Checklist for Minimalist Camping (Without a Tent)

Have you felt the call of the wild? After a long winter of isolation inside, you may feel like a little bit of roughing in your local forest! You could head out in an RV or a van, but is that really camping? Sometimes it's best to really rough it, with just you, a few friends, and the things strapped to your back. (Hint: One of those items that will make the adventure much easier and is a totally utilitarian tool for your backpack is a heavy duty bungee cord from SuperBungee Cords, or course.)

This minimalist camping list means taking only what you need to be as comfortable as possible along with some emergency items and a bit of self-reliance and sense of adventure.

  1. A large comfortable backpack. Nothing too big or too small. Just big enough to fit the important things needed for day to day.
  2. Proper shoes. Light weight hiking boots that offer protection against rain and mud. Be sure to break them in before you take off on your adventure. Blisters are no fun especially without your medicine cabinet around.
  3. Stainless steel water bottle and a way to filter the water you will be getting from natural sources. Iodine pills are lightweight and a safe and easy way to make water safe, or you may find that a water bottle with a filter installed in it would be your best bet.
  4. Food or ways to catch food. MREs are a popular way to travel with food. Other food items such as trail mix, dried fruit, jerky, or even ramen noodles are a few lightweight meals that can sustain you for quite a while. Dehydrated soups and chilis are another good option. Additionally, a strong fishing line and fishing hooks can get you a few meals worth of food. Many people opt for a portable pot to cook their meals in and a bowl, spoon, and fork.
  5. Flashlight, a short length of rope and duct tape. Rope and tape have many uses in the outdoors.Rain gear. A large poncho with a hood is a good option as it takes up very little room and weighs hardly anything.
  6. A long heavy duty bungee cord and a 12x12 foot tarp is all you need for a tent. Stretch the cord between two trees, hang the tarp over it and secure the tarp to two other trees with your rope. This provides a simple setup and tear-down method of staying out of the rain. With SuperBungee Cord’s ability to stretch to SIX TIMES its length, one 32-incher (easy to fit in your backpack) will reach to 14 FEET in length and can easily handle holding the tarp and wrapping around trees or branches for a quick set-up, quick take-down rain shelter and protected area for you and your friends.
  7. Extra clothes such as gloves, hat, extra shirt, and an extra pair of socks.
  8. Waterproof matches in an airtight container can be used to build a fire.
  9. A warm sleeping bag that is lightweight while also keeping you warm is essential.
  10. First aid. Band-Aids, Neosporin, peroxide, and pain killers can be easily stowed away in a pocket.
  11. Toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, and if you want to avoid using natures toilet paper, bring your own should you so wish.
  12. Survival knife. Whether you need to clean the fish you just caught or for protection, it is not a bad idea to carry one just in case.


Personal necessities such as a book, notebook and pen, camera, or even a transistor radio can be bought small enough to store in a pocket so that you are able to entertain yourself should you choose to be camping alone.

Above all, bring what you think you will need to survive and the rest can be done among the wild. Happy camping!

If your curiosity (and wanderlust) is piqued at the use of our SuperBungee heavy duty bungee cord in this post, please see all of our sizes and collections for other uses and needs on Life’s adventure.

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