Camping off-grid means disconnecting from the surrounding urban environment and immersing yourself in nature. You do this by leaving behind most if not all of the technology in your life.
While camping, you will not be able to use your cell phone, laptop, or any other technology. This is part of what makes camping so relaxing!
To fully enjoy camping, you need to learn how to camp in a way that allows you to get the most out of the experience. The best way to start is by learning some basic outdoor skills.
Learning basic outdoor skills such as finding north, starting a fire, and identifying animals will ensure that you have a good time even if you do not bring technology with you.
Camping can be done in a tent or a mobile home type structure depending on how long you plan to camp for and how rugged you want it to be. Both have their pros and cons so it depends on what feels more safe and comfortable for you.
When camping off-grid, how you get to your camp site is an important part of the experience. You do not want to have to walk miles and miles through nature to get there!
If you have a car or truck, you can drive very close to the spot you want to camp at. Then, you can either hike from there or use a boat or cart of some sort to transport everything to the camp site.
If you do not have transportation, there are many ways to get around. You can rent boats, bikes, cars, and trucks at the campsite location if necessary.
Most sites that are far enough away require some form of transportation, so this is not something that needs to be overlooked.
Choosing the right camping equipment is the first step to camping off-grid. You will need to decide what amenities you want at your campsite, and whether you want to have a dedicated space for them.
If you are planning on having a campfire, then you will need to have a place to store firewood. A good way to do this is by using a cargo trailer as a storage unit and campground.
You can also use a trailer as a shower/toilet facility, or just stick a hose up into the air and let the wind blow away the smells!
A basic setup would include a cargo trailer, portable toilet or bucket system, campfire area with fireplace covers, and ample shade coverage. If it gets cold at night, some lightweight blankets or sleeping bags may be useful as well.
Camping off-grid means you will need to forego conventional sources of energy. This may include giving up on electricity, gas, and/or liquid fuel. You are required to learn how to use the sun and nature as your sources of power.
Solar panels are a must-have for camping off-grid. These can be bought at most outdoor stores and range in size and wattage. The size you need depends on how many things you want to power with it.
For instance, if you just want some light at night, a small one will do the trick. If you want to charge your phone or other devices, higher wattage ones are needed. Make sure they are waterproof before buying though!
Other options for energy are using campfires or hanging bags filled with sand that can be used to pump water. Both of these will require lots of time spent managing them, but will produce enough heat and/or water for camping.
While most people think of security as pertaining to animals and intruders, security can also refer to the safety of your shelter.
How well you camp depends on what kind of camping gear you have. You can camp in a tent, on the ground, or even in a tree! If you want to camp off grid, then you will most likely need a portable solar panel to charge your devices and equipment.
Portable solar panels are becoming more and more affordable as they become more widespread. There are many different brands and types, so do some research to find the best one for you.
You can find security tips for camping in general here, but we’re going to talk about some specific ways to camp off grid.
When camping off-grid, consider how you will manage waste management. If you are camping in a place with facilities, this is easy! Just use the bathroom and wash up at the sink or water source.
When camping in an area without facilities, you will need to pack out your waste. Make sure to bring bags for garbage and bags for poop!
Garbage can be scattered as fertilizer when you return home or packed out to an appropriate facility. Poop must be bagged and buried 100 feet away from water sources.
Remember: No Waste = No Swim! Be careful of what you spread on the ground as it may end up in a stream or lake.
To learn more about waste management practices, visit your local water conservation agency or go to www.droughtaware.org for general tips.
When camping off-grid, it is important to think about your camp layout. How you arrange your shelter, sleeping area, and storage affects your comfort and security.
Your shelter should be positioned in a level spot that is dry. You also want to make sure there is enough room for everyone to sleep and move around in. The ideal size depends on how many people are camping with you!
Your sleeping area should be a comfortable distance from the fire ring or cooking area. This keeps you warm and dry, as you do not want rain or dew dripping on you while you sleep!
Storage is a key element of off-grid camping. You want to have a place to keep your things that is waterproof. A good solution is a tarp laid out underneath your sleeping area where you can store things.
Other important things to remember are to keep your food stored in a waterproof bag and have an adequate means of sanitation during the day.
When choosing a campsite, consider sun orientation carefully. Most people choose a site with a view of the sun rising, passing directly over, and setting.
This gives you full light during the day, which is nice for relaxing and exploring. But it can be disastrous if there is a heavy rainstorm or thick clouds roll in at night.
If the camp site has plenty of room, then choose one that has the sun passing behind something permanent like a tree or rock outcropping. This will keep the camp site lit until sunset even if the sun is blocked.
If there is no choice but to set up in an open area, make sure to bring enough tarps and tent covers to cover everything that could be damaged by heavy rain or sunlight exposure.
Choosing your water source is an important part of choosing your camp location. If you are camping close to a water source, like a lake or river, then you have the option to use those as your only source.
If you are camping in a dry area, then find a watering hole where you can refill your tanks and containers. If needed, you can even fill your tanks at a creek that runs through the campground.
If you are camping in the desert, bring lots of water and make sure it is clean! It is best to carry all water containers inside of an external tank filled with water. This way if there is no water at the camp site, you have enough to last the night.
Make sure to keep any containers tightly sealed to prevent any insects or critters from getting in. A good tip is to keep them labeled so that there is no confusion on which container holds what liquid.