How to Camp Without Electricity: 9 Things to Consider

Camping is an unforgettable experience that allows you to get away and brings you closer to nature. Some people may enjoy cutting off all communication with the rest of the world to find peace and reduce stress. Others enjoy hiking in beautiful places as camping is a great way to stay active. Maybe a family camping trip in the woods is the perfect family getaway. Whatever the reason for going camping, doing so without electricity is so rewarding and takes lots of preparation.

When camping in the traditional way without electricity, be sure to use common sense and prepare ahead of time. Making sure to have proper shelter, sleeping arrangements, food prep supplies, and safety measures is vital to having a successful and fun camping trip.


1) Planning Your Trip

Traditional camping is so worth it, so what do you need to consider when planning a camping trip? It is a good idea to take the time while planning the trip to make sure you have the necessary equipment for sleeping, eating, and travel arrangements. Being out in the woods, while fun, also has its dangers, so taking the time to plan is important.

Traditional camping involves staying warm, eating right, and having fun without the use of electricity. While some decide to go “glamping”, camping with glamorous amenities, traditional camping has many benefits and here is how to do it right.

2) Food & Cooking Without Electricity

Food is essential to your survival whether you are camping or not. If you are going camping in the traditional way, you will need to plan ahead for meals. You will not have a refrigerator to keep the food cold, nor will you have an easy-to-use electric stove or oven to cook your food in. If you are bringing meats and other perishable items, be sure to get a good cooler and plan your meals accordingly for the length of time you will be out camping. It is also a good idea to make sure you have plenty of balanced meals in order to keep your energy up, especially if you are traveling by foot.

You will need to make sure to have or collect dry firewood as well as fire starting supplies like fuel and matches or a lighter. Be sure you have the proper cooking utensils and pots and pans that you will need. If the conditions are wet, make sure you prepare for and know how to start a fire. Without fire, it will be difficult to cook your food.

If you are not bringing bottled water, you will need to consider having a pot to boil water or a good personal water filter. Staying hydrated is essential to having energy and taking care of yourself. It is great if you have a water source around your campsite, but you will need to make sure the water is safe for you to ingest, or it could ruin your camping trip quickly.

3) Storage

This might not be something you think of when you go camping, but it sure is important. If you have your car with you, you should consider keeping any food inside it. Since you don’t have a refrigerator, you won’t be able to store your food there. To prevent your campsite from being ransacked by hungry wildlife, either leave it in the car or hang it up. Wild animals might smell the food if it is left out. Not only is this dangerous, but it also means that you won’t have any food left.

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If you are travelling on foot, hang your food items up in trees, as keeping them off the ground is key to making sure they don’t get into the wrong paws. It is also a good idea to keep your area neat and pick up any food that falls on the ground.

4) Personal Hygiene

Without electricity, you will not be able to take a shower or have a flushing toilet. Don’t worry, many people have gone to the bathroom out in the woods and survived. It may not be your ideal bathroom conditions, but the body doesn’t stop because you’re out in the woods.

Be sure to bring along toilet paper or even personal wipes. This can make the process much easier. Those wipes can also serve as a way to wash up if you need to, clean your face, and be sure your hands are free from germs as much as possible since there won’t be running water. Luckily, more people who enjoy camping aren’t looking to take a nice, hot shower since the whole point of camping is being out in nature.  

5) Safety

Being safe while camping is a priority. It is especially important to consider this when camping without electricity. If you have a mobile phone, you should turn it off to keep the battery full. This might be needed in case of injury or other emergencies. Be sure to have a good flashlight and some extra batteries as backup for when the sun goes down. Also, take with you a map of the area you are traveling and a compass in case you get lost.

You may also want to consider you comfort when it comes to heat. There are some great mains powered tent heaters available but you may also find some good battery powered ones.

6) Mobile Phone Charging

If you are going camping without electricity for more than one day then you’ll most likely need to charge your phone’s battery. Without electricity, all is not lost, as there are some options to power up your phone. The easiest is to use a portable battery power bank (just make sure its charged first!). You can get these for under £20 and they’ll usually have enough power for at least one full charge, plus, they are small and easy to carry around.

Another option is to use a solar charger. These tend to bit quite a bit bulkier than the power banks and you will need some decent sun to get a constant charge. Probably the ultimate solution is to get a power bank with built-in solar charger if you are going for longer trips. Maybe best to leave that portable petrol generator at home though.

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7) Shelter

One of the most important aspects of camping is where you are going to stay. Keep in mind the time of year you will be going camping and what the weather will be like. Having a shelter is important to protect you and your fellow campers from the elements, wildlife, and it will allow you to get a good night’s sleep. Having enough sleep is important when you are traveling through the woods, especially if you are on foot. Shelter is also important to help store your belongings and to have a little bit of privacy.

When looking for the proper tent, consider the size of the tent you will need. How many people are going to be sleeping in the tent? There are also different tents depending on whether you are looking for something for spring, summer, and fall, or whether you will need to find something heavier to keep you warm during the winter. You will also need to think about what style tent you would like as well as what kind of ventilation is needed.

8) Sleeping Arrangements

After figuring out where you will stay, you also need to think about sleeping arrangements. Having the right sleeping bag for the weather is important. If it is cold out, you will want to bring plenty of layers and possibly a blanket to stay warm. Be sure to get a sleeping bag that has a good rating for the cold weather. Even if it isn’t the middle of winter, you’ll want to plan for cooler nights. Of course, you can think about having a fire for warmth and light, but you will not be able to keep a fire going inside your tent.

In the warmer months, you might consider sleeping underneath the stars. While this might be your ideal sleeping arrangement, you will also need to consider the use of bug deterrents as you will not get a good night sleep if you are being bothered by pesky bugs. As far as a pillow goes, if you’d like to save some packing space, pack your clothes in a pillowcase to rest your head on. Not only will it save space, but it also might be more comfortable.

9) Having Fun

Perhaps one of the reasons you’ve decided to go camping is to get your family away from technology and everyday stress. Since you’re not in the woods to play games on a phone or tablet, figure out what you will be doing. Will you be taking a hike to see some beautiful scenery? Sit around the campfire to tell scary stories? Play cards or other games?

If you are near water, another option would be to go swimming if it is hot. Maybe you want to go hunting or bird watching, or your plan could be to stay around the campsite and read a good book. Decide what you will do for fun and be sure you have whatever items you will need to enjoy yourself and leave excess technology at home.