For many, communing with nature in solitude offers the ultimate escape. But venturing into the backcountry solo requires extra planning and preparation. Follow these tips to safely experience the rewards of camping by yourself.
Prepare for Self-Reliance
When you’re your own rescue party, independence is key:
- Pack survival essentials like a first aid kit, fire starter, map and compass or GPS.
- Carry extra food and water in case plans change due to injury or lost time.
- Know basic wilderness survival skills like finding water or building an emergency shelter.
- Consider taking a wilderness first aid course for medical training.
- Leave a detailed trip itinerary with a trusted contact and expected return date.
Reduce potential dangers with smart precautions:
- Choose well-traveled trails and campgrounds over remote routes when solo.
- Avoid risky activities like off-trail hiking or river crossings without a partner.
- Be extra vigilant about wildlife safety like properly storing food at night.
- Use the buddy system – let someone know where you’re going each day.
- Consider a personal locator beacon or satellite communicator for emergencies.
Find peace in your own company:
- Pack engaging activities like a journal, camera, nature guides or fishing gear.
- Practice mindfulness through solo activities like yoga by your tent at sunrise.
- Enjoy taking your time to observe the little things in nature without distraction.
- Disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself in the quiet wilderness.
- Be present and appreciate the simple pleasure of your own company by the campfire.
Set Up Camp Safely
Prioritize security when solo:
- Choose designated campgrounds over dispersed camping your first solo trips.
- Pitch your tent well before dark and don’t linger alone at dusk when wildlife is active.
- Set up camp away from trails and in an open, flat area with good visibility.
- Consider a bivy sack or hammock for solo trips to avoid tent vulnerabilities.
- Store food, toiletries and trash securely to avoid animal attractants near your tent.
With preparation, self-awareness and risk mitigation, solo camping allows a deeply restorative connection to nature’s solace. Go alone, but not lonely, by following these tips for a safe and fulfilling wilderness escape without companions.
A few more pointers for solo trips:
- Carry a personal locator beacon, whistle or air horn in case of emergency.
- Let someone track your progress each day via check-ins or a GPS tracking app.
- Consider solo-friendly amenities like campgrounds with vehicle access.
- Be extra cautious with fire safety when camping alone.
- Stay near help – don’t venture too far from civilization on your first solo trips.