6 Tips for Your First Solo Camping Trip
A camping trip is a great way to escape the every day’s routine schedule and reconnect with nature. Although it might not seem that much of a fun, the more you camp alone, the more confident and easier it becomes.
There are some things you will love about taking yourself camping:
When camping alone, you go at your own pace. You don’t have to coordinate times with anyone, pick up the pace, or slow down during your hike to accommodate anyone and you can hike as fast or as slow as you’d like.
Camping solo means you have to put up a tent,forecast weather, start a fire, set up a camp, act as a human compassall at the same time and, though challenging, it will really push you and help you to expand your knowledge of camping.
Camping alone guarantees that you won’t have others to distract you and you will feel a much deeper connection to nature.
Since you will not be relying on anyone else, knowing that you can do it on your own undoubtedly boosts your confidence and helps you see a side of yourself you never know existed.
Camping with others can sometimes bring along stress. Coordinating the schedules of people,ensuring everyone brings the gear they need, making sure everyone is having fun, rounding everyone up for activities and more can take a toll on someone. When camping on your own, you will have no stress and you just allow yourself to relax.
There are few disadvantages of camping solo at times:
It can get lonely sometimes especially during the night without someone to talk to.You will not have anyone to tell stories around the campfire with or even take group photos.
When camping solo, packing, carrying, unpacking, and setting up can be physically and mentally tasking.
In the event of sudden illness or accident, there may be a challenge as to how to access immediate assistance.
There’s a risk of getting attacked by both humans and animals (depending on where you camp) and it would be harder to defend yourself when alone.
All in all, to ensure your camping is safe and enjoyable,proper preparedness and foresight is essential. Below are some tips for solo camping trips:
1.Pick a Destination
Make sure you research ahead of your trip. Read reviews and know the laws regulating hiking or camping in the area you plan to hike/camp. In some places it’s even legally protected to wild camp,others it’s prohibited.
Explore the area on Google maps and print a topographic map of the area, in case you get lost. Also check the weather report and pack accordingly.
When camping solo, you need to consider choosing the right shelter.
A tarp or a hammock can be ideal option as they are also very light and don’t need extra support accessories that require complicated set-up. They will give you a good rest and elevate you from the ground away from crawling insects.
Another option is to go for a 2 person light tent if you have more gear that needs housing. If you opt for a tent,get yourself a small tent that is under or around 2kgs. A backpacking tent is heavy and much work when alone.
Make sure to choose a comfortable and supportive sleeping bag depending on the season, weather and your own needs and one with a safe margin of comfort temperature.
3.Test Your Gear
The weekend before you head out on your own, go through the motions. Set up your tent and fire up your camp stove. Check the batteries in your headlamp. Pack everything into your backpack; take a few hikes while wearing a loaded pack to get a sense of how to evenly distribute the weight.Go through all your to thoroughly check for any faults or possible failures.
4.Find the Spot
Always choose the right spot for your tent.
Base your selection on proximity to water.It’s a good idea to camp not far from a natural water source, but just be careful if it’s raining. If there are no streams, rivers or lakes, make sure you bring enough water with you.
A flat spot for your tent increases the comfort of your bed, and pitching by a big tree or boulder provides shelter from the wind and sun.Find a flat surface and clear it from stones and branches. Try and find a spot that makes the least damage to the environment. Make sure there are no branches hanging over the place in case of wind.
It is important to tell someone back home of your plans, routes or any changes to your trip. Often, you may lose internet coverage when camping and it’s advisable to carry an alternative e.g. a satellite phone or a ham radio.These can allow you to send messages to your family or emergency responders to your location.
6.Meals and Water
When it comes to food, there are many possibilities of camping food in the groceries sections and can easily get carried away. Try sticking to the foods that are quick and easy to prepare. If you are camping for a couple of days, it would be best to go for dry, dehydrated or instant foods. They are light and take up minimal room.You can also carry your fishing gear and engage in fishing to supplement your food stock.
There’s no need for a big camping stove. A small compact cooking stove such as the MSR Whisper Lite Stove or a more advanced Reactor stove systems will be ideal. They use compressed gas, making them lightweight, easy to light and most of them allow temperature regulation.
You’ll need a pot to do your cooking, a 1.5-liter pot will suffice since you’ll be cooking fewer quantities of food and can use for both food and liquids.Eating utensils are also important and a small compact set will be very useful.
Be mindful of what you pack. You only need enough for yourself, so be realistic about what you pack. Carry what you need and not much else. Below is a summary of the essential items you shouldpack:
- Small first aid kit
- Long-reach lighter (and backup waterproof matches)
- Sleeping bag, mat, and waterproof tent
- Food, water and a filter
- Waterproof Jacket
- Flask Light/Headlamp
- Bug spray
- Cell phone/Satellite phone or ham Radio
- Breathable clothing
- Proper footwear
- Backpacking stove