Camping without a tent: Quick guide to bivvying

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There are plenty of reasons to go camping without a tent. For starters, traveling without a bulky tent is cheaper and lighter. Also, it’s a unique way to connect with nature.

And if you are lucky, with a clear night sky will be sleeping under the stars. With a bit of preparation, camping without a tent can be a fun and rewarding experience!

Essentials to pack for your trip

When camping without a tent, you’ll need to bring some additional gear to stay safe and comfortable.

Tarp tent to protect you from the elements

When camping in the wilderness, a tarp is an essential gear to help you stay dry and comfortable. A tarp can be used as a groundsheet (a tent footprint) to keep moisture and dirt out of your sleeping area, or it can be erected as a shelter to protect from rain, wind, and sun.

In addition to being a critical item for camping, you can also use a tarp for other activities like picnicking, beach days, and even as an impromptu shelter if you’re caught out in the elements unexpectedly on a trail.

No matter how you use it, a tarp is a versatile piece of gear everyone should have in their outdoor arsenal.

Sleeping bag or blanket for warmth

When the temperature drops at night, you’ll want to have a sleeping bag or blanket to keep you warm. Sleeping bags are rated by their temperature range, so be sure to choose one that will be appropriate for the conditions you’ll be camping in.

For instance, if you’re camping in the summer in a hot climate, you won’t need a very warm bag, but if you’re camping in the mountains in the middle of winter, you’ll want a bag rated for cold weather.

If you’re using a blanket instead of a sleeping bag, make sure it’s big enough to cover and keep you warm. You might also want to bring additional blankets as layers if the temperature drops during the night.

Plenty of food, snacks, and water to stay hydrated and fueled up

Stay fueled up with plenty of food and snacks when you’re outdoors. Pack plenty of water or sports drinks to keep you hydrated. Also, bring along some high-energy snacks like trail mix or energy bars for a quick boost.

Bonus tip

Find some delicious camping breakfast ideas and easy-to-make campfire lunch recipes in our other articles.

If you’re planning on doing any strenuous activity like hiking or biking together with camping, it’s also a good idea to pack some extra food to help you stay energized.

Pack simple, easy-to-carry foods like granola bars, fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or beef jerky. And don’t forget the marshmallows (plus your roasting sticks)!

Mosquito net if you’re worried about bugs

No one likes waking up to a mosquito bite, especially when you’re camping. To avoid getting bugged by mosquitoes, consider packing a mosquito net. Make sure it’s tall enough for you to stand up in and that mosquitoes have no gaps or holes to get through.

Insect repellent can be a helpful utility when camping without a tent. When choosing an insect repellent, look for one that contains DEET or picaridin as the active ingredient. These are the most effective at keeping mosquitoes and other bugs away.

Apply insect repellent liberally to exposed skin, especially around your ankles, wrists, and neck, where mosquitoes are most likely to bite. Reapply as needed, especially after swimming or sweating. But remember, even the best mosquito repellent won’t keep all bugs away 100% of the time.

Other useful equipment for camping without a tent

In addition to the items listed above, some other pieces of equipment can be helpful when camping without a tent.

– A camping cooking kit can be used to cook food or boil water.

– A first aid kit is always a good idea to have on hand in case of minor injuries.

– A flashlight or headlamp can be helpful in seeing in the dark or illuminating your campsite at night.

– Sunscreen and a hat can help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

– A camping chair can be nice for relaxing around the campsite.

– A hammock can provide a comfortable place to sleep or nap.

– A camping pillow can make sleeping outside more comfortable.

Find a complete camping checklist here.

How to set up camp without a tent?

One of the most important things to consider when camping without a tent is finding a good spot to set up your camp. You’ll want to find an area that is sheltered from the wind and rain and has a good amount of sun exposure so you can dry your gear.

Once you’ve found a decent spot for your camp, it’s time to start setting up. If you’re using a tarp, stake it at the corners and pull it taunt. You can use rocks or logs to weigh down the tarp’s edges.

You’ll also need to find a suitable spot for your campfire. Don’t forget to check local rules first and make sure it’s allowed at all.

Look for an area that is relatively flat and free of debris. Be sure to check for any underground wires or gas lines before you start building your fire. Make sure you follow campfire safety rules and there’s no chance for it to spread out of bounds. Put rocks around it.

Finally, gather some wood for your campfire. You’ll want to find sticks that are about the size of your forearm and are dry. Avoid using green wood, as it will produce a lot of smoke. Once you have your wood, build a teepee or log cabin fire.

Bonus tip

We cover all the ins and outs of different campfire structures and explain how to start a campfire in detail in our article. Check it out!

Now that your camp is set up, it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors! Always follow the Leave No Trace principles and be respectful of your surroundings. When you’re ready to pack up, clean your campsite so it’s ready for the next camper.

What are the benefits of camping without a tent?

Camping is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. It can also be a fun way to bond with friends or family. But what are the benefits of camping without a tent?

One of the benefits of camping without a tent is that it’s easier to set up camp. You don’t have to worry about finding level ground for your tent or staking it down. And, if you’re using a tarp, you can set it up in just a few minutes.

Another benefit of camping without a tent is that you have more options for where to camp. You’re not limited to campsites with tent pads. You can camp in the backcountry, on a beach, or in your own backyard.

Finally, camping without a tent can be more comfortable. You don’t have to deal with the heat and humidity that can build up inside a tent. And, if it rains, you won’t have to worry about leaks or getting your sleeping bag wet.

Camping without a tent has many benefits and can be a great adventure to remember for a long time. So, if you’re looking for a new way to camp, consider trying it. Hint: starting with hammock camping is a good way to go!

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