Generally, camping is viewed as a group activity. Likewise, there are many endeavors people enjoy together like roasted marshmallows or s’mores, singing by the campfire and other endeavors.
However, camping alone offers a lot of opportunities that group camping does not. In fact, solo camping can be quite exciting and adventurous as well as relaxing.
Improving Your Skills
Many outdoorsmen agree that solo camping is a great way to improve your wilderness skills. Several outdoor techniques and abilities are essential before venturing into the backwoods alone.
In fact, there are numerous skills that should be perfected before going beyond basic camp. Some of these general skills include:
Pitching a tent – Knowing how to pitch a tent is necessary for shelter. It keeps you protected from the elements such sun and rain.
As well, it is a place to set up bedding for sleep and other comforts.
Starting a fire – Learning how to start a fire with or without a lighter is a great survival skill. Oftentimes lighters and matches get to moist in the wilderness and will not work.
Flint napping kits are an essential survival tool that is worth learning how to use. Knowledge about campfire safety is also important.
You should know how to safely build a fire that is contained. As well, always know who to contact for fire prevention.
Some areas at high fire risk and do not allow campfires certain times of the year.
Storing food – Food is vital for survival. Knowing how to store your food is important.
In truth, if your food is not stored properly it can attract bears and other animals. Equally, improper food storage can cause spoilage.
According to USA Today, there are four basic tips for storing food for camping such as researching local regulations, be bear aware, always keep it cool and how to store fresh water.
Avoid animal attacks – Although there is no definite way of warding off certain animals, there are guidelines that can be followed to stay safe.
In fact, Backpacking Mastery has some great tips on how to avoid and survive an encounter with a wild animal including never feed them, keep a clean campsite, make plenty of noise when hiking, always hike in open areas and never leave your dog tied up or unattended.
Navigation – Knowing how to navigate in the woods is essential. Although you may have a good sense of direction, finding your way back to camp is not always a simple task.
In truth, a hiker can quickly get lost in dense backcountry, making outdoor navigation skills imperative for any camping trip.
Study Flora and Fauna
Camping solo provides a great opportunity to study flora and fauna. Even a short walk around your campsite will reveal different types of plants and animals.
Before heading to your camping destination, you may want to visit a local bookstore for information on local habitats. For instance, using a bird guide and some binoculars is a fascinating way to pass the time and learn something new.
Other useful resources are the National Auburn Society, Parks and Recreation and your local Forest Service Department.
Cook Some Great Tasting Food
Camping alone definitely has its perks. You never have to negotiate or compromise on where to set up camp, where to hike, when to get out of bed or what to eat and when.
In fact, camping alone is a wonderful opportunity to cook some of your favorite meals. Equally, you can hone some of your culinary skills and try new recipes.
Just make sure to pack all the necessary items including food and cookware, so you can conjure up some delicious meals.
Instead, bring that book you have been meaning to read or a journal to write down some thoughts. A bird guide and set of binoculars are also a great (and interactive) way to pass the time.
The Written Word
Both writing and reading are wonderful ways to pass time when camping alone. It is an excellent opportunity to finish reading the novel you have been putting off for so long.
You could bring a Kindle but it would limit you to only campsites that have electricity available. Plus these types of campsites have more people and don’t always provide the privacy and quite for reading.
A paperback is light and good for going outback, a hardback is for some serious reading.
Solo camping is also perfect for journaling or writing. Being alone provides a quiet environment where you can put you thoughts and experiences on paper.
In truth, many writers find a lot of inspiration while camping alone in the woods. If you have had writers block, you can always bring a list or book on writing or journal prompts for ideas.
Get out of camp and go play in nature, there is plenty to do.
Hike to the river or lake and take a dive into the water, learn how to skip stones, do some fishing, go rock hunting, go berry picking (watch for bears, it’s their favorite), collect branches for whittling and carving, pan for gold or learn flint knapping.
There really are some amazing things to learn while camping alone in the woods.
Take up Photography
One of the best ways to learn photography is to practice taking pictures in the great outdoors. The wilderness gives ample settings for some amazing pictures.
Some ideas may include capturing the unique experience of camping, experiment with light and composition, shoot pictures up close and far away or capture some night photos. You can keep it simple or make it complex; there are no limits when it comes to photography.
Socialize with Fellow Campers
If you are at a campsite or park, get to know a little about other campers and hikers. You will be surprised about the variety of people that love camping.
In fact, you may come across people from many other parts of the world. Now is a great time to learn about their country or where they live.
Ask plenty of questions like what they eat, the type of restaurants they go to, festivals, their work, their lifestyle and other cultural inquiries you may have.
Start an Exercise Regime
Camping alone can be a time of relaxation or incredible explorations. In the same way, solo camping can be an opportune time to start an exercise regime.
There is ample opportunity to get exercise in the outdoors. Plus the hikes and journeys can keep you motivated.
For instance, each day you can plan a hike to a certain destination like to the summit of a glacier, to some cascading waterfall or a hidden lake.
Set realistic goals and don’t forget your compass. Likewise, don’t forget your camera; there will be some amazing photos you won’t want to miss.
Take up Yoga or Meditation
If you ever wanted to learn yoga or meditation, camping solo is the ideal time. The peacefulness and quiet of the outdoors offers the perfect environment for practicing the art of yoga or meditation.
Even if you are a novice, being outdoors will give you learning curve an edge. Remember to pack some exercise pads, comfortable clothes and a few self-help books on yoga; you will be glad that you did.
Exercise Your Brain
Quiet time alone in the woods is also the ideal way to exercise your brain. If you love puzzles and solving riddles, camping solo may offer the solution to solving your favorite games.
Some ideas that you may want to pack for camping include crossword puzzles, Sudoku, a Rubiks Cube, word search puzzles and other favorites.
Avoid electronic games; it would defeat the purpose of “real” camping.
Write Some Letters
Bring some notepads or postcards and write to all your friends and family members. It may sound retro, but everyone will be delighted.
After all, who receives a letter nowadays? Write about your travels or hikes, they will be thrilled to hear from you.
Plus it is a good way to let you loved ones know you are safe camping alone.
Learn to Play an Instrument
Being out in the middle of nowhere is a great opportunity to learn a new instrument. Your neighbors will not despise you for the noise and you will be less inhibited.
Plus it should keep the bears away. The perfect instruments to learn are the guitar (a classic by the campfire), a harmonica, drums or other instruments that sound appealing.
Obviously a piano is out of the question. However, the harmonica can be carried everywhere you go.
Hire a Tour Guide
Although camping solo is the objective, hiring a tour guide can open new doors to camping ideas. A field guide will know the lay of the land, the local habitat and history.
The guide may even have some suggestions for solo camping and hiking. Hiking with a tour guide is also a safer way to explore.