How To Camp Alone: 9 Tips For Solo Camping

Rilor Staff
Update: October 8, 2021
Table of Contents

It is not a surprise that camping is often perceived as an activity for two people or more. Of course, I can't also deny that being with your family and friends during this trip is downright exciting. However, this doesn't mean that solo camping isn't an appealing pursuit. 

Going alone on a camping trip is exhilarating in its own right. Going on a solo trip to their favorite camping sites is a relieving thought for individuals who like solitude. And even if you are not into this thing, you should still try it even once. After all, it can give you the opportunity to organize your thoughts, have a breather, and enjoy the nature around you. 

But of course, solo camping will require you to be extra responsible. In this journey, no one got your back except yourself. Hence, extensive planning must be done to ensure that the trip will be comfortable and safe. 

I've listed some of the things that you need to do before and during a solo camping trip. Check them below. 

Learn The Essential Camping Skills

It's not a good idea to go solo if you haven't refined your camping skills. First, you need to be comfortable about the idea of camping and doing it alone. Keep in mind that even the most seasoned campers may find some challenges along the way. Therefore, it is important that you can hone your camping skills and learn some outdoor basics. 

It is recommended that a solo camper knows how to do the following:

  • Navigation and learning the art of not getting lost
  • Pitching a tent
  • Building a campfire safely (always remember the Leave No Trace principle)
  • Finding water sources and filtering them effectively (using water filters)
  • Clearing your camping area from debris
  • Safe and proper food storage (especially if you are in a bear country)
  • Learning how to read the weather (always rely on weather forecasts)
  • First aid treatment and other emergency-response skills

You may also learn some other stuff that is related to camping. But the list above is the fundamentals that you should master at all costs. After you have a good grasp on them, camping solo should be a doable excursion for you. 

Have An Ample Time To Prepare

Camping requires sufficient preparation. It shouldn't be taken lightly, even if you are already used to doing it. Regardless if you are going to do it alone or with a company, you should be ready for it.

There are a lot of things that you need to sort out before the big day. The first of these things is your gear. You need to bring the essentials of your trip, such as clothing, shelter, utensils, food and water, and other survival gear. You should also familiarize yourself with your destination. Get maps and other information regarding the area. Know the kind of terrain that you are going to deal with. In this way, you can adjust your gear accordingly, especially your footwear. 

Also, there's nothing wrong if you are going to practice in your house. Pitch a tent in your yard and sleep there so that you can gradually condition yourself in the outdoor setting. If possible, you should try and master your utilities, too. They would be useless if you didn't know how to operate them. Be familiar with pitching tents, setting a camping stove, and using multi-tools. If you have a first-aid kit, better learn using it, as well. 

Train Your Body

Physical fitness is important for camping and other outdoor activities. Your body must be ready enough to handle the possible strains caused by hours of walking and trekking. Of course, you may want to skip this step if your destination is mostly accessible by vehicles. But if it will require you to trudge some trails and unpassable paths, training must be compulsory. 

Walking and jogging daily can help you build your stamina. You might also want to traverse your local trails and nearest campsites to strengthen your endurance and ability to weather off discomforts caused by the heat of the sun, dirt, and other elements. If your destination has elevations, you should look for beginner-friendly hiking destinations. There, you would be able to improve your capabilities to deal with ascents. 

Don't Carry Too Much Load

If you're planning to go camping alone, don't carry more than what you really need. This includes both physical items like backpacks and luggage and mental ones like books and music players. Remember that carrying excess weight makes you tired faster. Also, you'll find yourself having trouble finding places where you could pitch your tent. So, make sure that everything you pack is necessary. 

It is recommended that you learn how to streamline your load by identifying the only essential items for your trip. By having a good grasp of your terrain, the weather, and the time you are going to spend outdoors, you will be able to refine your camping equipment. 

Prefer A Close Camping Site

Campers aren't restricted when it comes to their desired camping destination. They can explore any environment and wilderness they want. But at the same time, exercising prudence and discipline would allow them to pick the ideal destination that suits their needs and skill level. 

If it is your first time going on a solo camping trip, it is recommended that you pick a close camping site. That means one which is not far from civilization or even near an urban center. These sites usually offer amenities, making it easier for campers to get supplies and services. On top of that, they are often located on flatlands, allowing easy access to roads and parking lots. 

After completing your first solo camping, you can already extend your options when it comes to your next destination. Just don't jump to the difficult ones right from the get-go. It is important that you can experience it all so that you'll get used to the nuances and unspoken rules when you are outdoors.

Inform Someone About Your Trip

It's best to inform someone about your plans before embarking on a solo camping adventure. In case something goes wrong during your journey, you'd have someone who knows exactly where you were last seen. And if anything happens to you while out there, they will know whom to contact immediately. 

You can choose anyone among family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. The most suitable person depends on your situation. For instance, if you plan to travel long distances, then choosing a friend who lives nearby may work better. However, if you intend to stay within a short distance, then picking a neighbor would suffice. 

Always Be Ready For Emergencies

When you decide to go camping alone, you must always keep this fact in mind: emergencies happen unexpectedly. Therefore, you must prepare yourself mentally as well as physically. Make sure that you have enough food and water for your entire trip. Bring along some basic tools such as a flashlight, matches, fire starter, compass, map, knife, rope, whistle, cell phone charger, and emergency kit. Don't forget to include these essentials in your backpack. 

I suggest that you enroll in basic survival classes. You should do this because learning how to survive in harsh conditions is crucial, especially if you are traveling alone. If you haven't done so yet, I recommend that you start with online courses offered by reputable institutions. There are many free resources available online. Some of them require registration, though. 

Start Your Trip On Time 

The earlier you leave home, the more likely you are going to be able to reach your destination without encountering delays. This way, you won't waste precious hours waiting around for other people. Instead, you could spend those moments doing things like preparing meals, packing up gear, and checking weather forecasts. 

Don't Forget To Have Fun

While going on a solo camping trip, remember to enjoy every moment of it. This includes everything from eating delicious meals to taking pictures of nature's beauty. Also, make sure that you spend quality time with people around you. After all, having fun isn't just limited to enjoying outdoor activities. It also involves spending time with loved ones. So, be careful not to miss those moments!

You may also bring forms of entertainment such as books, music players, or even games. These items help pass the time while you're away from civilization. They also provide an opportunity to learn new skills. 

If you want to take advantage of the great outdoors, then you need to equip yourself accordingly. Remember that safety is paramount. That means being prepared at all times. As mentioned above, you must pack essential supplies, including food, clothing, shelter, and equipment.

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