Solo Camping101: Avoid These Mistakes

When we mention the word 'Camping,' you'd most probably picture it as a group activity. Friends sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, sharing stories, and laughing together in movies. But what happens if you go solo?
7 September 2021

By Vanessa B

When we mention the word ‘Camping,’ you’d most probably picture it as a group activity. Friends sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, sharing stories, and laughing together in movies.  But what happens if you go solo?

If you have the thing for adrenaline and want to do solo camping, this article is for you. We have mentioned crucial solo camping mistakes that can prove fatal if taken lightly.  

So grab a cup of coffee, read this article till the end and try not make these mistakes!

Leaving Unprepped for the Trip

Although it may seem like the least important tip in this article, it can actually be the difference between a memorable trip and a nightmare. So, set aside time to get all the essentials in place. This could include getting the maps you need, picking out some camping knives, and finding trail beta for the hiking trails you plan to take. 

With the new gear, you may also need to practice using them before you leave the house. Trust us; it would be terrible to arrive at camp and realize that you don’t know how to pitch your tent.

Not Telling Someone Your Whereabouts

It’s important to be safe when you spend time alone in the woods. A good practice is to make sure that someone knows about your whereabouts. You can leave a note with a neighbour, friend, or family member mentioning the specifics of your plans. 

You can also include the estimated return time, trailhead and where you will be camping. Also, have a checklist (if required) to let them know about your exact activities at various times of the day. This might sound like a lot to ask, but you’ll know it is worth it when you’ll be in the middle of the wilderness and would have peace of mind knowing people know about your whereabouts. 

Don’t panic!

Picture this – the sun is below the horizon, strange owls can be heard hooting nearby, and twigs are snapping around your tent. Perfect ingredients to incite fear. However, panicking won’t help. Yes, it’s okay to feel the heat as the sun sets down, but isn’t it the reason you decided to go solo in the first place? Keep calm and enjoy the thrill. 

Remember that all the sounds of nature are normal. It’s you, nature, quiet, and that’s all it takes. That’s a good thing.

Undermining Yourself

Perhaps you can easily hike 20 miles back home on your day hikes? That’s awesome! But don’t think that your home mileage will translate into your first solo trip. 

A day hike or walk in the woods is much more difficult when you are hiking alone. Others may become so lost in their thoughts that they forget to move the miles. For others, however, the lack of conversation can be overwhelming and make the hours go by more slowly than they should. 

It doesn’t matter what, it is a good idea to take it easy when you first travel. Do not underestimate your capabilities and aim for mileage that is achievable with your skillset. This will ensure that you arrive at your campsite in plenty of daylight so you can get settled and relaxed. It’s better than coming in at night confused and dazed!

Not Being Vigilant

You might be trying this for the first time, but try not to make rookie mistakes. Yes, camping is an enjoyable and fulfilling activity by itself. However, you must understand the basics of camping before you set out on your own. It would be best if you avoid it altogether if you haven’t gone on group trips before. 

There is a difference between adventure and making silly mistakes. As a newbie who is on their own, you can always expect something to go wrong on the trail. Having prior group experience will help you be well prepared and competent enough to deal with the tricky situations in your trip.

If you still want to go solo, we’d advise spending some time with more experienced friends who can help you learn the ropes. You’ll feel more confident when you finally set out on your own, and you will be able to have fun like a professional.

Which tip did you find the most useful in this article? Let us know in the comments!