Getting the most from the great outdoors

What is cowboy camping? Find out how to camp like John Wayne

what is cowboy camping

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

You may have heard of cowboy camping but, if you are used to the luxurious style of camping, maybe glamping or using an RV motorhome then camping cowboy style might not be for you.

But, if you are adventurous and looking for a way to connect with nature on a shoestring budget, then cowboy camping might just be for you.

Cowboy camping is just as it sounds. Camping in the wild, under the stars with no tent or other shelter. Just like a cowboy would have camped. Around a camp fire using only a sleeping bag or blanket to help to keep you warm when you sleep. This type of camping has been around for centuries but has attracted the name cowboy camping from it’s association with 18th and 19th century cowboys in America.

Cowboy camping is more common than ever

In recent years cowboy camping has seen an increase in popularity as more people seek to escape the urban rat race and get closer to nature.

Many choose traditional camping routes with family tent breaks or getting away in a camper van, but, for some the real deal is the only option, and camping in the outdoors with no form of shelter is the only option for them.

Although most common in the USA, cowboy camping is also enjoyed in many other countries and is becoming a desirable way to get away from it all.

Disadvantages of cowboy camping

You are out in the wild with no protection from the elements which will include rain and hail, sleet and snow ( if you really are that keen ) and, of course sunshine, excess heat and wind.

Needless to say you’ll need to be able to cope with extremes of weather and have a positive attitude to make sure that you enjoy yourself and stick it out.

Cowboy camping is certainly not recommended for anyone that suffers a major disaster if they break a fingernail, and, if you find tent camping or RV ing difficult to cope with then you should avoid trying to camp like a cowboy.

what is cowboy camping

Advantages of cowboy camping

For anyone that loves the great outdoors and is looking for a way to connect more fully with nature and wildlife, then cowboy camping is difficult to beat.

Simply being outside in the fresh air  can have it’s benefits but, if you do cowboy camp then you will develop new skills, greater levels of confidence and problem solving, as well as being able to relax more, sleep better and discover more about your personal abilities.

How do you keep warm when cowboy camping?

You’ll need to have good gear to prevent you from becoming cold. Some items that you should consider are:

A long greatcoat – the long length provides extra protection and a thick coat will help to shelter you from wind and rain.

Hat – hats are underrated, a good hat will keep you warm. If you don’t believe this then try going out when it is cold with and without a hat, and see the difference.

Gloves or mitts – keeping your extremities protected will help to reduce the chances of cold hands, which can then make the rest of your body feel cold, as well as unpleasant.

Underclothes – something as simple as a vest or t shirt will provide you with an extra layer of insulation and will make a big difference.

Rain Slicker – getting wet is one of the worst things that you can do when cowboy camping and you need some form of wet weather protection. A full length rain slicker should be top of your list.

Recommended Cowboy Camping Gear

1. Groundsheet

Having a groundsheet will provide you with an extra layer of protection and insulation from the cold ground beneath you. It will also help to smooth out any lumps and bumps in the ground and protect your inflatable mattress ( if you use one).

2. Camping Mat

A good quality camping mat will keep you off the ground and will provide you with some insulation and comfort helping you to relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

ropoda Extra Thickness 3.9” Inflatable Sleeping Pad for Camping with Pillow, Built-in Foot Pump, 77”*27” Sleeping Mat with Carry Bag, Ultralight & Compact Camping Mattress for Hiking, Camping Pad
  • 【Super Comfortable- Extra Width & Thickness Sleep Support】- Ropoda self inflating sleeping pad for camping is up to 77*27*3.9 inches, after inflating keeps you away from the uneven ground and hard rocks. The camping mattress with built in pillow/headrest make it comfortable even if you sleep on your side.
Foam Camping Pads for Hiking, Ultralight Foam Mattress Camping, Waterproof Soft Mat for Adults, Wide Picnic Yoga Mats, Folding Camping Pad for Outdoor Backpacking, Children’s Crawling Mats
  • 【Peanut Shape and Space Saving】Camping foam sleeping pad for camping features Peanut shape design and accordion-style design. Peaks and valleys work together to reinforce support capacity and trap nest one to another inside to save space when packed.
Sale
POWERLIX Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad – Air Mattress for Camping, Backpacking, Hiking with Bag, Repair Kit
  • REJUVENATE YOUR BODY: Powerlix camping pad has revolutionary hexagon design made with body mapping technology. The hexagon air cells ergonomically support all of your pressure points, giving you superior support and comfort all night long, no matter how you sleep! The sleeping mat is also a camping gear must haves luxury, being comfortable yet lightweight. It rolls up small, making it effortless to carry around. The cot comes in a variety of color choices, sure to match anyone’s personality.

3. Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag will keep you warm and will also afford some protection against weather and small animals and insects.

You should aim to get the best sleeping bag that you can afford as this will be your main weapon against the cold, particularly at night when you need it the most.

4. Camping Tarp

Having a tarp with you might seem as though it’s not truly in line with cowboy camping but you’ll appreciate it if it starts raining heavily.

Unless you really do want to go native then the weather protection that a tarp can offer will be welcome.

Most camping tarps are small and lightweight and can be setup in minutes.

To recap

Cowboy camping might not be for everyone and, if you are a bit apprehensive then that’s normal, just try a couple of nights to see how you get along.

The feeling of being closer to nature and the experience of sleeping beneath a starlit sky might appeal to you more than you think.

Try it – you may just love cowboy camping.

Latest posts