Camping alone is a dream trip for some, while for others it’s terrifying. If you fall into the former category, there are some tremendous benefits of camping solo. You can essentially do whatever you want, without having to worry about pleasing the herd. Eat what you want. Sleep where you want. Take the gear that you want. Solo camping also provides the opportunity for self-reflection and “checking out,” which can be extremely beneficial to your mental health. However, heading out into the wild by yourself isn’t something that should be taken lightly. If you’re considering solo camping, here are some tips to get you started.
Obtain a little experience first.
Your first camping trip really shouldn’t be a solo trip. Take some group trips to get used to outdoor life. Practice primitive skills like fire making, cooking, land navigation, etc. Mistakes and emergencies that come up in a group camp are far easier to deal with than when you’re by yourself.
Go big or go home.
Solo camping trips are far more enjoyable and practical if you go out for a week or more as opposed to a simple overnighter, especially if you’re not used to solo camping. The rationale behind this is that it will take you a few nights sleeping under the stars by yourself to acclimate and get used to it to the point where you’ll actually be able to relax and enjoy it.
Camping on your own means you’re responsible for carrying in (and out) absolutely everything you’ll need to survive. You’ll want to go as light as you can. Invest in lighter tents, sleeping bags and pads. Learn how to use a water filter or boil so you don’t have to carry a lot with you. Dehydrated food is a great option for light packing.
While you should keep a phone with you and a means for charging it without electricity, leave it in your bag unless you need it for an emergency. Instead, throw a paperback in your pack and spend your free time (of which you’ll have plenty…) catching up on some reading.
Being safe in the field is an obvious point, but you should also tell someone your plans before you head out. Let them know where you’re going, how long you’ll be out and when you should be back. Consider purchasing a personal location device and/or satellite phone. It will give both you and your family back home some peace of mind.