There's something about primitive camping that makes you feel refreshed and empowered. Sleeping in the woods and giving up most amenities allows you to test your survival skills and reconnect with the outdoors. And when some of the best camping spots in the world are off the beaten path (away from latrines and bath houses), this can make primitive camping more of a challenge for women.
When you can’t pee standing up and there are feminie essentials you may not be able to do without, planning your camping trip and creating a thorough packing list are a necessity. Here are the top primitive camping essentials for women that you want to add to your list.
We all have to go, and while sleeping under the stars may be your idea of a dream camping trip, using the bathroom without privacy or sanitation is probably not. Camping in the rural outdoors no longer creates a major bathroom dilemma as several camping products make it easier for women to be clean and discreet when going outdoors.
WAG Bags are extremely lightweight, easy to carry with you on the go, and have an open-mouth design that makes them easy for women to use, much like the “pee funnels” marketed to women for outdoor use. Opposed to pee funnels, WAG bags are clean and prevent the contamination of local water sources.
WAG Bags are designed using a powder that solidifies the waste and breaks it down while removing bacteria and odors. After using your WAG Bag, you can dispose of it with your other trash or carry it out with you to dispose of later in order to leave no trace.
Of course, you have other options, too, like the GO Anywhere portable toilet, which gives you the feel of a real toilet as well as more privacy.
Tarp, Tent, or Lightweight Sleeping Shelter
A tent or place to sleep may be one of the most important items on your list. Many people prefer the confinement and shelter of a tent, but you could also create a makeshift sleeping spot using a tarp or hammock. Consider how much room you might need to be comfortable when choosing the best option.
Tents come in all sizes, and you don't want to be too cramped or carry something larger than what you need. It’s definitely more challenging for a small female to carry a large backpack compared to a large male, so having something lightweight is optimal. There are many lightweight options perfect for female backpackers hiking to a primitive camping spot.
Don't forget about your sleeping gear. A sleeping cot is definitely a comfortable way to go if you don't have far to travel to your campsite. A sleeping bag may be necessary to keep you warm during a cold night. A sleeping mask can help you catch up on sleep during the day or allow you to sleep in a few extra hours after the sun rises.
Bring an insulated camping pad to make it easier to sleep on hard, uneven ground. Many are inflatable and will roll up into a tight, easy-to-carry bag you can stick in your backpack.
First Aid Kit Complete with Feminine Supplies
Don't let a small cut or cramps ruin your camping trip. Pack first aid necessities, like Band-Aids, antibacterial ointment, gauze pads, and anti-itch cream. You might also include survival items in your first aid kit, including a tourniquet, ace bandage, a rope, and a multi-tool.
Don't forget to include some over-the-counter medicines to combat ailments, like headaches or cramps. This is also a good place to store feminine hygiene products you may need. Just remember to include some storage baggies so you can “pack out” any used feminine hygiene products.
Water and Food
The water available at most primitive camping sites is usually unsafe for drinking. It may not be practical to bring your own jug of water, but investing in a good water bottle with a filter can be a lifesaver.
Pack a few premade meals or MREs (meals ready to eat) for your camping trip. Dried meats and chicken or tuna packets are great options since they don't need to be refrigerated. Some fruit, protein bars, and a couple of bags of freeze-dried snacks can also keep you full and energized while exploring the outdoors.
Stove or Fire Starter
If you don't want to lug around a heavy camping stove, a fire starter can help you build a campfire instead. A good lighter or windproof matches may work well enough if you can access a fire pit at the campsite. Otherwise, a magnesium fire starter kit can make it easier to start a fire. Pyro Putty or Lightning Nugget Firestarters are also great options for quickly starting a fire.
Most primitive camping spots won't have Wi-Fi available, and they may not even have reliable cell service. While one of the best parts of planning a primitive camping trip is disconnecting from technology, you may still want a backup plan in case of an emergency. A satellite phone connects to nearby satellites, meaning you can make phone calls even when cell service isn't available. If you don't want to splurge on a satellite phone, a satellite communicator serves a similar purpose and is more affordable, allowing you to send short messages and your location to others.
You may have limited space in your primitive camping backpack, but each item on this list is a necessity. They'll come in handy, from the WAG Bag to the satellite phone, as you temporarily live off the land. The good news is that with a little planning and choosing the right camping gear, you'll be well on your way to one of the most memorable and inspirational trips of your lifetime.