Camping with friends and family is a great social experience, but solo adventures have their own appeal. The fast pace of contemporary lifestyle means we don’t get much quiet time to ourselves – and increasingly, we forget how to! What better way to remind ourselves than by heading into the wilderness alone.
At first it may sound scary but solo camping is not meant to be stressful. On the contrary, one solitary day in nature is worth a week-long holiday!
Plan well and prepare
Heading into the wild on your own places responsibility solely on you, so make sure to pack everything you might need, from essentials (first-aid kit) to comfort items (your favorite pillow). Thoroughly research the area you’re visiting, including weather and wildlife.
For your first solo adventure, it might be good to choose a tame location: somewhere that’s a popular destination with a mild climate. If you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast, you can of course take on a more challenging trip – it is all a matter of good preparation. Most importantly, make sure to leave detailed information on your whereabouts and planned return time with a friend.
Even for a seasoned adventurer, the first solitary night in the backcountry is quite an experience. You don’t need to be a rookie to feel a bit overwhelmed! The sounds of nocturnal wildlife can at first be a little unnerving, and even a little rodent moving about in dry undergrowth will sound like a buffalo.
Before you head out, make sure this is what you really want. If you can’t quite make up your mind, ask a friend to join you and, in good company, simply imagine how you’d feel alone. If it’s appealing, repeat the same trip unaccompanied.
Once the sun sets and you find yourself alone in the woods, on a beach, or on an exposed mountain peak, trust your process. You have prepared for this. You have researched all the risks in advance. You’re safe.
Reap the benefits
The best thing about solo camping is how intensely gratifying it feels. Not only will you have the opportunity to experience nature without any distractions, you will also experience you.
For the full effect, make sure to switch off your phone (we don’t recommend leaving it behind for safety reasons) and instead of listening to music, listen to your own thoughts.
Planning, preparing and seeing through a solo adventure is also a great confidence boost. Trusting in your abilities and feeling capable reduces stress and increases your creativity.
To experience these benefits, you don’t need to embark on an adventure straight from “Into the Wild” – a weekend microadventure will do just fine.