Human beings can adapt well to their environments. With this in mind, primitive camping is one of the best ways to prove that your family has what it takes to survive in the beautiful, wild outdoors. You can form a bond with your loved ones that you never imagined by learning new skills and exploring places you’ve never been as a single unit. If you feel like your family time has gotten a bit stale with the same old parks and board games, a few nights at camp is an exciting alternative you should consider exploring.

Primitive Camping Defined

The first step to taking your kids on a primitive camping excursion is understanding what primitive means. For some, the term sounds a bit scary at first. After all, you are used to hearing the term describe ancient tribes who were hunter-gatherers. To get right down to it, it means your family will be camping alone with nobody else surrounding you and none of the comforts of home within reach. This includes electricity, toilets, running water, and yes, cell phone service and handheld games. You could hike miles from civilization or just far enough to feel secluded. Nature is your shelter, cafeteria, and an entertainer.

primitive camping. Women setting camp

Image Source: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) by Hyatt Lake Recreation Area via Flickr


Why You Should Convince Your Family To Go


The number one reason to pack up your kids and take off on this treasure type adventure is to form a stronger bond with your family. You can take survival courses prior to your trip and even practice out in the backyard. It is certain that you will learn more than you ever thought possible about how your family adapts to change after only a couple days outdoors foraging for food and necessities.


Exercise is another reason to get out and explore uncharted territories. There are many fun ways to enjoy exercising, such as hiking, climbing trees, and rocks, or swimming. There is an endless space outdoors that allows for so many more activities than being confined to the rooms in your home. It can be difficult to convince kids to get out and move in the sun, but once they start to explore caves and bodies of water, they may warm up to the idea of being away from their video games and other devices.

Primitive People Lifestyle

Remember that ancient humans roamed the land freely. The primitive people were fit because their lives depended on learning what to eat for energy. The knowledge they possessed was passed down by those who survived many failures. Your family may not conquer every obstacle, but with teamwork, perhaps you could come up with alternate ways of getting through the physically demanding portions of the trip – collecting firewood, for example.


Sunlight is beneficial to the health of the entire family. In addition to improving one’s mood, it can help a person focus and feel calmer. It is helpful for those suffering from some forms of depression because sunlight increases serotonin levels, which help to keep a smile on your face. Sunlight also helps your body produce vitamin D, which builds strong bones. The sun is a part of primitive nature that people often forget plays such a crucial role in providing more than just light. This is an excellent opportunity to teach the kids about how light affects all living things.


New experiences are waiting out there in the wild. While enjoying the fresh air, your family can create lasting memories as you teach each other how to fish or what kinds of plants are edible. Look for unique rocks or experience the bold wildlife surrounding you. A true connection with nature is possible when your kids encounter creeks, rivers, hills, mountains, or rock mounds. Building your shelter and preparing meals together will strengthen the bond with your kids. Figuring out how to conquer these obstacles really puts the family’s problem-solving skills to the test. Overcoming the odds is part of survival.


Speaking of survival, the entire family will acquire new skills to keep themselves healthy and alert out in the great outdoors. You will learn new fishing techniques and how to recognize poisonous plants and animals. How would you deal with bug bites? Perhaps there is a natural repellent in the woods that you could use. The idea behind primitive camping is learning what is necessary and what you can do without. Get back to the basics. If your family can provide food, shelter, and water for a few days away from home, your trip will be a success.



Living a couple days without the comforts of home that are often taken for granted is sure to win new appreciation for them. Air conditioning, heat, showers, toys, and games are all luxuries that are expected in your home. Stepping into a primitive lifestyle for a while puts life in perspective, and kids are sure to notice the differences quickly.


If you are looking for inspiration in the wild, family photos are a wonderful motivator to go camping. Natural light creates gorgeous photos, and you won’t find better backdrops than those of mountains, lakes, or lush green forests. Document your family’s experiences with nature in an album of memories you will never forget. Also, check this Ultimate Guide for Family Adventure Vacations blog.


The universe is full of mysterious splendor. If you choose a spot in the open with an unobstructed view, you are sure to be in for a treat when the moon takes the sky. Your family will find peace in the nighttime with crickets chirping and frogs croaking around them. Sounds wonderful, right? The wild yonder provides a harmonious tune to fall asleep to. Imagine snuggling up with the kids and stargazing until you drift off each night. If you follow news of the cosmos closely, you may even choose to go primitive camping when a meteor shower is at its peak. Humans have been using the night sky to navigate the lands and waters for thousands of years. Think your family could make it home using the sun and the stars as a compass?


Spending time outdoors beside doing Indoor Activities will help you and your kids better understand how human life affects the environment. Once your kids make the connection, they will start to realize how pollution impacts wildlife and may even increase their interest in recycling. The less you take along, the smaller your footprint on the environment will be once you move on to explore other areas. When your kids see how easy it is to make a difference, they are likely to share these experiences and ideas with their friends. Knowledge is contagious, and your children are like sponges.


How To Get Started

The first step is to do your homework. Do research online for wilderness survival videos or tips on what to pack. First aid materials are crucial, especially if you are traveling with younger children. You may even pack fishing poles and lightweight tents, but remember that the point of primitive camping is to embrace minimalism. Once you have done your research and you know the ins and outs of backpacking through the wilderness, pack a bag, choose a destination, and go. Take off walking through the woods behind your home or visit a national park that allows camping. Some campgrounds have primitive spots that are more remote. Wherever you venture off to, it is always safe to let someone know a rough idea of where you plan to go and for how long. Your adventures will vary depending on the ages of your kids.

Let the Kids Plan the Trip



If the kids seem hesitant about leaving the house or are not very interested in a primitive environment, let them plan the trip. Kids who are involved in the planning are more likely to be on board with the idea because they are taking part in the decision-making process. They can choose the areas to camp in, and even pack the bags. Put them in charge of learning skills that will keep the family safe. Kids are always happy to help their parents do fun things, so present them with the option and the tools to plan your primitive adventure and play a role in how you spend your family time.


Make Primitive Camping a Tradition

If you find that your family enjoys the challenges of roughing it in the wilderness, why not make it an annual tradition? Choose a time each year to pack up and take off to get away from the bustle of the city or just to rejuvenate your spirits. Your trip could even be a spontaneous one. Primitive camping can be done year-round, so your family may even choose to go exploring in various seasons. You will face many different challenges in the summer months than in the winter months, so remember to pack accordingly. Taking your loved ones on this captivating adventure can always be a unique experience because there are so many places to explore. All it takes is a little courage, a hunger for something new and exciting, and the will to overcome a few challenges.

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