Solo Tent Camping Tips

Written by nancy kerstetter
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Solo Tent Camping Tips
Practice pitching your tent alone before your trip. (tent site image by Mike & Valerie Miller from

Planning a solo tent camping trip to either a campground or the back country can be a fun exercise in doing just as you please without having to take anyone else's wishes into consideration. You can enjoy time to think without distractions and interruptions. Or, you can meet fellow campers and make new friends. If this is your first solo trip, make it a brief weekend to be certain you like going alone.

Practice Before You Go

If you are new to solo camping, you will want to practice pitching your tent at home. Time yourself to see how long it takes you to pitch it, then time yourself to see how long you need to repack it. Try this a couple of times to gain speed and confidence. If you'll be in the back country, filter some water for practice and fire up your stove to make sure you know how these operate. If you're an experienced solo camper, you probably don't need to practice unless you have new untried equipment.

Personal Safety Concerns

Whether you're in a public campground or out on a trail, you need to be aware of your physical surroundings, other people and wildlife. Women camping alone should carry pepper spray to repel unwanted attention. All back country campers and hikers should consider carrying bear spray in an easily accessible pocket or pouch. If you really need it, you won't have time to dig for it. You should also have a whistle that works when wet and even works underwater. Carry a compass and map. Always let friends at home know your itinerary, whether car camping or backpacking. Inform them of your intended route, departure and return times and give your car license information. Don't deviate from your plan without notifying them. Personal locator beacons are economical and can be life saving in case of a serious accident. Use animal proof methods to store your food. If you are car camping, your boot can serve as a food safe. If you're in the wilderness, hang a bear bag from a tree or use a bear canister (required in many primitive areas)

First Aid and Survival Kits

When travelling alone, you will have to take care of all your needs. If you get sick or injured, a first aid kit and survival kit will be indispensable. Make your own first aid kit or buy one designed for wilderness camping. Be sure it includes treatment for snake bites and sunburn. A survival kit should include: compass, mirror for signalling, space blanket (regardless of the season), small first aid kit, knife, matches, fire striker or lighter (remember lighters do not operate at high altitudes), whistle, tinder, small flashlight, size six and ten fish hooks and 10 pound fishing line.

Enjoy the Solitude

A solo trip affords you time to think and reflect, listen to the sounds of nature around you and enjoy solitude. Record your thoughts and adventures in a journal. Photograph what you are seeing and doing as a visual record of your trip.

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