How to Camp Without a Tent

Last Updated on August 29, 2022

Did you ever think about camping without a tent? No? Then, it’s time to think about it now. Camping is renowned for fun and adventures. But, when you are looking for something more than it, then you should try camping without a tent. I think you will enjoy it more.

However, as you know that while camping without a tent, you don’t need to invest and think about a tent, but, there are some other things where you have to focus.

In this article, I will talk about the things where you need to focus on and following which you can enjoy your camping without a tent.

Well, there are lots of methods that will not ask you about bringing a tent. Every method is different from another. Although the methods are different, there are a few things you need to know. So, let’s give a quick check.

How to Camp Without a Tent


Checking the weather conditions is a must if you think about camping without a tent. Give a quick check to your camping location’s weather. Too hot or too cold is never suitable weather for camping without a tent.


While camping, you should take all the necessary gear with you according to the weather. Obviously. gears that are needed to camp in winter will be different from the gears needed to camp in summer. For example, you should not take a sweater during camping in summer. So, the last word is- your gears should be according to your weather.

Ground Tarp

The ground tarp is another important thing that you must take with you while camping without a tent. The tarp will act as a barrier between your body and the ground. While camping, it is important to keep your gear neat and clean. The ground tarp will do it for you. You will find some amazing tarps for ground in the market.


If you want to camp without a tent it’s fine. But, it is recommended to bring a rainfly with you for safety. You can use a tarp to satisfy this purpose. In this case, don’t forget to take the ropes with you.

Sleeping Bag

Carrying a sleeping bag is a must for you if you wish to camp in cold weather. The sleeping bag is suitable for the warm season too. However, if you don’t want to go for a sleeping bag in summer, you have options like blankets.

Sleeping Pad

Apart from the sleeping bag, the sleeping pad is also an important thing you need to consider for your comfort. If you want to have comfortable camping, then you should take the sleeping pad with you.

Tent Alternatives

Tarp Shelter

The tarp shelter is the most common substitute for a tent. You can bring it instead of a tent. You can use this tarp with a different kind of setup like covering just one side which means ground or covering both of the sides ground and above. The ground part will keep you dry, neat and clean. On the other hand, the above part will work as a protectant to rain. You can also read my guide on setting up a tarp for camping.


You can give the hammock a try if you are fond of watching night stars. The sky needed to be clear in this case. You will have lots of fun. Without it, you have to select a place there are trees available for attaching your hammock. For extra protection from the weather, you can hang a tent fly above you. This is not mandatory though.

Bivy Sack and Bivy Shelter

This one is also famous, especially among all the backpackers and bike campers. The main attraction of the bivy is that it is very light-weight and you will get all the required protection.

The bivy sacks are actually a shelter that goes around the sleeping bag. They are waterproof and come with durable bottoms for adding protection. Some of the bivy sacks are made from Gortex which made them more breathable and waterproof.

On the other hand, the bivy shelter is almost like bivy sacks except for one thing. The bivy shelter comes with poles for allowing more room. If you don’t like keeping anything on your head, then this one can be a good choice for you. So, this can save up lots of space.

However, there are some pitfalls to it. The bivy shelter does not offer any space for holding gears and it gets warmer if you camp in the summer.

Sleeping Inside of Your Car

Well, sleeping inside of your car is always a good alternative to a tent. You can go for that without any hesitation. You just need a sleeping bag and sleeping pad. You can lay these at your vehicle’s seat and then sleep. In this case, if your vehicles hold a seat that can fold down flat will help a lot. This feature is not available to the majority of vehicles.

Cowboy Camping

This one is more interesting but might not be comfortable for all. If you wish to follow this method, then you will not need any shelter. You will be sleeping on the ground under the open sky maybe next to a fire with a wool blanket. This one will not be the best if the weather is extreme. However, it is up to you. If you want to experience something new, then you can try this.

However, if you ever plan to buy a tent, then check the review section. You’ll find a lot of tent reviews on this site. Some of those are mentioned below.

Author: Euell Gibbons

Outdoorsman and proponent of natural diets. He loves camping, hiking and exploring the great outdoors. Camping is a way of life for him - as soon as he can get away from work, he's out there!

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