Camping alone is understandably scary, especially if it’s your first time. You will have to take extra precautions with your surroundings and the people you come across because there is no one to trust more than yourself in nature.
As with any outdoor trip, there are dos and don’ts for your comfort, safety, and for an overall enjoyable first-time solo camper experience.
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 can only trust yourself. Learn how to pitch a tent, build a fire, and prepare your food. Pack everything you need, from food, water, toiletries, medicine, sleepwear, kitchen utensils, a first aid kit, etc.
It is 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 inform a family member or friend about your trip. Provide them with important information such as your full itinerary, the exact locations where you will be staying, and when you expect them back.
This may seem like a lot, but know that this may be what saves your life if something unexpected happens.
Overestimate your abilities
Walking 20 miles on a family trail back home is very different from walking 20 miles in the desert on your own, with a heavy backpack on your back. Take it easy on your first solo trip and choose activities or hike trails appropriate to your skill set.
Also, don’t try to assume too much right away. One or two nights of camping should only be enough for your first time.
Arrive at your camp in the evening.
This is not ideal for a first time solo camper. The darkness is disorienting and it will be more difficult to find and use equipment in general. Make sure you arrive at your campsite at least 2 hours before sunset to give yourself plenty of time to find a good spot to pitch your tent, settle down, and cook your dinner.
Forget your entertainment
Since you will have no company, it is ideal for entertaining yourself during the idle moments of your trip. Bring a book to read, a journal to write, or some cards to avoid boredom.
Camping alone is an amazing experience – be sure to remember these things not to do when camping alone!