Your camping trip was supposed to be your opportunity to unplug from the bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature. It was supposed to be the time-out your mental peace needed, yet you’re stuck there coordinating the schedules, equipment, and responsibilities of the entire group. How, you ask, is a person supposed to enjoy a trip camping solo? It’s simple.
You go camping alone.
How to Go Solo Camping – It’s That Simple?
Well, there are a few more complications and things you need to keep in mind while solo camping. Going camping alone is sometimes the best idea for really enjoying your trip. Still, it’s undeniable that it’s also more challenging and sometimes outright more dangerous than going camping in a group. The good news, though, is that we’re not letting go of you yet.
Below, you’ll find what Robert from Trekking Ground thought were some of the best tips for anybody going camping today, along with other helpful lists like the equipment you should make sure to have on solo camping trips:
#1 Try Working Your Way Up to Solo Trips
Going camping solo can be a great idea if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of coordinating an entire group, but if you’ve never been camping before, that’s a big no-no. We aren’t saying you need to be a camping veteran who’s spent most of your life outdoors, but you want to get used to camping before going out on a solo trip.
Going group camping also helps you learn basics, like tent pitching, navigation, fire-starting, and others. It also means that if you don’t know those basics, somebody else will!
#2 Be Confident That You Know Basic Camping Skills
Part of getting used to camping means picking up the essential skills that go along with it. Whether it’s tent-pitching, fire-starting, or even navigation, you can even practice most of them at home if there are no camping groups near you. Still, if you ask us, they’re best learned first hand and in the wild, since that way you can be a hundred percent confident in yourself.
As for what skills, there isn’t an official list, but we think these are the most important:
- Navigating and a general sense of where you’re going
- Building a fire with damp or dry sticks and making tinder if necessary
- How to purify water in case your supply runs out
- Setting up camp by pitching a tent, making a fire, and storing things where animals can’t get to them
- Forecasting the weather (sounds funny, but it’s a genuine skill)
- Applying first aid to yourself. There are generally courses and classes for self first-aid available everywhere
- Handling run-ins with the local wildlife. This doesn’t mean harming them but scaring them off.
You’ll need some other things too, but these are the bare minimum you should know before heading out solo. Also, this one’s free: packing something to read. Believe us. It gets boring out there.
#3 Don’t Head Out for Just a Night or Two
You’re sleeping somewhere new, all alone, and even if you don’t want to admit it, you’re a little scared of the things lurking outside your tent flap. That’s normal, and that’s expected. While there aren’t any monsters right outside, this phenomenon does keep you a little awake the first few nights, meaning you won’t be very comfortable at all.
If your trip is all of two days, all you’re going to remember is being uncomfortable at night.
Instead, think of it this way. After the first two days, you’re either going to get used to it and get more comfortable, or you’re going to be so exhausted you’ll sleep like a log. It’s a win either way, as long as you make sure to extend your trip a bit.
#4 Learn to Keep Your Cool
When you’re alone, every noise seems louder, every bird picking at the remains of your meal sounds like a bear trampling through the leaves. Learning to keep your cool is probably one of the essential things when camping by yourself, if not the most important. It might sound like a trivial thing, but keeping calm is the best way to deal with any situation that comes up, whether it’s just a scary noise or a real cause for worry.
#5 Keep Your Load Light
Since you’re the only person on the trip, you only need to pack for yourself, so be realistic when deciding what’s a luxury and what’s a necessity. For example, you might not need the standard tent if you’re solo. Instead, go for a hammock, or if it’s likely to rain, a small waterproof tent that you can fold up and store in a backpack.
#6 Safety Precautions: Share Your Plans, And Bring an SOS Device
We might sound like worrywarts here, but it’s vital to share your itinerary with someone before going camping solo. Even if you’re heading to a populated campground, you should leave your departure date, your destination, and the day you’re coming back with family or a close friend.
A second safety precaution is bringing an SOS device. Accidents are likely when you’re going camping solo for the first time, so get something like a sat phone or a locator beacon. Even if nothing happens, you can use it to stay in touch with anybody worrying about you.
5 Items You Should Bring With You On a Solo Camping Trip
Camping solo is great, but here’s a secret we picked up after lots of mishaps: it pays off to be prepared in advance for anything that can happen. Here are five essential pieces of equipment we think you should be packing for your first solo camping trip:
- A Duct-Tape Wrapped Lighter: Sounds silly, but it keeps the lighter from getting wet if it falls into a creek. It also provides some basic protection for it.
- Comfortable Footwear: If your camping trips are anything like ours, you’re going to be walking a lot. Comfortable and well-fitted footwear also ensures you won’t trip.
- An Emergency Kit: You can usually find these at any camping store or online if need be. They contain essential supplies like tinder, matches, paracord, and even first-aid supplies in a small kit or water bottle.
- Camping Knife: No, not your kitchen knife. A camping knife is a small and sharp folding knife that you can cut twigs or rope with and mend what’s torn.
- A Toiletry Kit: One of the first things that can happen when camping solo is running out of toilet paper. Bring a bar of soap, a couple of rolls of toilet paper, wet wipes, and some hand sanitizer!
Final Words on Camping Solo
We’re ending this with a singular tip that’s going to change your entire camping experience: bring a book or something to do while you’re out there. Reconnecting with nature’s nice, and we love nature, but honestly?
There’s only so long you can listen to birds singing before it turns to noise.
Related Reading About Camping on Thumbwind
3 Areas You Need To Plan To Ensure Your First Camping Trip Is Perfect – Are you getting ready to go on your first camping trip but aren’t sure what to bring? Don’t forget a thing and check out our camping trip essentials checklist.
6 Top Locations For Winter Camping In Michigan – Numerous areas provide an exceptional winter camping in Michigan experience during the coldest time of the year. We review 6 prime locations in the state.
Top 5 Best Spots For Camping On Lake Michigan, 2022 Guide – We found the top five best camping spots on or near Lake Michigan. Ranging from near Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to the Upper Peninsula.
Survive Winter Camping With A Snow Shelter – A basic winter camping survival shelter can be made by hollowing out a big pile of snow that has been allowed to settle and harden. They can take several hours to build but are an effective way to stay warm when camping in the winter. A quinzhee shelter is warmer than any four-season tent.