Traveling alone can be scary. Especially the first time you do it. If you are used to living in a big city, you probably never really spend time alone. You can be surrounded by people all the time, with constant demands on you, often desperate for a little peace and the chance to do what you want.
Traveling on your own is exactly this. You are entirely independent. You can go at your own pace and move about at will. You are in control for a change. It’s liberating and if you are careful, no more dangerous than traveling with others. In some ways, it’s perhaps safer, as you only have yourself to worry about and account for.
Camping adds to this sense of liberation and freedom. It’s just you, and nature. If this sounds appealing, here are my top tips for camping alone.
Get the Right Gear
What equipment you need depends on what kind of camping you want to do and where you want to go. If you are interested in hammock camping, see Outdoorser.com for some great advice, but bare in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and if you are traveling alone, you may still want to get a tent, just in case. You should also make sure you’ve got warm, dry clothes, comfortable shoes, any toiletries you need and cooking equipment.
Practice Putting It Up
Erecting a tent or setting up a hammock isn’t easy if you’re not used to it. The last thing you want is to be stuck somewhere unfamiliar, with no one you know to ask for help, without a clue what you are doing. Make sure you have a few dry runs, and perhaps go on a trip close to home with a friend to prepare.
You should also practice carrying your gear. Again, if you’re heading out alone, if your bag gets heavy there is no one to take it for you. So, go on some hikes with your full camping bag, see https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jan/19/top-10-long-distance-hiking-trails-us-california-oregon-texas for some trails. Even if you are planning on driving to a campsite it’s a good idea to make sure you can lift everything comfortably.
Talk to People
Camping is perhaps surprisingly social. People at campsites speak to each other, share meals and drinks and there’s generally a welcoming atmosphere. If you’re not used to chatting with strangers, it can take some getting used to, but it’s a fantastic part of the camping experience that you don’t want to miss out on.
Keep in Touch
Remember, you only have to rough it as much as you want to. When it comes to leaving the real world behind, only go as far away from it as you feel comfortable. If you want to take your phone and chat with home or share photos of your trip on Instagram, do it!
Relax and enjoy yourself. Camping is a fantastic chance to unwind and get rid of any stress while getting in touch with nature. Enjoy the peace.
Camping has a huge range of benefits and is certainly something everyone should try at least once. Remember to prepare, stay safe, pick a great destination and have fun!