Camping alone is one of my favorite things to do.
I’ll be honest. It took some time before I felt comfortable sleeping on the trails by myself but I’m really glad I persevered. It has been so good for my mental health and confidence to explore nature by myself. I wish everyone could give it a go once in their life.
If you’re sitting on the fence, this article will give you seven reasons to go camping alone. From deeply connecting with nature to having enough space to sleep comfortably, solo camping has so much to offer!
Seven Reasons to Go Camping Alone
1. You Get to Be Yourself
No matter how authentic we try to be, it’s inevitable that we take on different roles with different people. We don’t act the same way with our bosses as we do with our grandmothers, or the same way with our romantic partners as we do with our best friends.
It’s perfectly natural that we show different aspects of ourselves to certain people—but which one is who we really are? The best way to get to know ourselves is to spend quality time alone.
When you camp by yourself, you get to shrug off other people’s expectations and perceptions of you. You just get to be 100% yourself.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about sharing. But I don’t get much space to spread out when I camp with my husband and 30-kilogram dog! When you go camping by yourself, you’ll be able to stretch out and bring all your kit inside. Just make sure you get a tent that’s easy to set up by yourself.
The downside of sleeping by yourself is that it can be a bit scary at first. You’re going to hear twigs snapping as curious deer come to check out what you’re doing. And the first few times when they cough, you’re probably going to think a person is standing outside your tent!
Keep persevering. Sleeping outside will be second nature before you know it!
3. You Get a Chance to Think
I don’t know about you, but I spend an awful lot of time doing. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with people I care about or taking courses to help me move forward to where I want to be.
While all of that’s well and good, it’s so lovely to take some time out to get perspective. Spending time in the great outdoors without distractions is such a great way to process everything on your plate and get some literal and emotional fresh air.
4. You Really Appreciate the Beauty
Camping with friends is a social experience. You spend the evening catching up and playing card games, which absolutely has a time and place. But when I’m camping alone, I’m not distracted away from the world in front of me.
Instead of playing a board game around the camping lantern, I get to soak up the starry sky and listen to the wind blowing through the trees. Being out by yourself makes it so much easier to connect with the beauty of nature.
5. You See More Wild Animals
I always see more wild animals when I’m camping by myself. I think that’s because I naturally make less noise. I’m not talking and my eyes are on the path ahead instead of the person next to me.
Here in the French countryside, I frequently bump into badgers, foxes, deer, hares, otters, and birds of prey. It’s incredible how close you get to these animals when you’re quieter! We don’t have many wolves or bears where I live, so I haven’t stumbled upon anything scary yet!
6. You Can Take Things at Your Own Pace
Another great thing about camping by yourself is that you can take things at your own pace. If you want to get up at 6 am and go for a wild swim, power to you! If you prefer to sleep in a bit and take things slowly, no one’s going to be pressuring you to hurry things up.
There are not many times in life when we can just please ourselves. As much as I appreciate my family, it can be nice to not have to accommodate their preferences!
For me, camping by myself means I can genuinely enjoy a wild swim. When I go camping with my friends and family, they often wait at the river banks in their waterproofs and woolly hats while I have a dip. I always have to get out before I’m ready. But when I’m out there by myself, I can splash around in the river until my fingers and toes are wrinkled. There’s no other way I’d like to spend my day!
7. You Learn to Trust Yourself
I used to hate doing things by myself. If I got to a restaurant before my friends did, I’d automatically start scrolling on my phone so that I looked busy. I always passed the map to my dad when we went hiking, and I never imagined that I’d go camping by myself.
But after a few restless nights, I soon got used to my solo adventures. I realized I was perfectly capable of navigating for myself, and I didn’t need to bury myself in my phone if no one else was around.
Since I’ve started camping, I feel a lot more confident in myself, which spills over into other aspects of my life!
Camping alone might not be for everyone, and that’s totally fine. But there are so many reasons why hitting the trails by yourself can be good for your mental health and happiness.
I challenge you to give it a go at least once. If you don’t like it, you never have to go again!
About the Author.
Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing about camping for publications like The Camper Lifestyle, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.