Tips for camping solo

This post is for my Mama who worried that I went camping by myself this week. This isn’ the first time that I’ve camped solo, before JWail Ky Ky and I camped all the time together. I love camping and have ample time to do it during the week while most people are working. I should let it be known that I don’t do any hardcore camping solo. My aim is usually to set up a tent, make minimal food, read a book by some body of water, and take off during the day for excursions. It’s meditative, spiritual and liberating all at the same time. So, in no particular order, here are my tips:

1. Keep the headlamp in your car to start and then carry it with you at all times. You never know what time you will pull into a camp spot and it’s nice to have light near you.My first night in Bozeman I went mountain biking and grabbed a bite to eat. By the time I got back to camp it was dark and having the headlamp in my center console was key.

2. Bring gear that you are comfortable setting up. When camping solo, you only have your own brain to figure things out. Don’t bring a tent that you might be unsure of how the rainfly ties on. I am missing the stakes to my tent. I am 95% sure that they are in another gear back sitting on the moving truck in Laramie. I am familiar with my tent and was able to tie the rain fly to some twine to a tree. Worked like a charm considering that it poured most of my first night.

Bring a dog. They offer security as well.

Bring a dog. They offer security as well.

3. Keep essentials in a camping tub or bag. This way you don’t have to forget anything. I have twine, bug spray, duct tape, utensils, a paper back book of essays, a mini burner and a pot in a bag and all ready to go. Thanks to a friend and my brother, I now have protection against bears in the woods as well.

4. Choose a spot close to other people. This sounds counter intuitive, as camping is about getting away from people, but there can certainly be a happy medium. I was told by someone in town to head up a canyon to a lake where there was camping. But, it turned out that they were wide open spots with lots of RVs and it was $14. I drove down the canyon and spotted a tent peaking out behind some bushes by the river. I pulled in, walked a little ways and found a spot of my own by the river, but within distance of that tent that if I screamed they would hear me.

5. Relax. It’s only camping.

Hiking with the Kyky in Big Sky

Hiking with the Kyky in Big Sky

What quick tips do you have for camping? Or what can you not go without while camping? Or do you just not camp?

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