Solo camping can be one of the most eye-opening experiences during your lifetime. We live in a world where it is so common to have luxuries like running tap water, a full kitchen, cosmetics, refrigerators, and a nice comfy bed with heating vents nearby. However, when you remove all of the luxuries we take for granted, you can either choose to assimilate or regress back into your spoiled lifestyle.
Companionship is another thing which many people take for granted. Many people have taken a camping trip with friends and family, yet solo camping is an entirely different animal. The following tips are for anybody who is slightly overwhelmed by an upcoming solo camping trip.
You are a human. This means you are a direct descendant of the many great people who conquered nature to erect massive farms, cities, buildings, roads, schools, hospitals, and so on. The same instincts that our ancestors had are hiding within you waiting to be unlocked. Especially if you haven’t spent much time by yourself in nature.
Nature has a stereotype of being a dangerous place, but this isn’t necessarily true. With the right tools, skills, and practices, it is easy to transfer to a comfortable life in nature. Once you realize that you don’t need to keep your hand on your gun every night waiting for a bear to attack your tent, you will become increasingly comfortable by yourself in nature.
2. Pack Appropriately
On our camping food list, we gave you some great ideas regarding which types of food to take with you. Great food is something that you simply cannot afford to skip out on, even if you are a hunter or fisherman. Bring plenty of non-perishable food and things like coffee beans, a cooler, and a nice tent. The more goods like this you take with you, the happier you will remain in the wilderness. This is especially true if you are one of the people who wish to solo camp for an extended period.
Basic survival items like a compass, map, lighter, firewood, axe, pocketknife, fishing pole, rifle, and so on are also heavily recommended. Although you may not choose to bring each of these, prioritize by which ones you know how to use, and would benefit your safety the most.
3. Prepare for the Worst
Hopefully this goes without saying: be ready for things to turn a sharp turn south. This can include bad weather, getting lost, running out of supplies, etc. Whatever you envision as being the worst-case-scenario for your personal circumstances, prepare for it. There are an infinite number of things that can go wrong in the wilderness. You could even break your ankle without access to cell phone service, for example. As a result, bring as much emergency supplies with you as your carrying capacity will allow you. Even if you don’t use it all, you won’t regret being ready.
Before you leave, arrange a plan and tell your closest friends and family. If your plans change, make sure to find a way to contact them. Make sure your family and friends know where you plan to go, how long you will be gone, how you can contact them, and assure them that you will be safe. After all, the idea here isn’t to bring further stress and burdens to your loved ones.
4. Start with a Warm Weather Location and Season
If you have gone solo camping a few times, you might be ready to graduate up to solo winter camping. However, this is not recommended for your first time out in the wilderness alone. It might be easy to think that extra blankets, sleeping bags, and firewood will be enough. But we assure you that this isn’t entirely true. Winter weather can be unpredictable, treacherous, and lethal. Warm seasons, however, are much more predictable and stable for you to thrive.
5. Stay Near Cell Phone Service or Internet
Considering the many worst-case-scenarios that can develop when you camp by yourself, being within relative proximity of civilization is important. If it’s your first solo camping adventure, try to find a place that has cell phone service. If you keep your cell phone switched off solely for emergency use, you can instantly call for help if it is needed.
You might also choose to stay longer at your campsite than you previously imagined. If this occurs, you will be glad you chose a place which has internet or cell phone service. After all, most of the world is connected to a phone or the internet these days. This will allow you and your families to relax, knowing that you can reach out to them if you need to.
6. Attempt to Live Like Our Ancestors
Sure, you might bring a tent, some extra food, and so on. However, bringing a fishing pole or hunting rifle will allow you to have the full experience of what it was like to be one of our ancestors who spread across the frontiers of our planet. If you are new to hunting or fishing, you might consider trying it. It will grant you a lot of perspective as to how things worked way back when. Hopefully, you’ll come back with a heightened appreciation of our ancestors and how far we have come as a species.
7. Sleep Comfortably
Having a thin “mattress” made mostly of a thin sleeping bag with rocks pushing up your spine is not what we’re talking about here. Air mattresses are a great idea, but they also can pop easily. One thing you should heavily recommend bringing is a hammock. Many people who choose this route might even choose to sleep outside. If the weather is nice, you will sleep amazingly-well in a hammock. When the rain starts pouring, move into your tent and stay dry.
8. See the Doctor Before You Leave
You never know what you don’t know. Unless you are medically-trained, you never know if you have been developing something that could turn into a disaster later on. For example, you might be developing a sickness, disease, or really anything that still hasn’t quite hit you.
For some peace of mind, take a visit to the doctor before you leave and have a full physical done. This will allow you to relax if you start coughing, notice any strange spots on your skin, or anything along these lines down the road.
9. Bring Entertainment of Some Sort
You might choose to keep a journal, meet strangers around your campsite, meditate/pray, bring an animal companion, or read a book. These are just a handful of the many different options you have. Whatever it is that floats your boat, make sure to have it with you. Remember that it can easily become boring by yourself if you don’t have a goal or something to occupy your daily routine.
10. Stay Positive & Soak in Each Day
Stay optimistic. A negative mindset will not only ruin your mood but also your entire day. Laugh when minor pitfalls happen, knowing that you already prepared for the worst. Take walks around the campsite each day with breaks for soaking in the beauty of your surroundings. Spend some time doing nothing but enjoying the fact that you are by yourself out in nature. Gaze at the stars each night, light a wonderful campfire, make some great food, and drink a beer or two.