Camping alone is one of the best decisions that not a lot of people take. A lot of people think it’s weird to camp alone or are anxious about solo camping. The truth is solo camping is a challenge, and it is a worthwhile challenge at that.
It allows you to truly know yourself and to understand what you want and what you need in life. It forces you to take the initiative and make the decisions that suit you best. It helps you discover who you are, and what you want, and it encourages you to rethink your life decisions and to make better decisions in the future.
But as I mentioned, it is a challenge even for seasoned campers and the whole thing can become overwhelming very quickly. That is why I got you some tips to help and hopefully encourage you to finally take that step and go camping alone.
Work your way up to camping alone
Camping alone will make you experience a lot of things that you didn’t before but you need to have all the basic camping skills first. It is always a good idea to work your way up to solo camping. You can try to go with a friend or a group of friends a few times. This will give you a rough idea about what to expect when camping alone without all the fears or worries most people have when they try solo camping for the first time.
You should also try to take the lead during those camps which will improve important skills such as decision making, planning, reading maps and other skills as well. Those skills are essential when camping alone and they are the skills that will improve the most during camping.
Have a plan of what you want to do
You don’t need a detailed plan of everything you would do or to schedule every second of your day, but you do need a rough idea about what you want to do. Bringing a book or two is always a good idea for first-time solo campers.
You can make a list of subjects, life decisions or any other topic that you would like to think about or rethink since camping alone offers you a great opportunity to think about such things without interruptions from the outer world.
Study the campsite before going
It goes without explanation that studying the campsite is a very important step when planning to camp. But Solo camping means studying every small detail. You should look for dangers around the area you want to camp in, water sources, and things that you would like to do.
Camping alone is great but your safety is the top priority. Sharing your location and your schedule with people you trust, such as your family or close friends, means that they can contact you in case of an emergency or to check on you. It also provides peace of mind for you and your family/friends since they know when you are coming back.
Always check the weather forecast
Not checking the weather forecast can be a very big mistake for any camper since all your plans should have the weather in mind. Could it rain soon? How is the wind? What is the minimum temperature during the next few days?
All those questions should be the first things to come to your mind when you decide to go solo camping. Also, a good idea is to grab a waterproof tent since it is sure to come in handy. My personal pick is the MIS MOUNTAIN INN SPORTS. It is simply one of the best tents I have used. It always stayed dry on the inside when it was raining heavily and it is spacious enough for one person with gear.
Keep it short
It can be attractive to plan a solo camp for a week or so when it is your first time but it can get overwhelming quickly. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan to camp for 3 or 4 days for your first trip. Evaluate how you feel and if you’re overwhelmed or anxious and then plan another, longer trip.
Camping alone for the first time can be stressful for the first few days or so. That means that some of your decisions can be affected by the stress you feel. It is so important to keep calm and not rush your decisions.
Learn to calm yourself when you begin to panic or to bring something that makes you feel safer. Something that helps me get over those moments is to say what I am afraid of out loud. This helps your mind to rationally think about your situation instead of panicking.
Camp near your vehicle
Camping near your vehicle is one of the best things to do for both beginners and experienced campers alike. It means that you don’t have to worry about things like clean water or extra cloth in the case of unexpected weather conditions. It also means that you can feel safer and think more rationally.
You can take a break when you need to. If you feel like you are being eaten alive by mosquitos, for instance. You can just go into your car for 15 minutes or so to clear your mind and not feel overwhelmed.
If you have a truck, you could also consider setting up a truck tent, which gives you the freedom to set up camp wherever you want.
Practice setting up your gear alone before solo camping
Setting up some gear like a tent is a job for two in a lot of cases. So you might be surprised that you aren’t able to set up your tent or that it is challenging when you are already in the wilderness. Make sure to practice such things at home where you aren’t stressed or in a hurry.
Don’t depend on a campfire
Campfires and camps go together like bread and butter but depending on the weather, setting up a fire by yourself can be a challenge. This is why you need to be prepared.
For cooking, it is best to get a camp stove. It is light, fast, convenient and you can still roast marshmallows on it. My favorite is AOTU Stove. It is compact, fast and reliable, and having it as backup is a good idea.
For warmth, bring extra clothing, wear long underwear, and wear layers of clothes. Those layers can go a long way in keeping you warm and happy while camping. And don’t forget your sleeping bag. A good sleeping bag is essential for campers.
“But, how will I see during the night?” you might ask. And the answer is simple since there is a number of options that you can use. You can use a headlamp for when you want to go hands-free and it is an excellent option when you want to do something after dark like check something around you or when going for a walk when the sun is down. Additionally, candle lanterns are excellent for when you are resting or sleeping.
Secure your belongings
Having valuables on you while camping isn’t a good idea but if you have no choice, then you have to secure them as much as possible. If you are camping in a remote place, then you probably don’t have to worry about your belongings being stolen. But if you are camping in a more crowded campground, then you need to be vigilant and protect any valuables you have.
A good idea is to keep your valuables hidden and out of reach. You can keep them hidden in your car if it is near you or you can hide them around you. A good trick I learned was to put your valuables in an airtight bag and to put them in a small dug hole by your tent and cover it with something you have.
Solo camping is a great pleasure that a lot of people don’t get to enjoy. It is great for character development and helps you grow as a person. It helps you to know more about yourself and to decide your short-term and long-term goals. And as long you’re doing it safely, you’ll want to come back again!