Want To Test Your Comfort Zone? Be A Nomad

RV camping is nice.  You find a nice spot at a campground and set up a base camp, from which you may venture out to explore further, but always return.  There is nothing wrong with this method.  I have done it several times and have a multitude of wonderful memories from each trip.  However, if you really want to test yourself, try going light and be a nomad.


Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Not quite this light, but definitely the right idea!  photo credit: static.neatorama.com

Going light means carrying a minimal amount of camping gear.  On my nomadic trips, I usually take a small tent, sleeping bag, air mattress and foot pump, camp chair, ax & splitting maul, water jug, Coleman propane stove and propane lantern, two small propane canisters, one pot, one pan, spatula, tongs, paper towels, some dish soap, and one plastic plate and set of eating utensils per person.  All of the cooking/eating and smaller camping gear fit into a tote bin.  I also bring a cooler for the perishables and a second tote bin for the non-perishable food.  Along with a duffel bag of clothing and some toiletries, that is it.  It all fits easily in the back seat and cargo bed of my truck.


Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Pike’s Crossing – Fremont National Forest. Home for the night.  Easy to set up and plenty comfortable!

Why bother going nomadic? First and foremost, it completely frees you of any time and distance inhibitions.  For example, if you have set up a base camp, your exploration of the surrounding area will be limited.  It would not be practical to travel 200 miles from your base camp and then return in the same day.

However, by going nomadic, this restriction disappears.  You can explore as far as you desire.  There is no concern about returning to base camp.  In the evening, you simply find somewhere to camp and presto!  You are home for the night.


Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Lassen Campground – Modoc National Forest.  Making grilled cheese sandwiches in the tote-and-tailgate kitchen. 
Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Middle Fork Campground – Malheur National Forest.  Another beautiful and easy home for the night.
Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
I know. Looks terrible. How do I cope with this?

Further, going nomadic sparks your adventurous spirit and resourcefulness.  Don’t take any firewood with you…gather it along the way.  Try fishing for your dinner and cooking it over the campfire instead of your stove.  Also, try starting your campfire with alternative methods.  For example, on every trip, I start one of the night’s campfires with flint & steel or steel wool, flashlight batteries, and cotton balls, just to stay in practice.  Be creative…there are no limits to the challenges you can attempt.  I always have easier means available, so trying the old-school methods is not frightening.  If they just simply aren’t working out for this reason or that, use the easier means as your back-up.  This will eliminate any worry of failure.


Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Flint and steel fire-starting.  photo credit: preparednessadvice.com
Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Deliciousness in the making.  photo credit: gallivance.files.wordpress.com

If you have ever considered trying a minimalist-style trip, I highly encourage you to go for it and challenge yourself.  If you have kids who have only known the comfort of RV camping, take them on a minimalist trip.  Show them they are capable of surviving comfortably without all of the comforts and conveniences they have grown accustomed to in their everyday life.  It will be fun, exciting, a valuable learning experience, and definitely memorable for all!


Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Early morning at Jackman Park on Steens Mountain.
Going nomad Outdoor Oregon
Preparing dinner at Mud Creek Forest Camp – Fremont National Forest.

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