Back to Basics

When you’ve retreated to the mountains with what you’ve packed in the car, No Service on your cell phone, and the only amenities available is Primitive camping, the basics seem like luxuries.

Living in our comfortable modern suburbs numbs us of what’s truly amazing and what seems important. In addition, we’re surrounded with consumerism that so easy to get caught up in, making us feel as though what we have is never enough.”

Due to the time of year, although it’s just turned Autumn, Glacier National Park is hunkering down to close off their amenities for the season. Primitive camping is all that is available (no running water, no electricity, and Pit only toilets). This type of rustic daily living makes you re-think you’re normal routine, and forces you to make the most of what is available.

Here’s some things we’ve really learned to embrace :

Your neighbors : May only be camping there for one night, so be bold and make new acquaintances. You never know who you’re gonna meet, and you’ll end up making new connections, maybe friends for life from all corners of the globe, with people who are out seeking solitude in the wilderness just like you.

Water : Certain times of the year, they turn off the running water on the campsites as well as the local stores in the nearest town, for maintenance and protection of bacteria. The water you’ve brought with you seems like gold. Every refreshing sip is cherished because it’s not readily accessible.

Washing Dishes : Now that you’ve realized the water at the pump is not turned on, you’ve got a pile of dirty dishes to wash. Fortunately we brought “Wilderness Wash,” a Biodegradable, Earth friendly from Sea to Summit, a Multipurpose concentrated wash. Load up a re-usable bag with your dishes, a sponge, a dry towel and your wash and head to the riverbed next to the mountain, and you’ve got one beautiful, cold flowing sink.

Showers : Showering is not a daily occurrence, but more like a weekly one. Primitive camping, meaning you’re living like your ancestors who traveled west to find gold. Dirty feet are the least of your worries. Hopefully you’ve brought a bandana to cover your head and plenty of deodorant. Getting cleaned up for the day means boiling a pot of water, going in the tent with a wash cloth, and using your No-Rinse Wash to “bathe” in. Once we found a public shower and laundry by the last place open in the park, we bought tokens to take an 8 min. shower. Those 8 minutes of hot water in a public washroom will make you feel like a Million Bucks.

4 Replies to “Back to Basics”

  1. It is so wonderful to hear that you are embracing the basics and forgoing the normal routine of our societies hunger for more. The experience of the slower paced life that I lived in Friday Harbor was amazingly desirable, and one I look forward to living when I travel to Europe soon.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I look forward to each new post and photo.

  2. Wow this brings back so many memories……..I am so glad you got to experience this! It will touch your lives and stay with you forever. I know you thought we were crazy when we said we wanted to move off the grid (although I told you I wanted plumbing with running water) but that is the feeling and life experience we were going for. I am so happy for you and the fact that you wrote this. I want to keep this in our prayers for us if this is something God may have in his plans for us afterall?

  3. haha! i’m loving this! the word images are making me laugh. 🙂 miss you guys!

  4. If I close my eyes real tight I’m almost there… Less is more !!! I knew it !!! We all have “Enough” because the One who gives is more than generous !!! Miss you like crazy !!!

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