Solo camping is understandably scary, especially if it’s your first time. You will have to take extra precaution with your surroundings and the people you encounter because there’s no one to rely on but yourself out in the wilderness.
Like with any trip outdoors, there are do’s and don’ts that you should consider for your comfort, safety and to achieve an overall enjoyable experience as a first time solo camper.
Here are 5 things you should never do when camping alone:
This is the most basic but the most important thing to remember – be prepared. As mentioned, you only have yourself to rely on out there. Learn how to pitch a tent, light a fire and prepare a meal for yourself. Pack everything you will need from food, water, toiletries, medicine, sleeping gear, cooking gear, a first aid kit etc.
It’s also important to bring a map, a compass, a GPS, a whistle and some chalk in case you get lost.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to let a family member or a friend know about your trip. Provide them with important information like your whole itinerary, the exact location(s) where you’ll be staying and when to expect you back.
This may sound a bit too much, but know that this may be the thing that saves your life if anything unexpected happens.
Overestimate your abilities
Hiking 20 miles on a familiar trail back home is very different from hiking 20 miles in the wilderness on your own, with a heavy pack on your back. Take it easy on your first solo trip and choose activities or take on trails appropriate for your skill set.
Also, don’t try to take on too much right away. A night or two of camping alone should be enough for your first time.
Arrive at your campsite at night
This is not ideal for a first time solo camper. The darkness is disorienting and it will be more difficult to find and use gear overall. Be sure to arrive at your campsite at least 2 hours before sunset to have enough time to find a good spot to pitch your tent, to get settled and to cook your dinner.
Forget your entertainment
Since you won’t have company, it’s ideal to keep yourself entertained during the down times of your trip. Bring a book to read, a journal to write on or some playing cards to fend off boredom.
Solo camping is an incredible experience – be sure to remember these things you shouldn’t do when camping alone!