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Minimalist Camping?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been weeding and purging for 2 weeks now.  We are moving at the end of the month, and the move has spurred us into simplifying eventually we would like to become minimalists.


We have some boxes of camping stuff.  Mind you my Eeagle Scout DH and I have never camped together (we've been together 15 years), yet we have accumulated 2 sleeping bags (clearance at Target!) and a set of camping dishes and utensils. Should I donate it all?


I'm not against the idea of camping.  It's just that it seems like it requires too much stuff.  Anyone able to camp without needing a carful of stuff - cookware, lots of extra clothes, bedding, tent, flashlights, bug spray, lots of towels, etc...  I get panicked just thinking of all of the stuff required.


I think I would prefer to rent a cabin.  We did this last year and had a blast.  Granted the cabin was hardly roughing it with a microwave and window a/c, but it was so nice to just pack some clothes and pick up food at the grocery store near the cabin.



VegCatLover (DS #1 is 4 yrs old, DS #2 is 7 mo. old)

post #2 of 6

I think it all depends on how you want to go. If it's a cabin, I would keep the sleeping bags, since I like a little comfort. You could donate it all to the local Boy Scouts. I am sure they would appreciate it. Maybe make a list of what exactly each person would need and what extras you would bring.


This is what I take for me and my son. We stay at a tiny 1 room cottage.

1. One sturdy flashlight w/batteries

2. 2 quick dry towels- we use the beach size

3. Bug spray/sun block

4. Backpack

5. Matches or lighter (In waterproof container)

6. First aid kit

7. Small container for meds, toothbrushes/toothpaste, bandana, shampoo bar (doubles as soap), aloe gel

8. beach toys

9. beach blanket

10. 2 pillows

11. One sleeping toy dog : )

12. Laptop

13. Wallet with id/debit card and attached keys

14. Water bottles- we drink water alot in the the hot hot hot sun of Texas.

15. Phone/car charger/camera



It could all fit into a smaller plastic bin to guard against any wetness or even a backpack.


One long pair of pants (maybe you could get the kind that convert to shorts), 2 pairs of shorts, 2 tank tops, 2 short sleeves, 1 light weight rainproof jacket, bathing suit, water shoes, sandals (walking kind), 3 pairs of undies/2 bras,  hat, sunglasses.


I just wash everything each night and set it out to dry for the next day. It all fits into a medium size backpack and one box in the back of my Jeep. I just pick up food when we get there. There are some dishes already available. DS sleeps in his undies, I sleep in the tank and undies. This year I may be adding our bikes to this list too.

Edited by accountclosed15 - 6/3/11 at 10:14am
post #3 of 6

LVNTEXAS had a great list, most of the stuff on it is stuff you would have in your house anyway. I love camping, were going like 3 times this year at least, most of what i bring is from my regular everyday household stuff.


we dont camp in cabins, so my take on the nessesities is for tent camping


1. One sturdy flashlight w/batteries (from the kitchen drawer, we also have a power outage box with lantern and extra batteries, i pack that)

2. 2 quick dry towels- we use the beach size ( i just use older towels from the linen closet.)

3. Bug spray/sun block (we use sunscreen all summer, not just for camping, i do buy a couple OFF fans for camping though)

4. Backpack (we dont have to hike with our stuff, so i just use my regular suitcase i have for all travel)

5. Matches or lighter (In waterproof container) (i just grab a few lighters from the junk drawer in the kitchen)

6. First aid kit (stays in the car anyway)

7. Small container for meds, toothbrushes/toothpaste, bandana, shampoo bar (doubles as soap), aloe gel (same little travel kit i have of free sample soaps and stuff)

8. beach toys (these can just come from an outdoor toy box)

9. beach blanket (old picnic blanket we use often)

10. 2 pillows (from the bed with double pillow cases)

11. One sleeping toy dog : ) 

12. Laptop (if we are going to have electricity, i take this for movies for the kids, otherwise, left at home)

13. Wallet with id/debit card and attached keys (its all in my purse)

14. Water bottles- (same one i use for the gym)

15. Phone/car charger/camera (same one i use all the time)




Cooking skewers, think hot dogs or sausages, marshmellows(although you could use a long fresh stick and a pocket knife to sharpen, but in Oregon, we dont like to deface the trees) (or for very minimalist, pack foods that dont need cooked, but i love cooking on the campfire, its part of camping)

iron skillet or other pans that can sit on the grate above the firepit) (could buy a 2nd hand one for just the trip, and then donate back to a thrift store if you dont want to store it)

camp chairs (we use these all year for different events, they fold up small)

Tent (could be borrowed once a year?)

Sleeping bags (same?)

cooler (we use this for picnics, potlucks and big grocery shopping trips in the summer) you can store other stuff inside it when not in use)


for most of the camping experience, youre just moving your regular home into the campsite, so not much need for camping specific stuff.


when i was with my ex, and it was just the 2 of us, i would just pack 2 plastic plates and plastic mugs from the kitchen, all the food was finger food and not too messy, i just rinsed off the dishes after we used them, no need for disposables. although when we camp as a big family of like  20+ of us, we use biodegradable, no-plastic, disposable plates and cups to cut back on the dishes. usually there tossed into the fire by my cousins.


have fun camping, it doesnt have to take up much storage space!



post #4 of 6

You got it right Ladybug...all my stuff comes from what I already use at home.  It makes is so much easier. If I was outdoors, I would add a tent, at to sleep on (DS has his from daycare, so I would just bring this) plate/bowl for each person with a spork, a small skillet and a deep pot w/lid for cooking, a multi use tool,  Maybe a cooler so I can have cold water and food that last more than a day. 2 chairs (which we already have) Still is very little, to me. thumb.gif

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses!  I think if we stick to cabins (i.e. places with kitchens) then I feel it's much more do-able.  Although hotels aren't bad either :) 


My 4 yr old gets seriously jazzed about hotels. He often asks when we will be staying in a hotel again.   Perhaps it's the lack of clutter or perhaps the pool?

post #6 of 6

Vegcatlover- so does my son and that is where I got my minimalist ideas from. biggrinbounce.gif

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