go on one.

Despite the effort and the challenges, one guaranteed thing is all the fun you are going to have on this adventure.

If you go well-prepared, you can overcome the challenges and get more fun out of this.

One very important strategy to follow when primitive camping is “leaving no trace”.

Make sure to leave the land as clean as it was when you got there. This is your utmost responsibility.

Take all the garbage and other stuff with you so that other campers can enjoy the same beauty of that place.

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