Ultralight Natural Camping

Water, Shelter, Excreta Management, Wastewater, Transportation, and Energy Systems
for Backpacking Short or Long Term, in the Wild, or Camping on Your Own Land

Summary: This is the workspace for a book and open source health and safty code for camping as natural recreation and low impact, low cost housing. Please E mail us your ideas and comments.

 

Design

Water

We look for naturally pure spring water or water that has passed through a river bar, for unfiltered drinking. We use creek water for cooking, dishwashing, laundry, etc.

Understanding water class

Wild Water Wisdom (article) How to get body, clothes and dishes clean in the wilderness without getting natural waters dirty.

Water quality testing (download)

 

Food

I thought I was into ultralight camping before I had kids...then I experienced backpacking carrying a 25 lb kids. This approach to lightweight food may seem extreme, but it enabled us to do fairly hard core camping with kids that were almost too big to carry.

The key to lightweight backpacking is to take food that has no water in it, and take no more than necessary (we plan on using up a few pounds of fat, which is very concentrated energy, and which we want to get rid of anyway).

We've found that as far as quantities go, it doesn't matter so much what the form is (flour, pasta, rice, beans, nuts, sprouts) if the dry weight is the same. For summer camping the following rations are a bit lean but workable:

Art (165lbs) 1.5 lbs/ day

Lynn (140 lbs) 1 lb/ day

Maya (100 lbs) 0.75 lb day

 

Weight

Food per person

Food per pound of person

Food per person

Food per person

Food per kg of person

 

lbs

lbs/day

oz/day/lb

Kg

g/day

g/day/kg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art

165

1.5

0.145

75.0

680.4

9.1

Lynn

140

1

0.114

63.6

453.6

7.1

Maya

100

0.75

0.120

45.5

340.2

7.5

People will eat a lot more if it is cold. Teenage boys eat more, etc.

To sort out the food, we use a postal scale that goes up to 8 or 10 lbs, and can be tared to zero with a big stainless bowl on top. We end up doing things in grams to avoid having to convert ounces to pounds as they add up. It is a lot of work to do the food this way, but it generally works out well. The lbs/ person/ day is a key number.

For example, if the three of us go backpaking for 5 days, we'll need 1.5 + 1 + 0.75 =3.25 lbs/day, times 5 days is 16.25 lbs food.

We'll put the bagged ingredients for each meal in a container on the scale

 

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=15646 and there's more here-- http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=orE&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=backpacking+food+weight+per+day

http://www.adventurealan.com/food_general.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultralight_backpacking

 

 

 

Shelter

Can a 4000 ft2 Home be Green? Low square footage per person is a primary characteristic of campaing and the #1 driving factor behind it's low ecological impact.

The Hand-Sculpted House (book) A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage.

Yurt bath house Example of suburban camping.

Excreta Mangagement

Maruata at the Crossroads (download)  Good overview of excreta management options by population density (in Spanish).

Earth, Orchard Toilet Plans

Green septic system

Composting toilets

Watson Wicks

Backcountry Sanitation Review

Wastewater

Grey Water Central

Transportation

 

 

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