A Complete Solo Camping How-To Guide and Checklist

If you are thinking about spending some quality solitary time in nature, then what better way than to go solo camping?

While most people take camping to be a family activity or something done in groups, you won’t really realize just how fascinating it can be for one to embrace nature and all its beauty, alone.

If you know how to prepare for solo camping, then there should be nothing stopping you from taking this amazing opportunity to really enjoy yourself in the wilderness.

But that is exactly where many tend to have an issue. Because you will be on your own so everything has to be well planned and safety precautions cannot be compromised with.

Fortunately, with some proper research you can easily plan your first solo trip and make it the best experience of your life.

We have gathered a number of great solo-camping tips and other useful information for you so you can start planning your next trip right away.

Be sure to read every section on this article for a complete guide to solo-camping.

Related Article: The Ultimate Camping Guide for Beginners

Planning for Your Trip

1. Pick the Right Camping Spot

Before you do anything else, you need to know where you want to camp and then find out everything there is to know about the place.

Not all camping spots are great for solo-campers, so you may want to leave those for when you plan a trip with friends or family.

Don’t get us wrong, these campgrounds are fantastic, but only if you don’t mind the area being packed with children and seniors, which let’s face it, won’t be exactly what you would be hoping for in terms of some peace and quiet.

However, there are plenty campgrounds that are perfect for some solitude fun, so you need to do some searching online or maybe even ask friends for suggestions.

2. Find Out Everything There Is to Know About Your Camping Spot

Before you actually head out to camp at your chosen spot, find out a bit about the place and its surrounding.

We would recommend some place not too far from your home or a place familiar to you, especially if it is going to be the first time you camp there alone.

If possible, check out the place yourself and make it a point to visit during daytime when you can really get a good view.

Some people prefer to camp at actually campgrounds because everything is usually arranged and hassle free, but if you want to make things a little more interesting then you can go hiking and set up your tent or hammock in the wilderness.

It really doesn’t matter where you wish to camp, just checking out the place a few days prior to your trip will save you a lot of trouble, give you an idea of the weather conditions and also help you remain safe.

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3. Let Someone Else Know Your Plan

We understand you want to enjoy your own company on this trip, but that doesn’t mean that you wander off without informing anyone about your whereabouts.

Pick at least two people from your family, friends or coworkers and give them all the details of your little getaway. 

Be sure to tell them everything starting from the date you leave, the duration of the trip, when you plan to return, the address of the place you are going and maybe also what all you plan to do there.

Remember you are going to be away from the city and most probably in a place where communication won’t be that great, so it is important that people know where you are in case something unfortunate happens.

Also always keep your phone on you if there is service but use only when there is an emergency so you do not waste the battery life.

4. Health Check

If the thought of getting a proper physical before the trip seems far-fetched then here is what you need to know.

There are two main benefits to getting a physical before you travel alone anywhere:

One- your doctor may foresee some illness that you were unaware of and ask you to postpone your trip, in which case you will be better off with friends and family nearby to help you get better.

Two- You will know that you are absolutely fit and healthy and nothing can stop you from having the time of your life during the trip.

Now, these are just two of the main advantages that come with getting a health check before the trip, but there are some more ways in which you will be benefitted.

For example, if you do fall sick soon after the trip you will know that it is the result of something that you caught during the trip as you were perfectly fine before it.

This will also allow you to take precautions in the future or warn others when they decide to go camping in the same area.

5. Make a Check-List

You might think that travelling alone means that you don’t have to carry a lot of items but think again on this one.

While the goal is to travel light, you don’t want to leave out anything essential because if you are in sudden need of something, there is no guarantee that you will find another person to help you out with it.

So in order to pack light but ensure that you have everything you need, you must prepare a list of things to pack and have the items ticked off as you pack them.

Below we are going to be sharing with you some of the items which you should consider taking with you on your solo camping trip.

Check List

If you are going to be backpacking then you will want to keep your bag light, especially if you are not used to travelling with a heavy load on your back. But if you have your car with you then you don’t really need to worry about the weight and can carry quite a bit of extra stuff too.

