Are You Really Roughing It?

Camping is more than pop-out trailers and blowup mattresses, and now's your chance to prove it. From tent-less nights to river-water drinking, here are seven ways to challenge yourself at the campsite so you can really say you were roughing it.

More: 5 Reasons to Go Primitive Camping With Kids

1. Leave the cooler at home

I know, it's harsh—especially for number one—but you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't interested in challenging yourself in the first place. A cooler is full of hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad and cold soda; everything you would eat on a typical Saturday night. But, you're trying to get away from the humdrum of everyday life.

If you really want to rough it, try picking up some dehydrated meals and bring food that doesn't need a cooler; like fruit. Try these dehydrated food recipes for some quick and easy ideas.

More: 15 Wilderness Cooking Essentials

2. Put your pack on your back

It's nice to have your kitchen, closet, bathroom, and home entertainment along for the ride "just in case something comes up" but you don't actually need much for a camping trip, especially if you're roughing it. Plan your outfits, meals, and entertainment, based solely on what you know you'll need and fit it all one backpack—even if it's a large backpack.

3. Leave your cell phone at home

You know that feeling: sitting in a quiet movie theater and a cell phone starts ringing? You think, "Wow, some people can't handle spending two seconds away from their phone!" Now rewind to last camping trip—was your phone there?

Part of roughing it is truly disconnecting while you're in nature so put your phone down for a day or two. One of my favorite camping spots cuts out all cell service the minute you enter the mountains and it's refreshing not worrying about who's texting, calling or writing on your Facebook wall.  

More: Do Computers and Camping Mix?

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