Ever Gone Camping Alone? An In-Depth Guide for Solo Campers

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Camping alone is an experience unlike camping with friends. You will experience solitude, beauty, and introspection all at once. Although, it is not without its own set of challenges. You will have to rely more on yourself. If something goes wrong, it is on you to address the problem.

All in all though, it is a deeply rewarding experience. You will learn about yourself, wildlife, and the natural world. You will develop self-help skills and master yourself. Read on to learn all you need to know about camping alone; the hazards, skills, and knowledge needed will be discussed in this article.

Benefits and Risks to Camping Alone

Most people do not go camping alone. It is simply not that common for people to do. Others prefer to go with friends or family, but there are many benefits to taking time for yourself in the seclusion of nature.

  • Self-reliance, because you are out by yourself. You will have to fend yourself. For this reason, camping alone fosters this important trait. In so doing, you will grow stronger and more sure of yourself by camping alone.
  • Inner peace and quiet, by going alone, you will have no one else there to bother you. It will provide you with much-needed ear relief from the hustle and bustle of our modern world. It is very therapeutic.
  • Introspection, one of the most overlooked activities today is introspection. By traveling alone, you give yourself the opportunity for growth. You can find traits such as humility, confidence, and empathy all within yourself. A strong character is found within.
  • Limit testing, on top of all that, camping alone is a great way to test your mental and physical limits. These limits will grow by camping alone. Sounds will echo that may just unsettle you. That is okay. It is part of the experience. If you are hiking a lot, it will stress your body. Your feet will grow weary, but they will get stronger. Your body and mind will strengthen.

In addition to the benefits of camping alone, there are also risks involved.

  • No one is there to help you. If something goes wrong, like you get sick, or you injure yourself, it is on you. You will have to get help or carry yourself out. It is the greatest risk of camping alone.
  • Wildlife, just like any experience in nature, you will never be fully alone. In the wilderness, you share the outdoors with rabbits, squirrels, deer, mountain lions, bears, and raccoon. Primarily, you will have to worry about them eating your food, but there is also the possibility for confrontation.

When camping alone, you need to consider the positive and negative aspects of the experience. Before anything else, you need to minimize downside and then look to the positive aspects of the experience. Stay safe and then everything else will follow.


I am not going to lie. Camping alone is a scary experience. Everything is put on your shoulders. If you hear a sound, that noise could come towards you. If the weather worsens, that is going to affect you. If anything goes wrong, then that is on you. You cannot go running to someone else for help.

Because of this, camping alone can be quite a frightening experience. As such, you will never be completely free of it. Fear will always be present and acting to holding you back. Fortunately though, there is a solution. It is called managing it.

Firstly, the greatest way to manage fear is through learning. Everything comes from a point of origin. For this reason, you can learn about it. Consequently, you then take away its power. If you are worried about injury and being stuck alone, you can get a satellite phone. If you are fearful of bears, bring bear mace. If you are worried about getting lost, then bring a GPS or learn how to use a map and compass. Fears only exist because you do not fully understand the issue at hand.

On top of that, you can always “act out” your most of your fears when it comes to hiking. Now what do I mean by that? If you worry about injury, lay out the steps that you would take to fix that injury. If you fear catching an illness, write out the steps and medicine you would need to alleviate it. If you worry about getting lost, then get lost and try to find your way back.

Fear is not insurmountable. It is something that your mind tells you to think. To recap, you can manage fear by learning and acting it out. Just remember, someone else had your exact same fear and overcame it.

Important Skills

Because you are camping alone, you need to learn a number of skills that you could otherwise let slide if you were camping with a group.

  • Map and compass, this has become less of a used skill with the invention of GPS, but it is still important to have. It lets you locate yourself on a to map and can be used to plot a route to follow.
  • River crossing, one of the most common terrain features you will encounter is a river. They can be treacherous. If you are not careful, a river will sweep you off your feet and into the rocks below. As such, never cross barefoot or without a stick to steady yourself. River rocks can be quite slippery.
  • Tent set up, before going out into the wild, know how to set up your tent. You should be comfortable doing it. Nothing is worse than getting to camp site and then spending hours on set up of your tent.
  • Start a camp fire, when it is cold outside, a camp fire is a great way to warm your soul. Start by clearing the area and then gather tinder and wood. Use flint and steel or a lighter. Remember to never leave an open fire burning.
  • Cooking, when out in nature, cooking outside is much different from cooking indoors Your resources are limited, your appetite is increased, and your meals are simplified. Be sure to practice at home with basic recipes to get the hang of what it will be like to camp cook alone.
  • Water purification, when you are out in nature, water is critical to having a good trip. If you do not have water, then you are as good as toast. To get plenty of water, there are a number of options available to you. You can filter from a stream, bring your own (which is heavy), boil it, or use iodine tablets. All of them are great options available to you.

