A deep step down from minimalist camping and light years away from an average camping trip, is survivalist camping. As the name implies, you bring only what you need to make it from one day to the next.
For this form of extreme camping, the entire adventure is stripped down to the barest essentials:
Water: You can't live more than four days without water, and that's pushing it. For this reason, make camp near a river or lake, remembering to stay at least 100 feet away, based the leave no trace principles. Always boil the water for at least one minute, if it's not from a treated source.
Shelter: This varies dramatically with the weather and temperature. Try to find high ground that's protected from wind and distanced from any drainage channels, such as gullies or washes. The simplest shelter is an A-frame tarp tent. Get up off the ground if you can, either on a pad or a bed of leafy tree branches or brush.
Food: There are three options for food. You can bring it with you, which can add a lot of weight, pack some food and forage for the rest, or you can find everything as you go– an option reserved only for the most dedicated survivalists.
Heat: Know how to make a fire with a variety of tools, as well as with no tools at all. Think: matches, flint and steel, a bow drill or a magnifying glass, for example.
This form of extreme camping is actually one of the most economical for those who want to travel and make money at the same time. Travelers often work for a campground or BLM property, for a free campsite (sometimes with hook-ups), financial compensation, or both.
Work campers collect camping fees, help visitors find available sites, answer questions, and watch for problems on the property. Work campers may also work in park concessions, food service and other positions.
Find a Campground at ReserveAmerica.com.