But regardless of whether you have your car or you will backpack, you will need to include some items to make your trip more pleasurable and safe.

  • Tent

A tent is the first thing you need to pack because you will need some sort of shelter in the wilderness.

A hammock is also great but it won’t protect you from rain or the blazing heat of the sun on a hot summer day.

When picking a tent, try to avoid a really small one. Even though you are going to be camping alone, you will want to be comfortable and you can always use that extra space to keep all your belongings safe inside.

Fortunately, a tent designed for two will not really take up too much space or be too heavy when compared to a single’s tent so you don’t really have to worry about space or load.

Check out the guide if you are looking for a camping canopy or a pop up tent

  • First Aid Kit

Yes, we know you got a health check but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for any accidents. In fact, you will be putting yourself at risk by skipping this item from your packing list because even a small cut may cause a bad infection if not treated right away.

Carry any medication that you are currently on, some band aids, anti-septic creams, and even some painkillers to be on the safe side.

  • Pesticide and Bear Spray

Just because you are visiting nature doesn’t mean that you need to entertain bugs.

Even if your tent has a net to keep the mosquitoes out, you may want to carry an anti-mosquito cream or other pesticides to protect yourself from these undesirable parts of nature.

Another thing to include is definitely a bear spray, whether you camp in a bear territory or not, a bear spray works great to keep off all predators.

  • Emergency Whistle

A whistle won’t take up any space but can help you get attention or alert other people nearby in case you are in danger and need help.

Don’t let these items put horrific thoughts in your mind, you probably won’t even need them, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Food and Water

Carry enough food and water to last you for the whole trip and more if possible. But be sure to carry the right kind of food and by that we mean food that will not go off fast.

Canned and dry food are best for outdoor camping as they last a long time and don’t require to be refrigerated.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid carry food that give off smell. You don’t want unwanted guests showing up at your camping spot, being lured in by the smell of food.

  • Lightweight Clothing & Footwear

The clothes you pack should be comfortable and lightweight so that they do not weigh you down. For the shoes, you want something that will be comfortable to wear and walk in for long hours.

Even better if all your gears are waterproof as you never know with the weather.

  • Sunscreen Lotion and Sunglasses

No matter the season, you must always carry sunscreen lotion and apply it before you hit the outdoor sun. Sun ray may feel awesome on the skin on a winter day but can be very harmful to the skin. So keep your skin protected at all time during the day.

Do the same for your eyes with a pair of really good quality shades.

  • Camera

Okay, this item you can do without, but it would be great to have something that will allow you to capture the beautiful moments of your trip.

If your phone camera is great, then you don’t really need to carry a camera and can use your phone for both photography and to make emergency calls but if you wish to take quality pictures like a pro then a proper camera is a must.

  • Map and Compass

If you are going to be hiking, then having a map and compass might come to great use in case you feel lost.

Read Also 9 Tips for Camping With Kids

Solo-Camping Safety & Tips

 As a solo camper, you will have more responsibilities and safety precautions to take than you would if you had company. 

This is simply because the success and failure of your trip depend on you and only you.

Safety always comes first and by checking out the area you wish to camp at beforehand will save you a lot of trouble when you are actually camping there.

Pack wisely and don’t forget to double-check the check-list to make sure that you have everything that you need.

One thing that you should be prepared for are those moments when you are done admiring the beauty of nature and have enjoyed some time doing absolutely nothing. Those moments could leave you feeling weird unless you have something planned.

The best thing to pack for such moments are a few good books or a journal to do some writing. You could also carry crossword puzzles or some paint and brushes to bring out the artist in you.

Depending on other factors of your trip, you could bring along your dog because frankly speaking, it will still be a solo-camping trip but only better.


If you have a solo camping trip coming up, then we hope you are now a bit more aware of how to organize better and make your trip a great one.

Nature has so much to offer and sometimes we miss out on a lot of great things when we have other distractions. It is often when we are alone and free from duties that we realize how amazing it is to be out in the wilderness, away from all the noise and commotion of the city and our busy lives.

All it really takes is prior planning and you are set to have the best time of your life in the wild.

Read Other Related Readings: What Tent Is The Best To Use For Hunting?

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