Time to time living out of an RV or travel trailer can start to feel too much like, well, living in an actual home. After all, you spent thousands of dollars on a vehicle to get you out of a brick a mortar house. Travel trailers and RV’s are designed to get you closer to the outdoors. Primitive RV camping is a great way to separate from the normal and get more in touch with nature.
When I feel like I have been staying at campgrounds to often or find myself needing Wi-Fi too much. I follow these 8 Primitive RV Camping Tips to fall back in love with nature without giving up my camper or RV.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of living off the grid without feeling like your living out of a tent. After all, a camper bed is much better than a sleeping pad or an air mattress in a tent.
1Camp in the offseason
If you have ever visited a campground during the winter you know not many people are there. Some campgrounds even turn off the power and lock the bathrooms for the off-season. The off-season doesn’t mean the dead of winter. I consider it when school is in session, it makes it harder for families to get away for a weekend. If you don’t have kids and can take Paid time off, a sick day, or work remotely get the most out of camping on weekdays.
Another perk of camping in the off-season is that you can usually pick any campground spot that you want. As much as I like going to new campgrounds, everyone has their favorite ones. I enjoy finding places that I can isolate myself from other campers. Or at least a few spots away from another camper or RV. I get less noise and light from other campers and privacy.
Camping without AC or heat is one of my favorite perks of camping in spring or fall. Open the windows to allow fresh air in and don’t worry about that noisy AC. Besides if your somewhere without power or the campground turned its power off for the season you’d use the windows anyway.
2Camp In National / State Forests
Camping in state forests is my favorite way to practice Primitive RV Camping. Before I had a camper or an RV camped at State Forest grounds quite often. There’s genuinely no other way to disconnect and get to the closest nature as you can in a State Forest. There are locations all over the United States, and I recommend that you check out their official website www.fs.fed.us. You will have to obtain a free permit from a forest ranger to camp. These spots are first-come-first-serve, free, and in the middle of nowhere. Most have no sewage or power Hook-Ups available.
3Chop your own Firewood
I know what you’re thinking, chop your own firewood? This works well if you’re in a State Forest Campground or close to the woods. Going out and collecting your own firewood wither it be twigs or logs is a great way to see what’s around you. Explore a little! Then if you have logs too big break them or chop them. This is an excellent exercise, and you will feel great not having to pay for firewood.
PRO TIP: If you find an abandoned bird nest, you just found nature’s greatest fire starter.
4Start a Fire differently
I love fire starters as much as the next guy, but sometimes I like a challenge or want to practice my primitive RV camping skills. There are many ways to start a fire without a lighter. For instance, Using flint and steel. If your unsure what Flint and Steel is, check that out on wikipedia.org. My personal favorite is the magnifying glass. Using a beam of the sun rays focused on some leaves will light right up. Not only are these great skills to have, but you’ll also look at the fire and be proud.
5Cook on The Fire
Cooking on a fire is not that difficult and you really only need some tin foil. Nothing is more fun than trying (and sometimes failing) to cook food on a fire. Once you get good at it you may stop using the stove or oven. Here are some of my favorite meals to make on fire with only tin foil and some hot coals.
- Baked Potato
- Steamed vegetables
- Frozen burgers (frozen are easier because the ice melts helps to keep from sticking)
PRO TIP: If you have a cast iron dutch oven and cake mix you can make an amazing dessert.
6Lose the Cell signal
Easier said than done nowadays. It seems like 10 years ago I had to drive miles to get cell service when camping in the mountains. Now, I get reception almost anywhere. I love disconnecting as much as I can. Not knowing what time it is is a great feeling and one everyone should experience. If you are going to go off the grid don’t leave your phone at home, it’s better to have it for safety.
PRO TIP: Airplane mode is a great way to turn the cell signal on or off without turning off your phone.
7Learn a New Primitive RV Camping Skill or Hobby
Being an Eagle Scout, I learned all about survival skills and knots. Learning a new skill is not only a unique fun experience but can also save your life. Basics like learning how to use a compass or find the North star is great fundamental skills. I’m currently learning Cartography or map-making, it’s challenging and a fun way to pass the time. If you need ideas just look up names of boy scout badges and start there.
8STOP! Hammock Time
This one may not be the most primitive, but it’s different than always using a camp chair. I use my hammock almost every time I go camping, they are a great way to take a nap, sit, or relax outside. All you’ll need is two trees or a hammock stands if you don’t have any trees to use. I enjoy my hammock the most setting it up in spots that I have a great view of the sky, canyon, lake, ocean, or river.
Those are some of the Primitive RV Camping tips I use from time to time to fall back in love with the outdoors. While camping in an RV is enjoyable. Sometimes I like to feel like a natural-born outdoors-man living out of a backpack. If you have the equipment and a buddy I highly suggest pure primitive camping it is indeed a unique experience.