Beginners Guide To Solo Camping
Thinking about your first solo camping trip? Knowing what to plan can be difficult- we've put together a guide to Solo Camping to make it as less daunting for you as possible.
Solo camping does mean you are just that – solo. So, it is crucial to plan in advance and pack all the essentials. It is important to have all the gear you cannot do without.
- There is nothing more unwinding than setting yourself up on a peaceful pitch and spending some time alone for a change.
- You are able to go at your own pace – whether that’s the speed you hike, the times you wake up or the length of activities. There is no accommodating others. Bliss.
- It is a true break - taking time to switch off from everything and everyone.
- You will learn a lot more about camping when you are doing it alone – there is no relying on any others for their star pitching or knowledge of fire starting. Though this may sound challenging, this will really push your skills and expand your knowledge.
- You will gain far more confidence – there is something incredibly freeing about having only yourself to rely on. Knowing that you must embark on your journey on your own will undoubtedly boost confidence.
- You will feel a lot more connected to nature – with no distractions means a heightened senses camping experience.
- No added stress – as lovely as friends and family company is, there is no doubt it can bring added stress with it.
- Tent – The right tent - if you’ve got lots of gear, don’t automatically opt for the 1-man tent, think about comfort and a little extra space too.
- Roll mat and sleeping bag – down sleeping bags are more lightweight, so ideal for travelling alone.
- Waterproof clothing – the key is to be layered up, but not weighed down. Lightweight but sensible waterproofs.
- Insect protective clothing– ideal to keep the bugs at bay, even if for just during the nights.
- Rucksack – pick one with many pockets, ideally partnered with a waterproof cover.
- Sensible footwear - for walking, hiking, and comfort on any environments you may come across.
- First aid kit – a proper, full kit.
- Multi-tool knife – multi-purpose items enable you to do more with less.
- Phone – or two - for photographing all beautiful scenes and emergencies.
- Battery pack – or three – for ensuring your phone always has charge in case of any emergencies.
- Map and compass – will always come in handy, even if you think you know where you are.
After a day of activities, you will find you will be less willing to spend time cooking and prepping, so make sure to plan meals you enjoy not only eating, but cooking.
- Portion your food– opt for warmer foods if you can as it will warm you up before getting some shuteye.
- Ration your drink
- Lightweight pot with a lightweight solo stove
- Dehydrated food or boil in the bag type meals
- Prep snack bags – trail mix, dried fruit and nuts to give you little bursts of energy on the go.
- Water drinking bottle – you’ll need an appropriate amount of water for cooking too, so keep this in mind.
- Insulated flask with lid – you’ll definitely want to have a cuppa in the morning. Trust us.
Basic camping skills
Before attempting to solo camp, make sure you are familiar with how to;
- Pitch a tent
- Build a fire
- Clean water (in case your supply runs out and you need to rely on creek water)
- Set up camp
- Handle run-ins with wildlife (including big predators like bears depending on where you are)
- Forecast weather (so you don’t end up getting stuck in a storm)
- Deal with injuries and other things that require first-aid
Solo camping tips
Some further hints to give you an insight of what to expect and how to prepare for your solo camping trip.
- Work your way up – make sure you are familiar with camping trips, before you set out to camping solo.
- Before you go, be sure to tell a friend or two where you are headed and when you expect to be returning, for safety reasons.
- Learn how to keep your mind calm – there is going to be points where your mind goes into a flurry of worry or fear. Learn how to slow your mind down.
- Researching your location is our top tip for setting up your camping zone - there is lots of physical tasks to do on your arrival, such as pitching your tent, and safely making a fire. That is why it’s important to find somewhere sensible and safe to camp.
- Lighten your load – as you have no help with packing up or unpacking, be sure to be mindful of this when you pack.
- Bring a book – a group trip is normally filled with conversations. This will be a little different. To keep yourself company from the silence, bring a good book.
- Avoid any potentially dangerous areas - like cliff top edges and privately-owned land.
- Don’t make the mistake of not bothering to check the weather forecast in advance - simply being aware of the weather as you near your destination will not be good enough. If you realise it’s going to be particularly stormy, windy, we recommend choosing a safer place less affected by the heavy rain and cold weather to camp.
- Solo camping is often popular for spending quality time in the wilderness and connecting with nature. Nevertheless, don’t feel obliged to sit and twiddle your thumbs in attempt to force yourself to de-stress. Instead, relax with a good book to unwind from the stresses of everyday life, or take some gorgeous landscape photos.
- Plan for the worst – hope for the best, but always plan for the worst.
- Knowing how to pack a rucksack isn’t as simple as it sounds. Don’t just shove everything in. Pack similar items together in their own, ideally waterproof bags, and then pop them inside your backpack. You’ll avoid anything getting damp, and you’ll have a better idea of where all of your solo camping gear is.
& As Always, Happy Camping From PJ!