Getting outdoors, breathing fresh air and enjoying the outdoors, is why many people enjoy camping and especially camping alone. Being outdoors may be just what you need to get out of your comfort zone and change your mindset if you are stuck in a rut, or provide you lessons and experiences to take with you in your personal or professional life.
Camping alone can give you time to yourself, the time you can assess past or future decisions, and better organize your thoughts, with the help of being alone with your thoughts in nature. Or the tasks you have to overcome and experiences you have, during your camping trip, can provide you experiences and lessons you could not learn elsewhere.
Camping alone is not for everyone though, there are risks that make camping alone not appealing to some people. If you go into an experience with the expectation that the experience will be negative, it will undoubtedly be negative. The same can be said for camping alone, if you believe camping alone will be negative, most likely you should search for other activities to occupy your free time.
Benefits of Camping Alone
Camping alone can offer many benefits you cannot experience when camping with a group. One of the largest things you will take away from the experience of camping alone is the time available to gather your thoughts. When camping alone, you are out in the wilderness, with no connection to the world, you are left with you and your thoughts.
By camping alone, you give yourself the power to make all the decisions. When camping in a group, the group makes decisions. Activities, food, where and when to sleep, you decide everything, it is all up to you. When you are camping in a group, you may be forced to take part in activities that do not interest you, resulting in your time wasted. When camping alone, you will start to value things differently. After camping alone, you start to realize the importance of other things you may have taken for granted, like time.
When camping alone, undoubtedly, you will be challenged. Proper planning can only prevent so much, but when out of your element, out in the wilderness camping, problems will occur. How you deal with those problems will teach you lessons and challenge you to overcome obstacles that stand in your way. When camping alone, you have no one for support, you depend solely on yourself for survival.
Finally, camping alone can make you a better camper. When camping in a group, you are able to pool your efforts and solutions together, making it relatively simple to solve any problem that may arise. On the other hand, if you are camping alone, you will have to solve every problem by yourself. If you are in danger, or if you have some problem that cannot easily be solved without the help of another person, you will be left to devise a solution, ultimately making you a better, more experienced, camper.
Dangers of Camping Alone
As previously mentioned, camping alone does not come without risks or dangers. Any time you are alone, and far away from anyone else, you put yourself at some risk. From medical emergencies, to anything else that may happen, you are essentially putting your life in your own hands. It is important you understand the risks of camping alone, then weigh If those risks are worth the potential reward you could gain from camping alone.
Another risk, more so in areas you are unfamiliar with, you could get lost. In the event that you do get lost, you could be placing yourself in danger. If you are in a place you are not familiar with, that also means you are not aware of any dangers that may be present. From predators to the weather, in the blink of an eye, you could get lost and have no clue where you are, or how to get out. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and make sure you have some way to guide you throughout your camping trip.
Third, outside of animals and medical emergencies, you never know who is out in the wilderness with you. When camping, you are going to be in secluded areas, often with low visibility, few other people, and you have no idea who is out there with you. That is why it is critical to be mindful of risks posed by other humans, just as you are mindful other risks outside of your control. You cannot control the risks, what you can do though, is to adequately prepare yourself should anything go wrong and always be aware of your surroundings.
Preparing for Camp Alone
As you can tell, there are many reasons you may choose to camp alone, but you also can see the significant amount of risk that comes with it. That is why it is so important to prepare, both mentally and physically.
The mental preparedness is essentially your understanding of the risks, knowing how to avoid those risks, and what to do in the event you cannot prevent all unwanted events. Outside of that, mental preparedness for camping alone is most importantly about wanting to camp alone, if you are not 100% committed to camping alone, you may not have an enjoyable experience.
After preparing on the metal side, it is just as important to prepare physically for the camping trip. You may be thinking, physically prepare, “okay we are talking about packing the right gear”, or you may be thinking “Okay, we are talking about being in physical shape before the trip”. In reality, both fall under the category of physical preparedness before camping alone.
You need to make sure that you are physically fit to camp alone. As we have established, one of the main risks of camping alone is the possibility of any medical emergency, big or small. That is why it is key to be in good shape physically before planning your camping trip. You do not have to be an athlete, but the last thing you want is to get into a bad situation because of your lack of fitness.
Of course, any camping trip itinerary cannot be completed without packing your physical supplies. The physical supplies you will need will vary and not everyone will need the same items. Location, climate, length of your trip, and several other factors will determine what supplies you need to physically pack. Your best bet is to formulate a list of critical items or items that you cannot camp alone without. Then, after determining what is critical, determine what supplies would be helpful, while keeping in mind the drawbacks of packing too much. The physical supplies are heavily dependent on your planned trip, and everyone will pack something different.
Where to Camp Alone?
Choosing the correct location to camp alone will make or break your camping trip. If you camp in the wrong spot, you may subject yourself to increased danger, or a less enjoyable experience.
There is an infinite number of locations you could decide to go camping, but a good rule of thumb is to go somewhere where other solo campers may be, or where at least other campers have had first-hand experience camping alone. Some places that are good for group camping trips, may not be equally as good for camping alone. Also, by choosing a location others have had experience, you can reduce your risk of unknown dangers.
Choosing your location is twofold though; first, you must choose the general location, maybe you will be camping on a public campground, or a private campground, or maybe you have access to private property, where you will be the only camper around.
No matter your chosen location, the second phase of location is choosing where to set up your campsite at your location. Keeping in mind water sources, shelter, where you can build a fire and many other factors that may determine where best to set up camp. One thing remains true, choosing a good location can increase your chances of a successful experience camping alone.
