Camping can be a memorable way to enjoy the great outdoors and get a little bit of extra Vitamin D in your system, but planning a weekend away with the buddies isn’t always the easiest thing to manage. We all have work schedules and family obligations to navigate when planning getaways. If you’ve just got to get out of town, camping solo can be a sound option — but it requires a little bit of preparation. If you want to try your hand at camping on your own, here is everything you need to get started.
When you’re camping on your own, you don’t have anyone to help you carry your supplies, so it’s up to you to pack smart. Choose small, lightweight equipment, and don’t carry anything you can pick up at the campsite, like firewood. You also don’t need a big tent if you’re by yourself — a lightweight pop tent or a single-person tent can keep the rain off your head and won’t add a ton of extra weight in your backpack.
Choose a Site
Picking a campsite when you’re camping on your own is much like picking a campsite when you’re camping with other people — you just don’t need as much space when you’re going alone. When you arrive at the campsite, it’s easier to set up your tent or lay out your bedroll in a secluded corner of the forest where no one will bother you.
Let Someone Know
Here’s one key difference between camping with friends and camping by yourself. Always, always, always let someone know where you’re going and when you’re planning to return. If you’re worried about letting someone know you’ll be alone and potentially vulnerable, choose someone you can trust — a close friend or family member.
This step is for your own safety, as much as it is for the safety of others. If you don’t check in or make it back on time, your contact can let park rangers or campsite staff know you might not be safe.
Keep Important Information
While you’re out camping on your own, it’s important to keep your vital information somewhere a rescuer can find it easily if you’re injured or unconscious. Info like your contact data, the phone number of the person who knows you’re camping by yourself, your medical history and your blood type can all be life-saving in the event of an emergency.
Stay in Contact
You may not need it — and you may want to disconnect from social media for a while — but it’s always good idea to keep some form of communication device with you. It could be a cell phone, a CB radio or smoke signals, but you’re going to want to be able to get in touch with someone in case of an emergency. You can even invest in a device that allows you to call or text without a cell signal if you’re going to be way out in the woods.
Stock Your First-Aid Kit
Finally, stock up your first-aid kit before you head out for your trip. You may never need it, but it’s always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, especially if you’re out in the woods on your own. You don’t need a full-blown trauma kit, but having the basics — bandages, alcohol wipes and other simple supplies — can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Camping on your own doesn’t have to be intimidating — and in fact, it can be amazingly liberating. Just make sure you prepare, and that you let someone know where you’re going so you can enjoy your solitude, but still be safe.