5 Tips for Your First Solo Overnight Camping Trip

Dan wowak looking into a forest

Nicole Breighner April 22, 2021

Someone’s first solo camping trip in the great outdoors marks an exciting time. First, alone adventures can be both thrilling yet intimidating. If you are actively planning or considering your first alone overnight camping trip here are five tips to help you succeed:

1. Leave an Emergency Plan

It is best practice to always leave an emergency plan with two people before you leave for the woods. This plan should include the date and time you left, the date and time you should return home, your GPS or address where you will be, and who they should contact if you have not returned.  

2. Location, Location, Location 

Choose a location that provides both isolation yet easy access back home. It is best to scout out a good location for your trip prior to spending the night alone. Day hike the area so that you can verify access roads, water supplies, and any other necessities. Also, time how long it will take to get to camp from your parking location. You could always hike with one of your emergency contacts ahead of time to show them exactly where you plan to stay. Scouting your location will also help you verify if you have cell phone service in case of an actual emergency.

3. Test Gear Prior 

Sometimes trips can have an underlying motivation to test new gear. However, stay focused on the fact that your first solo trip is about being in the woods alone. Therefore, limit yourself from taking new or unused gear. You don’t want to have gear failures or increase the probability of hurting yourself. For example, it is easy to cut yourself with an unfamiliar knife or axe. So, test your kit at home prior to your first solo trip.

4. Remember To Check-In

A solo camp trip can cause your mind to be full of multiple things other than checking-in. Make sure to remember to check-in with your emergency contact when you arrive at your camp and when you are returning back home. This is critical! The last thing you want is for someone to think you are lost or hurt and send help to come rescue you. 

5. Journal and Take Pictures

Take extra pride during your solo adventure. Documenting your journey in your bushcraft notebook, taking photographs, or video journaling will be worth the effort. Keep a log of all the items you brought and used. Be sure to share and tag us! 

Assure a safe and successful trip with these simple tips. Have you already gone on a solo trip? What other tips do you have that we missed?

 Are you ready to gear up for your next trip? Be sure to check out all the camping, bushcraft and survival gear Coalcracker has to offer. 

Solo yet safe when you… Stay in the woods!

Author: Sara Jo Fegley