Who doesn't love camping with the whole gang? A couple of cars full of people and dogs headed out to the wilderness. But sometimes, it's nice to get out alone too. It might seem a bit daunting, but our friend Miranda is here to give us the scoop on solo camping.
Solo adventuring teaches you to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself and with nature. It reminds you to find happiness in the simple things. It hones in on your skills and shows you where you can work to improve. And it most definitely builds your confidence.
As a woman who likes to hike and camp alone, I've been riddled with endless warnings from people. I’m constantly told how a woman should never be in nature without a group or without being accompanied by a man. If I squint, I can sort of see where these cautionary tales might come from, but I also know that it’s perfectly safe to solo adventure as a woman, especially if you put in the prep work.
When I first started out solo camping, I began going to places that I’m familiar with, and just going for an short overnighter. The more comfortable I got, the more comfortable it became for me to branch out and explore new places, and stay for longer.
While solo camping, I always bring my dog Loki, which is a huge comfort. I can tune into his senses since he always knows something or someone is around before I do. He’s notified me to various wildlife encounters before they’ve happened and I’m always glad to have my little furry alert system.
No matter what kind of trip I’m packing for, it’s crucial to always have a first aid kit, enough food, and warm layers. I check the conditions of the area I’m planning to visit, scan the weather report, load up my car, and into the outdoors we go.
Also, (this one is super important!) before losing service, I make sure a loved one has details of where I’ll be and when I’m expected back.
Normally I camp in a dispersed area, rather than a campsite, so this is where I really get to listen to my instincts finding just the right spot to set up camp. Not too many other things in this world make me feel more badass than setting a campsite up by myself. Tents have become easy, but I’m still working on perfecting my campfire teepee.
Solo camping really is a confidence booster. It’s pivotal to trust yourself. You have to rely completely on you for every single aspect. From setting up camp, to preparing dinner, and even treating an injury if it occurs. You are on your own here. And while that can be scary, it’s also incredibly satisfying.
After setting up camp, nature-therapy is in session!
Close your eyes. Let the warmth of the sinking sun and the tickle of a dancing breeze touch your skin. Listen to the trees sway and the squirrels scurry. No sounds of the city, no screen lights piercing your eyes. This is where the saying “disconnect to reconnect” is at it’s truest.
Sleeping on your own in the wilderness can be hard. This is probably the biggest challenge I still face. Every single noise sends my hearing into a supernatural overdrive. But I try to let the sounds of nature soothe me instead of scare me. Sometimes by sunrise my eyes itch with tiredness from a restless night in and out of sleep. But it does get easier and it’s definitely worth it. When I emerge from my tent the morning after, there is an amazing sense of self worth and enhanced motivation to do more on my own.
Being in nature alone is a whole different experience. It really can be scary, especially if you let your mind take over and wander into the what if’s. But just remember that practice makes perfect. The more you go, the more you’ll want to do it again and again. It gets easier every time, I promise! Happy Trails!