My simple, plain and straightforward plan for you, if you want to start camping alone in a safe & comfortable way, but you never did something like that before (e.g. you lived your whole life in a city).
This article is not intended for experienced outdoor enthusiasts. It’s just my recommendations for people who are similar to me back in the years. I’m not an expert survivor or something, it’s all based on my own, personal experience. And I’m sure that each and every one will have his or her own experience and own, unique way. Anyway, here we go:
- Read about your area, or the area where you’re going to hike or camp. Try to get as much info as you can – what kind of plants are out there, what kind of animals. How to choose the right tent for that area and season – and the right clothes. In some areas there could be dangerous animals or poisonous plants – for instance, in my area we have to beware of ticks – very small bugs that can carry dangerous diseases. We also have a lot of snakes around here, but most of them aren’t poisonous. Good to know.
- Learn some basic skills – how to start a fire (if you can – practice fire starting at your backyard – try to boil some water with campfire, cook some food), how and where to set up a tent. There are plenty of videos on YouTube and plenty of articles on the Internet – just look for it! Here on the blog I will post something about that as well, but you don’t have to wait to start learning.
- If you live close to the wilderness, start by hiking for a few hours a day, maybe even not everyday. Do it for at least a week, or as much as you need to start feeling comfortable and confident in the wilderness. Your goal here – is to get used to it. Don’t go too far at first, and if you do – always tell someone before you do, so they could go and find you if you get lost. While in the wilderness, try to practice some of your skills – e.g. try to identify plants or find drinkable water. Be very careful if you want to try to make a campfire, though, and be 100% sure the fire is gone before you leave it.
- If you don’t live close to the wilderness, try to practice skills on your backyard. And whenever possible, go everywhere on foot even while in the city.
First night in the woods!
- Choose a nice spot to set up a camp. If you live close to the wilderness, you can find some good spots while hiking. If not, then you can research some maps and choose a place that you like. Personally, I don’t like these ‘campgrounds’, where your tent will be close to others. For me, it makes the whole idea of solo camping meaningless. Campgrounds are intended for hanging out with friends or family. So, I advise you to find some secluded place and set up your tent there.
- Make your preparations. Even for one\two day trip, you still need food, water, and some equipment. Think about what you’re going to do there and what you will need to do that. Also, you may want to check the weather forecast so it won’t rain when you will be there. Put a map of the area in your backpack (you can just print a map from Google Maps – it’s not the best choice, but it’s better than nothing).
- Don’t forget to say someone that you will go camping. Mention where you will go and when will you return. Just in case.
- Move out! Set up your camp, make sure everything is ok, and enjoy yourself! The first night can be difficult to sleep, because you are not used to this. And – being alone in the dark forest can even be a little bit spooky, especially at first, but that’s just a part of the fun!
What to do next?
- Try camping for two days straight, then for more.
- Improve your skills. Try to do things using less equipment, more primitive style. Or do the opposite – try some new stuff!
- Learn more about the wilderness. Know your plants, mushrooms and animals!
- Explore different areas.
- Have fun!
I hope this help. If you were out in the wilderness alone by yourself, please, share your experience by writing me. I would love to hear about your solo wilderness adventures!
I believe that the first few times contain the most magic and excitement.
And remember – just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!