Skills are worth their weight in gold. If you can master these skills and more, then you are that much more prepared to handle yourself in the wild.

Taking Safety Measures

Camping alone is a lot different from camping with others. When camping with friends or family, you can always count on them for support if something happens. This is not so for camping alone. As such, the three biggest potential risks you have to worry about are as follows:

  1. Illness, this is one common occurrence when camping alone. One day you are hiking and you return to camp with the sniffles. It is no big deal as you have had it before. The next day is a bit worse. You wake with a fever and stomach cramps. Uh-oh. This is just one possibility, but you can prepare for it.You can greatly reduce the chance of catching a cold by first being healthy. This involves the most basic element of eating good nutritious food and getting plenty of deep sleep. After that, there are natural health remedies such as tea, ginger, and turmeric that you can employ to keep you healthy. Otherwise, there are plenty of medicines available to you.
  2. Injury, this is the second biggest problem confronting solo adventurers. One day you are returning to camp from a long day of hiking. It has been a tiresome day. You are a little careless, so you trip on a rock, twisting your ankle. A great trek just turned into a nightmare.Fortunately though, there are ways to plan for such events. Bring a first aid kit with you and learn how to care for basic injuries like bruises and cuts. You can also learn how to address a fracture, sprain, skin disease, weather ailments, or open wound by researching online. There are plenty of resources available to you.
  3. Wildlife, the third largest challenge you will face when camping alone is wildlife. More than likely, you will be dealing with small animals like squirrels, deer, and raccoon. They will want your food, which will just be a matter of keeping it out of their reach.The bigger problem, though, will be bears and mountain lions. If you do see a mountain lion, hold your ground and do not run away. Slowly walk away while facing them. Act intimidating if they approach. The same goes for bears. It will vary though if it is a black or brown bear. In general, use common sense.

In addition to the biggest risks you will encounter when in the wild, you need to do these two important things to stay safe.

  1. Leave your itinerary with two people. If you are camping alone, this is a MUST. No matter how good you are, you need to leave your information with someone who has your back. Most hikers and campers who died in the wild did so because they failed to leave their information with someone. Take the bit of extra time to leave your itinerary.
  2. Be conscientious. It is different being outside than in nature. Leave your iPod at home because you have to listen. Even though it appears mostly silent, nature has a lot to say and show you. When you are walking, mentally picture where your next step will be. In short, be aware.

Great! Now that you know all the biggest dangers for camping alone and understand what you need to do. You are now ready for the next step.

Preparing to Camp

Further, there are a number of steps you need to take as a solo camper to prepare for your adventure.

  1. Research the area you are traveling to. Before anything else, you need to know about the place you are going. By researching the area, you can get a permit and make any special arrangements needed for that particular place. That way you can learn about the scenery, any hazards, rules, regulations, and the like. On top of that, be sure to get a map of the area. It will help you navigate it.
  2. Be aware of the weather. If there is one thing that happens more frequently than not, it is weather changes. One moment it is sunny out and the next it is pouring rain out with a blistering breeze. Find out the predicted weather online so you can pack appropriately.
  3. Create a checklist. A checklist is one thing that will save you a lot of headache down the road. I do not know about you, but my memory is not the greatest thing in the world, so, if I need to remember something important, I write it down. It is no different when it comes to preparing for a camping trip. Write down what you need weeks in advance to properly prepare. It will serve as a reminder for all that you need to do and get.

Last Words

Congratulations! You now all you need to know about camping by yourself. You will experience profound introspection in the silence of nature and witness majestic scenery. It will be a wondrous experience. Just remember to stay safe. Have fun. And leave no trace.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed something, please comment below and I will reply appropriately and quickly. Thank you for reading.

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12 Comments on “Ever Gone Camping Alone? An In-Depth Guide for Solo Campers”

  1. Hi Alex,

    Great tips and great article! My partner and I are heading to Spain next year to do the Camino De Santiago. Its not camping alone but there will be a lot of alone time and time to really contemplate life and reflect.

