Camping alone in the wilderness may not be everyone’s cup of tea. You may be one of those who just prefer to do things with other people. However, solitude, as many wise men and health experts suggest, is essential to your being. Embarking on a solo camping trip may be the most rewarding thing you can do. If only you muster up the courage to try.
Understandably, one of the many valid reasons people give is that they don’t like going camping alone for security reasons. For instance, you may be scared of camping on your own because you don’t think it’s safe enough and you aren’t capable enough. While solo camping has its risks, adequate preparation can help you weather the storms.
So, test your limits and open yourself to new experiences and lessons. Here’s your ultimate solo camping guide to keep you safe while enjoying the wilderness.
What is solo camping?
In general, solo wild camping is known to be a group activity. But, you can do it alone, too. Wild camping can force you to get away from your comfort zone, for the better.
You can do it overnight or for several days in the wilderness, it’s really up to you. There are several ways to do it.
- Solo kayak camping, by paddling alone to a remote river, shoreline, or lake with the use of your kayak.
- Solo canoe camping or canoeing which is similar to kayak camping in so many ways.
- Solo car camping, which is easier than any other form of camping. You can park your car anywhere and spend a night or two. You can even use your vehicle as a sleeping area or as food storage while at the campground.
- Solo hammock camping can be a good substitute for tent camping.
- Solo hiking, a popular choice by solo campers, where you get to explore the hills and mountains by hiking.
- Solo bike camping, by bike-pedaling your way to your destination.
Why should you go camping alone?
Wild camping, in this pandemic time, is always a good idea. Remember, most of us are under quarantine and need to observe social-distancing when going out in public areas or with a group of people. What best way to beat boredom other than embarking on a camping trip, right? Camping alone definitely helps you observe social distancing too!
It’s the best time to explore and commune with nature. Here are some of the well-known benefits of solo camping.
1. Unmatched quiet time
Indeed, camping with your friends is fun. But sometimes, being out there, alone, allows you to achieve often elusive stillness and serenity. Going solo will force you to peacefully enjoy nature without the noise or anyone constantly interrupting you. Not only that, but it will allow you to better de-stress and leave all your worries behind.
2. Helps develop your self-reliance
Solo camping will push you to learn and acquire valuable life skills and survival knowledge. The more capable you become, the more confidence you gain.
3. It will test and push your limits
Being alone in the wild will surely test your limits. You can decide to push yourself and break your self-imposed limits. And you can also learn more about yourself and cherish your newfound strengths.
4. Move at your own pace
Camping in a group doesn’t give you much flexibility and freedom to go fast or slow. But when going solo, you alone can decide your pace. Whether to go slow and smell the flowers and better relish the view. Or speed up and get to your destination faster.
Is it safe to camp alone?
Though there are risks and safety concerns involved, solo camping is generally safe. The key is to take proper precautions to secure solo camping safety. If you’re camping alone as a woman, a young adult, or a newbie, you should consider all aspects of solitary camping.
So, how safe is camping alone? Well, it is very safe providing you make ample preparations and prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Women camping these days is no longer a rare thing. So stay safe and enjoy your solo time with these camping tips for women and newbies!
Tip #1: Familiarize yourself with the area
It’s so important to properly discern what’s safe and what’s not. Before your trip, do your research and find as many details as possible about the area. Pick a good spot or campsite that’s not too remote so you can easily seek help in worst-case scenarios. Check also if the area has a reception.
Tip #2: Inform others your whereabouts
Tell someone you trust about your itinerary or report your whereabouts. Doing so makes rescue and recovery missions easier to do if something comes up.
Tip #3: Don’t readily trust strangers
While it’s good to make friends, you should not let your guard down. Moreover, refrain from openly telling everyone that you are camping alone. And if you’re uncomfortable, trust your instinct and move yourself to safety right away.
Tip #4: Bring protective gears
Wildlife and strangers can both pose a threat to your safety. It’s best to arm yourself with a handy gear to ensure you can defend yourself.
Tip #5: Be at the campsite before sundown
Arriving at your destination before sundown allows you to find a suitable area to camp. Doing so will also help you better assess your campsite or inspect your surrounding before retiring to sleep.
How to camp alone?
Preparation is key to successful camping. Start by researching how to prepare for a camping trip. You should learn the basics such as setting up your gear and tent all by yourself, reading maps and checking the weather forecast. Giving yourself enough time on learning how to plan a solo camping trip is worth the effort.
When preparing, see what things you can do when camping alone so you can better organize your camping activities. Before your trip, make sure to create a camping checklist of the things you need. Consider also whether you’ll be camping overnight or if it’s doable to stay for several days.
And while you’re at it, make sure to look for a good campsite to set up your tent and avoid sharp objects that can pierce your tarp or tent. Lastly, don’t forget to calm your mind, relax, and enjoy your time being with nature.
What to pack for a solo camping trip?
Your solo camping checklist will heavily depend on your preferences. But to give you an idea about solo camping essentials or equipment needed for camping, you can start with this list. The basic camping essentials are:
- Comfy footwear
- Emergency and first aid kit
- Solo camping gear like a multitool
- Personal toiletries
- Entertainment stuff (headphones, books, sketchpad, etc)
- Tents, sleeping bag, or hammock
- Insect repellants
- Food and water enough for your whole camping trip
- Cooking set
Essential tips for first-time solo campers
Now, when you find yourself in situations that you’re forced to be camping in the rain, camping in hot weather, or snow camping, take note of some handy solo camping tips. If it’s your first time camping alone, be sure to remember the following tips:
- Learn to read maps and compass. Solo camping for beginners can be very challenging. Getting lost is something you don’t want to experience on your first try, so learn to use the map and compass.
- Bring tarps. Tarps keep your equipment and tent (or hammock) dry especially when it’s raining. Pick the right tarp size for camping. Ideally, a 9X9 tarp can cover a hammock and tent under it.
- Don’t forget the ropes. Ropes can be extra handy too especially in emergency cases. Your extra rope can also serve as a clothesline for your wet shirts, pants, and socks.
Tips on Getting There
Airports and airlines have many important regulations regarding traveling with camping equipment. If it’s your first time camping alone, you should know what you can bring, how to pack your camping gear for your flight, and tips for getting through the airport easily.
- Pack Light and Smart: Condense the items that you truly need and only bring equipment that is light and can pack down easily. Purchase a luggage scale to weigh your bag before you leave home. You don’t want to pay extra fees for overweight baggage.
- Protect Your Backpack if Checking It: Backpacks have all sorts of straps and belts that can get caught on something during transport. Place your backpack in a lightweight laundry bag or wrap it in cling wrap to secure your pack.
- Know the Rules: There are a few pieces of gear that you cannot fly with, even in your checked luggage. Anything flammable/combustible, such as stove fuel or bear spray, is not permitted. Most other camping gear is allowed, but anything that can be used as a weapon, such as tent stakes or trekking poles, must be checked. Always check the TSA site for updated rules before leaving home.
- Getting through the Airport: With all of your gear, it can be difficult to gracefully navigate through the airport, especially when you’re alone. One pro tip is to book off-site parking to take advantage of curbside shuttle drop-off so you can minimize time spent walking as well as save money. Also, make sure you have double-checked your luggage for prohibited items so you can speed through the security check.
Solo camping can be a rewarding learning adventure. And with the right mindset and sufficient preparation, you can camp alone safely and savor the experience.