About Primitive Camping...

Northern Dancer

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IN GENERAL, PRIMITIVE CAMPING IS DEFINED
as being without neighbours, electricity, running water, bathroom facilities, and, oftentimes, cell service.
You camp in a remote location and provide everything you need for yourself.
I think that describes me.
I'm glad the term primitive is used and not the term survivor because I'm not a survivor.
I do very well thank you.
Baden Powell once said, "The only people who rough it are the amateurs."
Being engaged in primitive camping to me does mean that I am sufficiently trained
to be able to take care of me and others if need be.
It means having the right equipment for the right application.
It means knowing how to use natural resources and at the same time respecting the environment.
I've learned over the years, through example and experience,
to get to a position that I can say I am a primitive camper.
And yes, it has taken me years to accumulate the necessary equipment.
I'm now at the stage where I recycle items and
often give them away to purchase new ones to update my inventory.
This is especially true when it comes to tents and shelters.
I have the finest.
Notice I said the finest and not the best.
There is no best as such.
I've learned to be prudent in the use of my money and always buy when things are on sale.
There is an awful lot of expensive junk out there.
I've taken the bear courses, first aid instructor's course, canoe courses,
cooking courses, survival courses, hygiene courses and picked up a lot of seminars in between.
I know I have much more to learn.
So...how would you measure up to the term, primitive?

Can I ask what would be the most expensive item on your primitive camping list?
Sorry...guns, hunting bows, weapons of mass destruction,
and fishing rods would not be considered primitive.
Well, on second thought, fishing rods are okay.

2949
 

ppine

Forester
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Cool.
I think camping is primitive. If it is not, then it is something else. Like staying in a cabin, staying in an RV, camping with utilities.
I have lived in a wall tent for a month in the snow. I have been in 50 miles from the nearest dirt road, and worked in Alaska where the wildlife has never seen a human. Primitive has different connotations for people. Remoteness is relative.

Was it Nessmuk or Horace Kephart that came up with "roughing it?" People forgot that he also coined the term "smoothing it." That is a key point, to camp simply (primitively) and be comfortable. That is the reward and the point counter point for modern living.

Some people camp with a super phone, solar panels, and listen to music and watch movies at night. Don't forget the GPS, watch, camera and electronic bird calls. That is just bringing your modern life with you to a place with different scenery.
 

Roybrew

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I would say my most expensive item is my sleeping pad. I've made the mistake, several times, of my back being cold.

Primitive camping to me is not being in a campground. I'm not a loner or a person wanting to escape from anything. I like camping where you can have quiet and wild animals that may wander into your camp. I've had deer, turkey and even a whippoorwill come to within feet of the tent.
 

Northern Dancer

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...it is very definitely a different lifestyle that I personally relish.

I made a Klondike Chicken Vegetable Soup for the group once. This newie raved on and on how great it was. I didn't think much about it. It was the usual kind of stuff I prepared; quick, delicious, and filling. All I did was cut up and brown chicken breast in a tad of olive oil, added a quart of chicken brother, threw in a hunk of potatoes, carrots, sweet onion, celery, a dash of seasoning, and a small can of cream of chicken soup. It was as simple as that, no big deal. He thought it marvelous, along with the crusty French bread.

I got to thinking about it later and realized that simplicity [as "Pine" pointed out] can be surprisingly satisfying.

 

Northern Dancer

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447
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63
I would say my most expensive item is my sleeping pad. I've made the mistake, several times, of my back being cold.

Primitive camping to me is not being in a campground. I'm not a loner or a person wanting to escape from anything. I like camping where you can have quiet and wild animals that may wander into your camp. I've had deer, turkey and even a whippoorwill come to within feet of the tent.
----->Right on! I've got good and useful equipment but the things I pay close attention to are the shelter AND the sleep system.
 

Northern Dancer

Well-Known Member
Messages
447
Points
63
Cool.
I think camping is primitive. If it is not, then it is something else. Like staying in a cabin, staying in an RV, camping with utilities.
I have lived in a wall tent for a month in the snow. I have been in 50 miles from the nearest dirt road, and worked in Alaska where the wildlife has never seen a human. Primitive has different connotations for people. Remoteness is relative.

Was it Nessmuk or Horace Kephart that came up with "roughing it?" People forgot that he also coined the term "smoothing it." That is a key point, to camp simply (primitively) and be comfortable. That is the reward and the point counter point for modern living.

Some people camp with a super phone, solar panels, and listen to music and watch movies at night. Don't forget the GPS, watch, camera and electronic bird calls. That is just bringing your modern life with you to a place with different scenery.
-----> I can only imagine the experience you describe "Pine". The stuff I do and done stands pretty pale to your past adventures. You must have written some of this down - a journal, some notes, letters, an official report, a postcard?

Roughing it is also a book of semi-autobiographical travel literature by Mark Twain
.
 

ppine

Forester
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My Dad bought into a cattle ranch in Arizona in 1978. It was like a dream because I was a forester and the summer range was in the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world. Every year I would spend a couple of weeks on the place, learning the ways or horses, cattle and cow dogs. The people were maybe the most interesting part. The most unexpected. Cow people spend their lives outside in all weather. They work with large honest animals that can kill them. They often work alone in beautiful places. They have plenty of time to think. It makes for some bush philosophers that tend to tell stories, recite poetry and play music.

I was working with an old puncher from New Mexico that started cowboying at age 14. He looked like he slept in a culvert at night, but he had a degree in range management. He was single but raised two daughters. One was a doctor and the other was a stock broker.

After about a week, I turned to my mentor, and remarked "You are a good cook." He replied "Nope, I am not much of a cook you are just getting your appetite back by working in the outdoors." I never forgot that.

Chuck Spradley, RIP.
 

ppine

Forester
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Location
Minden, NV
Roybrew,
Some of my best animal sightings have been waking up from naps in the woods. Large herds of elk, flocks of turkeys, deer.

At night, wild donkeys, a fawn, herds of horses, herds of deer, packs of coyotes and plenty of bears. In Alberta I woke up once to some snorting and grunting. I was in a small mountain tent, and a black bear was on the other side of the mosquito netting about 18 inches. I whistled and she left. We went back to sleep and woke up later when a big nose, and two little noses returned. We got up after that.
 

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,646
Points
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Location
Minden, NV
It was Nessmuk that wrote the expose about roughing it and smoothing it. It is so ironic to me that he was a great proponent of smoothing it. He wanted people to learn the skills so they could live simply in the outdoors and be comfortable. But journalists and the public grabbed a hold of the idea of roughing it and that is the part that has become famous and will not go away. If you are roughing it, you do not have enough skills yet.
 
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