    I have never camped alone but after reading your post its something I must do. I live in Australia so my biggest fear is snakes. So not quite bears or mountain lions but scary all the same! haha.

    Thanks for a great post and really good tips for camping alone.

    cheers, Kev

    1. Yes, camping alone can be quite a frightening experience. There is no else there to help you, only yourself. Otherwise, congratulations on taking the leap to Spain. I am sure you will have a lot of fun there along with plenty of introspection. Reflection is really important. There is a lot to think about. It should be a thought provoking vacation. While you do not have bears or mountain lions in Australia, snakes can be just as deadly. Thank you for sharing Kev. I hope you make it a great day!

  2. Love this article. I’m an avid backpacker but oddly only have ever done one trip solo into the mountain back country. Wish I would have read this but good news…I still survived!!!

    1. It is great to hear that you survived the back country. Backpacking alone is certainly quite an experience like no other. I appreciate your thoughts on this article. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great post! I have roughed it but never alone. I can see how that would be addicting. We’re meant to be connected to nature and this planet and since none of us live 200 years ago, this would really be our only way to experience what all mankind used to just take for granted as “the way it is”.
    Great photos by the way!

    1. Thank you for sharing Jason. Roughing it alone is certainly a momentous experience. You view life differently after choosing solitude with the outdoors. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this article.

  4. I agree with everything you say Alex, I feel like camping is a great time to reflect and just be able to enter our most natural state.

    I also agree with you in summary that camping can teach a lot of life lessons. You never know when you might find yourself lost in the wild and in need of some survival skills!

    Thanks Alex:)

    P.s the sharing plugin is not showing up for me.

    1. Jeremy, introspection is the greatest benefit to camping. You can reflect on your life and where you are going by camping alone. On top of that, you also learn a lot, like how to take care of yourself, how to listen, and what you need to know. Thank you for sharing Jeremy and I hope you make it a great day!

  5. I love this post as you have addressed some of the issues i have camping by myself. Usually i camp with others (safety in numbers) as we all bring different things to the group. I like you process of eliminating fear by learning the correct skills – my goal is to take more knowledge from my associates on our next few trips to ensure i have the proper skills for when i venture out on my own – i feel learning while someone can critique me to begin with is a good option for me. Keep up the great posts – love your site

    1. Yes, thank you for sharing. It takes a good deal of skill to camp alone. There are issues with camping by yourself, but they are not insurmountable. It is just a matter of addressing the problem and coming up with a logical solution to it.

      For beginners, it is best to camp with a group. If you have an issue, you can always go to your neighbor for help. With time and a learning curve, you will soon be ready to camp alone. Thank you for the compliment James and I hope you make it a great day!

  6. Wonderful article, and all true. I actually prefer camping and hiking alone, but it does come with its challenges. I remember a time while coming out of the mountains in Colorado on my way to town, I was hiking through the woods at night with a 65 lb (29kilos) pack on my back without a lamp (stupid thing to do). Finally, I broke away from the trees and into a clearing, so I picked up the pace. With the weight of my pack pushing me on a downhill slope, I really began to pick up speed. Suddenly, out of the black of night, my foot struck a waist high stump followed by my other foot. The weight of the pack carried me forward, and I ended up bent over the stump at the waist with both feet side-by-side against the stump and my arms spread out at my sides bent at the elbows by the width of the trunk. Furthermore, I was crushed by the weight of my pack which knocked the wind out of me. I could see the lights of houses in the distance still over a mile away, but I was stuck and stuck good!! I could not get any force on my arms to lift me because the stump was so wide, and I could not roll off of it to either side. My toes were planted firmly against the base of the stump with my legs straight and my knees pressed tightly against the stump. I mean . . . I was stuck!!! While my breath was gone, I had these visions of someone finding the bones of my body months later still bent over the stump with my back pack still on. That vision gave me the strength to stand up from the waist. It was a monumental effort, but I made it. I then continued my journey down to town and had a nice tall beer when I got there.

    One bit of advice: Wear a flashlight if you are hiking at night!!

    1. Wow William! That is an incredible story. It was descriptive. You went into great depth and detail. It tells about the dangers of camping alone and serves as a word of warning to those who consider camping alone. Next time I hike at night, I will be sure to get a head lamp. Thank you for sharing.

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