Ah, the great outdoors… There is nothing like spending a day surrounded by the sounds and sights of nature – just you and your thoughts. The feeling of inner peace and tranquility that emerges as you distance yourself from everyday stress and worries is what makes this outdoor experience priceless. However, as with everything in life, solo camping requires thorough planning as well as taking certain precautions to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Below you’ll find a list of six must-know tips to keep in mind when embarking on your first solo camping adventure.
Planning out the route
Before you grab your backpack and go, it’s important that you do some research on the camping area and trails you’re planning on exploring. Learn as much as you can about the flora and fauna there, as well as geography and water sources.
Study the topographic map of the camping area you’re going to, and plan your route accordingly, having in mind the levels and elevation change the trails may entail. Learn about the dangerous animals you might encounter on your camping trip, and search online for some insider info and experiences from other campers. If you’ve camped somewhere with a group before, going to that same place would be the safest option for your first-time solo camping trip.
Packing the camping gear
When packing for a camping adventure, you might feel the need to pack more than you’ll need. However, lugging heavy gear from place to place will slow you down, so you want to pack light and bring only the essentials.
Sleeping bags, a waist or fanny pack, tents, hammocks, maps, compasses, matches, food, knives, and a first-aid kit are some of the camping essentials you should pack. Have in mind the time you’re planning on spending there so you can pack enough food and water, and be sure to check the weather so you know what type of clothes and shoes to bring. Whether you’re planning on hiking, fishing, or canoeing, bringing less will enable you to cover larger areas and allow you to interact with nature more easily.
Bringing some camping extras
Because this is a solo trip, you’ll be spending a lot of time alone – unless you run into fellow campers. Nevertheless, you should bring some camping extras to keep yourself entertained when you’ve got some time to kill.
For those nights when you’re sitting near the campfire, an iPad with your favorite movie or an interesting book on Kindle can be a great camping extra that will keep you entertained. The same goes for knitting tools and art supplies. Fishing is another way to spend some time alone in the wild while also being productive, so be sure to get fishing lures before you head camping. Because there will be no distractions, you’ll feel more connected to nature, which will only enhance your camping experience.
Setting up a tent
Knowing the right way to set up a tent is one of the most important aspects of camping. You’ll need a shelter that will protect you from various weather conditions and keep away any nasty insects.
Forego the tents that have complex poling and require more than one person to be set up. Instead, go for a pop-up style tent you can easily erect by yourself. Be sure to test out your tent before you go – your safe bet would be to use a tent you already have experience setting up. Hammocks, sleeping bags, and air mattresses are good alternatives that will get you off the ground. Just make sure that your camping gear is lightweight so you don’t overload your backpack.
Preparing food in the wild
When it comes to cooking in the wild, it’s best to think in terms of versatility. A single pot can be just what you need to prepare various kinds of dishes when you’re in the wilderness.
Coffee, tea, pasta, rice, soups, ramen noodles, and oatmeal can easily be prepared in that one pot and rinsed out afterwards. You will also need to learn how to start a fire – you can easily DIY a fire starter at home, or you can bring a store-bought one and easily get your fire going.
Staying safe in the wild
Safety should be your number one priority when camping. Let a trusted person know about your route and itinerary, and be sure to contact them regularly. Get a phone number of the park ranger and fellow campers, too.
As for the gear, be sure to pack a first aid kit and a headlamp, and don’t forget to sterilize the water from natural sources. A water bottle with a filter should remove any microorganisms, but purification tablets are a good alternative if you haven’t got one.
Embarking on a solo adventure is an enriching learning experience that brings a host of benefits. That being said, it also calls for extensive preparation and good organizational skills. If you’re planning on camping solo soon, be sure to refer to this guide to ensure a safe, joyful, fun-filled adventure in the wilderness.