Camping Alone

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Considering camping alone? For many campers, solitude is one of the key ingredients to the camping experience. In this article, learn how to enjoy camping solo.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

--Henry Thoreau

Today, camping is often a group outing.  Campers fill up the car with camping gear, kids, friends, spouses, grandparents, perhaps even a dog, and head for the closest campground or national forest.  But what about camping alone?

For many campers, solitude is one of the key ingredients to the camping experience. It allows them to shed the pressures and stress of the outside world and commune with nature.  It gives them peace of mind and brings them joy.

solo camper on a mountain
A Solo Camper

However, along with clearing your perceptions, solo camping also comes with certain burdens.  As a solo camper, there is no one to divvy up responsibilities with or lean on if you get lost or hurt.  It's also quite possible that you may be bored or lonely without a companion.  Are you considering solo camping?  If so, here are a few points to take into consideration.

Do you like being alone?  

Solo camping is usually most popular among those who are introverts.  Are you someone who is comfortable spending long periods of time by yourself? Do you take long walks alone or bury your head in books?   If so, your introverted personality makes you more likely to enjoy camping by yourself.

However, if you're an extrovert--someone who thrives upon socialization--than solo camping might not be for you.

How are your camping skills?

Do you feel comfortable setting up a tent, making a fire and completing other camping duties on your own?  If not, it may be a good idea to practice these skills in a different setting before trekking into the wilderness.

Do you have the right camping gear?

Because camping is often a group activity, campers often pool their resources together to form a comprehensive collection of camping gear.  If you're going solo, you'll need to have all the staples of camping covered, such as:  a tent, sleeping bagcanteen, GPS equipment, flashlight and more.  Also, it's a good idea to bring some survival gear, preferably with signal flairs, in case the worst happens and you find yourself lost in the woods.

Are you in good physical shape?

Camping can be a demanding enterprise, especially if you're considering a multi-day trip in the wilderness. If you're nursing an injury or feeling under the weather, it may be best to either postpone your camping trip or choose a camping spot that is less remote.

The bottom line on solo camping

Camping solo can be a great refresher and something that can knock the cobwebs from your head and help you get you thinking straight.  However, make sure you're prepared with adequate camping gear and camping knowledge before you set off into the woods alone.

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