Most of us get feverishly excited whenever we are going out for camping. And in our frenzied excitement, we often bring a lot of stuff that we will not truly need. Hence, the concept of minimalist camping is being floated around to help campers pack only those things that they would really need.
But what is this “minimalist camping style?” Is not camping, in itself, already a minimalist idea, given the limited items you should bring when you go off the grid?
Of course, minimalist camping was conceptualized because most campers bring in a lot of stuff to the camping site, which they don’t really need at all. Minimalist camping, therefore, requires you to bring with you the most basic stuff you will be needing in camping.
Needs vs. Wants
To figure out whether you are true to being a minimalist, you should differentiate between your wants and needs. If a thing you intend to bring isn’t a need, then you should not bring it with you. Most probably, it is only a “want” that you mistake for a need.
If you are true to your self-evaluation, then, you will discard a lot of things in your checklist. You will only stick to the things that really matter most in the campsite.
Checklist of Thing You Should Bring For Minimalism Camping Trip
Thus, if you apply the idea of minimalism to camping, your weekend camping adventure will only require you to bring a small bag. Minimalist camping idea, therefore, directs you to divest yourself of unnecessary things and leads you to prepare the bare essential. Here are the bare essentials that you should bring with you when you engage in minimalist camping:
1) A Compact & Comfortable Backpack
The primary thing that you should bring with you is a backpack. Yet, when you go minimal, you should carefully choose the backpack that you bring with you. The rule is you should choose a backpack that will allow you to carry all your belongings to the camping site comfortably.
Your backpack should be compact and big enough to handle all your essential belongings and gear. The right backpack is needed, especially if you will go on a hike. You do not need to be tagging along a lot of bags. Instead, you should only carry around a compact backpack that has plenty of essential compartments.
2) Tent or Tarp
If you plan to stay overnight and sleep under the starlight, you should bring a tent or tarp. A good tent will shelter you from potential harsh weather or natural elements while you sleep during the night.
You don’t need to bring a huge tent. That will be contrary to the minimalist camping idea. You should carefully choose, therefore, the tent that you will bring. It must be ultralight so as not to overburden you with additional weight. It should also easily fit inside your backpack.
One essential thing that you should never forget to bring is water. You need to replenish your body with clean fluid. Hence, you should bring with you a supply of potable water. Yet, bringing water would add up to your load, and as a minimalist camper, it will be counterproductive to your minimalist goal. So, if in the campsite, there is an available water source, all you need to bring is a portable filtration device. You can also instead bring with you water purification tablets.
You may be thinking about bringing a lot of food. Yet, if you want to go minimal, you should not bring a lot of food. Moreover, if you’re going to experience living off-the-trail, you can try finding a new way to feed yourself in the wild. You can go fishing, for example, if your campsite is near a river or pond. Yet, it will be wishful thinking if you would rely heavily on fishing luck. So, if you are going to bring food, make sure you follow the minimalist rule. The minimalist rule is that you only bring calorie-rich food like hot cereals, protein bars, dried fruits, nuts, dehydrated food, and canned food that are light and easy to pack.
5) Sleeping Bag
Another important must-have thing is the sleeping bag. A sleeping bag can be a bit bulky, yet, it is essential to your wellbeing in the camp. You can always find a sleeping bag, designed for minimalist camping. Minimalist sleeping bags are lightweight and compact. They should also be designed for the weather at the campsite.
6) Cooking Supplies
If it is possible, you should bring food that does not need cooking. Yet, the joy of camping is further enhanced if you would cook outdoor. So, you should bring a dinnerware set that is light and compact. You should also bring a bowl, plate, and other utensils that fit well inside the pan that you are going to bring. Visualize what you are going to cook! Make a list, therefore, of the food that you want to cook. But make sure that you only bring the essential ingredients that you will need.
You will be perspiring a lot when you engage in camping, especially if your camping requires you to hike. Hence, you should bring several clothes. The clothes you bring should be appropriate for the weather at the campsite. If you don’t want to bring more clothes, make sure that you bring a laundry detergent so that you can wash your clothes and dry them for reuse afterward.
When it comes to the essential tools, the multi-tool should be foremost in your checklist. It should come with a knife and a can opener. It should also be handy enough so that you can hinge it to your belt instead of putting it inside your backpack.
9) First Aid Kit
You should not forget to bring your first aid kit. It should contain antiseptic, bandages, and other important medicines. You should also bring sunscreen and other medicines that can help you deal with minor injuries along the way. You should also not forget your insect repellant lotion. You do not want to get sick because of mosquito bites.
You should not forget your flashlight. If you are going to a far-flung place and would stay there overnight, then you will need a flashlight during nighttime. If your flashlight is run by batteries, then you should bring an extra set of batteries. Make sure that your flashlight is light and energy-efficient.
11) Lighter or Matches
Camping is not complete without a campfire. Campfire, of course, provides light and warmth during the night. So, if you plan to create one, you should bring a lighter or matches. You should bring a couple of lighters and make sure that your matches are encased in waterproof cases. You will need a fire during your camping. Hence, you should not forget these essential fire starters.
12) Trash Bags
You should also bring with you a trash bag. You do not want to destroy the environment by leaving your trash at the campsite. So, after using the campsite, you should clean the site and use your trash bags to stack away your trash.
How Should a Minimalist Behave Relative to the Environment?
The true minimalist thinks that the environment needs to be taken care of. Hence, he subscribes to the following basic minimalist rules:
- You should pitch your tent in a place that will not harm the surrounding.
- You should study the landscape and know the wildlife which inhabits it.
- You should minimize campfire impacts.
- You should not leave your trash, including food waste.
- Do not leave fuel canisters and other hazardous waste.
- You should not remove anything from the natural environment.
- You should respect wildlife and the native inhabitants of the area.
The manner you pack your things inside your backpack will spell your level of comfort during your hike to the campsite. Hence, you should meticulously pack your things and follow the following simple tips:
- You should pack well your things, keeping the heaviest things in the middle or center of your bag. In this way, your bag will sit comfortably on your back while you amble around.
- Place the frequently used items at the top of your bag near the bag opening so that you can easily access them.
- Put the sleeping bag and the tent at the bottom.