Camping is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of real-life and immerse yourself in nature. Hiking and camping with others can be a lot of fun, but sometimes going solo is the best way to unplug. But hiking a trail alone and camping is different than camping with others, so here’s a quick guide on how to do it right.
But first, let’s look at the benefits of camping alone.
CAMPING ALONE–THE BENEFITS
Camping solo has many benefits. It allows you to set your own pace and slow down or speed up without having to accommodate someone else. You can hike as far as you want for the day and stay up late or go to bed early if you want.
Without other people to chat and interact with, you’ll feel more connected with nature. You may miss telling stories around the campfire or making meals as a group, but you won’t have the distractions that can take away from the experience. You’ll find your senses heightened so you’ll see and hear things you might miss in a group hike.
The scenery will seem more majestic and sunsets will be more beautiful. Alone in nature, you’ll find a sense of peace that few other places provide.
Also, you’ll gain more confidence because you only have yourself to rely on. You must be resourceful if something goes wrong because there’s no one else to provide what you forgot. Relying on yourself boosts your self-esteem like nothing else can.
You’ll also learn a lot more about camping because you’re doing everything alone. There’s no one else to help you put up a tent or start a fire. It helps you build skills that, otherwise, you may never have attempted camping in a group.
There is also less stress because you’re not worried if others are having fun, and there are no disagreements when you camp alone. The only stress you’ll have is to finish camping tasks on your own–but if you practice, you’ll be an expert in no time.
TIPS FOR CAMPING ALONE
Since camping solo is different than camping with others, here are some helpful tips to get the most out of your trip.
PLAN YOUR TRIP AND CREATE AN ITINERARY
Planning your trip is extremely important when you’re going alone. There’s no one to back you up if you forget something like critical first aid supplies, a can opener or your tent.
Research the location you’re camping in and learn the animals and plants that live there. Plan the route you’re taking and make sure to leave a copy of your itinerary somewhere in your car and with someone else, like a friend or family member. That way, if you don’t make it home when you’re supposed to, people know where to start looking.
MAKE SURE YOUR CAMPING SKILLS ARE ON-POINT
There are many skills associated with camping, and you need to make sure they are well beyond the beginner level if you’re camping solo. These skills include:
- Pitching a tent
- Wilderness first aid skills
- Fire building
- Setting up camp
- Purifying or filtering water
- Weather forecasting
- Dealing with wildlife like bears, deer, mountain lions, etc.
BRING ALL THE NECESSARY GEAR
As mentioned earlier, you have no one to rely on but yourself to bring all the camping supplies you need. You’ll need food, water, shelter, basic wilderness first aid supplies and much more.
Some supplies you may not even think of–like a tactical fixed blade knife for field work and a folding tactical knife for self-defense. There are plenty of durable tactical fixed blade knives and foldable blades on the market. Make sure to choose one that you’re comfortable using.
A good hiking checklist will ensure that you don’t forget anything important.
DON’T PICK A PLACE TOO REMOTE
Don’t pick a camping place that is too remote, especially for your first trip. The farther you stray from familiar territory, the more likely something will go wrong. Choose a location close to home because knowing the area you’re camping in is much more comfortable and less frightening.
PACK SOME TYPE OF EMERGENCY DEVICE
When you’re hiking and camping in the wilderness alone, anything can go wrong. There are a variety of personal safety devices you can bring, including a locator beacon, satellite phone, walkie talkie or some other device that can help people find you if something happens.
PACK A GOOD BOOK
There’s plenty of alone time when camping solo, and there’s no chit-chat around the campfire. You’ll find there’s plenty of spare time, so bringing a good book–if you like to read–can fill the void and can even help you get to sleep.
Camping solo is an amazing experience that some people never do because of the fear of the unknown. But as long as you prepare, pack the items you need and brush up on your camping skills, the adventure can help you reconnect with nature and find yourself.