I grew up camping. Some of my happiest childhood memories are of being curled up in a sleeping bag and a pup tent, reading comics by flashlight. I always assumed everyone grew up that way, loving and appreciating the outdoors by visiting it every now and again. So, you can imagine my shock and utter disgust when I first heard someone mention going “Glamping” and found out how ridiculous “going camping” has become for so many people.

Nowadays, going camping is merely bringing your indoor comforts outside. Campers go to designated campgrounds with outdoor lighting. They stay in campers and giant weatherproof tents. They bring camp chairs, air mattresses, generators, batteries, fire starting logs, propane stoves, and pre-cooked meal packets. They even bring televisions and WiFi routers so they won’t miss the latest episode of Game Of Thrones.

Modern campers seem to do their damndest to make a night or two in the woods as utterly civilized and convenient as possible. It’s an epidemic that is ruining the whole camping experience by taking away all aspects of self-reliance. Campers now distance themselves from any connection with the outdoors, which is the very reason we go camping in the first place! I just don’t understand camping like that. Packing and carrying all that crap must be a mind-boggling pain in the ass. You just don’t need it. In reality, as unbelievable as it sounds, you can still be safe, comfortable, and happy on a camping trip with hardly anything at all.

To spend the night or even several nights in the woods, you need three very basic things: food, water, and shelter. That’s it. These three essentials to life have been keeping the populace going for thousands of years. I can’t count the numbers of nights I’ve spent in the back-country carrying everything I need in a single backpack. Now I don’t mean a massive pack frame either. My current camping bag is a G4Free 50L hiking backpack that I bought on Amazon for 30$. It’s light, water resistant and had more than enough room for the things I need to spend a week in the woods. When I pack the bag for a camping trip, aside from a paperback book and change of clothes or two, I generally stick to the three essentials of water, food, and shelter first. Everything else I add is simply a luxury.