Who Should Go Camping Alone
Camping alone is not for everyone. Only people who are sure they are up for the challenge and adventure should go camping alone. Someone who has no prior experience camping is leery about camping alone or just not sure if camping alone is right for them, there is a good chance it is not. However, there are still many groups of people that should and do consider camping alone, and for good reason.
The first group is the experienced campers, these are the ones who have years, if not decades, of experience out in the wilderness camping, alone or with other people. The years of camping experience give this group the ideal background for a successful solo camping trip. This group of campers knows how to plan a successful trip, and has been tested on camping trips in the past.
The second group of people who should consider camping alone is those who have tried camping with others and found the experience unenjoyable. If for some reason, the others you were camping with interfered with your camping experience, you may opt to plan a solo camping trip. Even if you have never camped with others, or the people you camped with were not the problem, many people find camping alone a more enjoyable experience.
Finally, those who are looking for a challenge and experience unlike any they can get elsewhere. Camping is a low cost, rewarding activity that can provide more benefits than one. If you are researching and learning about all the potential benefits of camping alone, you will come to find many hidden benefits you never considered in the past. By camping alone, those looking for both the challenge and experience, will be rewarded with what camping alone has to offer.
Knowing the Seasons When Camping
Camping is an outdoor activity, therefore, the climate and weather during your camping trip are one of, if not the most important aspects when planning any camping trip, especially a solo camping trip. By being mindful of the seasons, and particularly, the seasons in the specific location you will be camping. You can reduce your risks and increase the odds of a successful camping trip. By properly planning around, or planning for the season in which you will be camping, you can avoid problems faced by campers in fewer desirables seasons
The seasons at every different location will have different climate conditions. So, you should be aware and properly research the area in which you will be camping alone. The climate of a season in your home location may not be the same as the planned location of your camping trip. Or, the seasons may simply come at different times that they typically do in your home location. A season may just be starting or one may just be ending right during your camping trip, this is why it is so important to understand the seasons, and climate where and when you will be doing your solo camping.
The best seasons to go camping are going to be summer and spring, this is when the weather is the most ideal, and you can pack less with the warmer weather. The cold weather is one of the primary deterrents from camping in the winter. Unless you are an experienced camper, it is probably best for your first camping trip not to be in the winter. Winter camping has many more dangers than summer and spring camping, keep in mind when winter occurs at your campsite.
Things You Should Do
Since you are camping alone, it is important to do things within your abilities. Taking risks in your activities could put you in danger since you are camping alone. If there is no one else around, you must practice caution when camping alone, no matter if you are an experienced camper or this is your first time camping alone.
After you arrive on location, the first thing you are going to want to establish your shelter. Depending on where you are camping, you may be camping in a tent or various other shelters. The shelter should be the first thing you do because, without shelter, you are exposing yourself to risk.
After your shelter is established, you are going to want to establish a food source. Some people may bring food as part of their supplies, while others may have to find their food amongst the resources available at the campsite. Keeping in mind, if you are setting up your shelter, or have to search for food, you must complete these tasks before dark. That is why food and shelter are the first two things you need to consider when arriving at your campsite.
Many people will start a fire, or some may even need to start a fire to cook their food. Because of this, starting a fire should be the next thing you do when camping alone. It is important to consider the placement of the fire, relevant to your shelter and any other surroundings. Your fire should remain controllable to ensure a safe and worry-free camping trip.
Things You Should Not Do
Knowing what not to do when camping alone is equally as important as knowing what to do when camping. The first thing you should not do as soon as you have decided to go camping alone, is to not plan, or poor planning. Planning happens from the second you decide to go camping, all the way through your camp and to the end of your camping trip. You will be planning the entire way, and how you make those plans will determine how your camping trip goes. Do not forget to plan, don’t make the poor plan, and never stop planning.
Next, do not arrive late to your campsite, or fail to start preparing as soon as you arrive at your location. Failing to arrive on time, or even failure to start prepping your campsite immediately can lead to problems as you lose time and daylight. Daylight and time are two critical camping resources you cannot get back.
Do not plan more than you can handle. Since you are camping alone, it is important to remember to stay within your abilities. Experienced campers know their abilities and can stay within them, beginner campers or even those with some experience, may opt to plan a more conservative camping trip, especially since you will be camping alone. You can always plan another camping trip down the road if this one goes successful, it is important not to plan too much and have a bad camping trip, then you are less likely to plan future camping trips.
What You May Realize from Taking a Camping Trip Alone
Camping alone can provide you many benefits. You may realize abilities you have and never realized, or come to decisions on issues facing you. By camping alone, you will be with your thoughts to think about things you had not had time to consider.
Camping alone can show you that you can accomplish things you never thought you could. When camping alone, without a doubt, you will have problems come up. During your planning phase, you can learn and prepare as much as possible, but you cannot prevent everything. Therefore, those obstacles that you have to overcome will force you to think outside the box and give you no choice but to find a solution. And by solving those problems, you show yourself how much you can accomplish and overcome.
Camping alone can be a rewarding experience but is not for everyone. Only those who are fully committed to enjoying the experience of camping alone should embark on the journey. Once you have decided to go camping alone, more critically than anything, you must plan as much as possible. Lack of planning can lead to negative experiences, especially when camping alone. By planning and those plans resulting in a positive experience, you can feel confident planning your next camping trip knowing you’re going alone.