What is Pioneer Camping & What Should You Bring?

pioneer camping

If you really want to experience nature in the way your forefathers did, Pioneer camping is the way to go. The pioneers could not head for camping sites because that was long before Forest Service camps were established. They traveled until they found shelter, shade and running water, and set up camp right there.

How did the pioneers camp?

Today many of us think getting back to nature means parking the RV in a Forest Service camping spot with an electricity connection, running water, with showers and toilets nearby. Although that could be a nice breakaway, getting back to nature means going without all amenities.

Pitching your tent in the wild and bringing along everything you will need is true pioneer camping. You can explore incredible places that you would never know existed if you head to organized campgrounds. Your tent will provide protection when it rains, but on clear nights, you can sleep under the stars.

What should you bring when you go pioneer camping?

Keep in mind that you will find nothing at your chosen camping spot, nor would there be supply stores. A good idea is to make a control sheet of everything you need to pack. Every time you think of something in the time leading up to the camping trip, add it to your list and bring the list along to the camp. Why? Once you’re out there, far from everything, you’ll likely have “oh, shoot, I forgot to pack…” moments. That is the perfect time to add it to your list to ensure you won’t forget it next time. Start your list with the following:

  • Clothing — remember, even summer evenings are cold in the desert or mountains.
  • A waterproof sleeping bag
  • An easy-to-pitch weatherproof tent — even though sleeping under the stars is incredible, you might need protection in extreme weather.
  • Solar lanterns
  • Water bottles with purifiers
  • Trail snacks for energy when you go hiking
  • A First Aid kit
  • Bug spray
  • A camp stove — even if you plan to make a fire pit, your stove would come in handy when it rains.
  • Food supplies could include burgers, hot dogs, chicken to grill, breakfast sausages, bacon, granola, yogurt and more.
  • A cooler for perishables, filled with ice. It might be a good idea to put a block of dry ice at the bottom of the cooler because it will last much longer than ordinary ice cubes.

On a final note

Be prepared to develop your eating and sleeping areas for any circumstances and situations like extreme weather and marauding animals. 

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.