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First solo camping trip

Topics related to camping, including parks and other places to camp, gear, tips and ideas etc.. (Not Necessarily wilderness survival. For wilderness survival topics please visit the Survival Category)

First solo camping trip

Postby bandlaw » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:23 pm

Greetings all! I'm getting ready to do a 3-4 camping trip this summer, and my camping buddy got called into work that weekend. Tried calling all the friends, but doesn't look like anybody can go, since I'm leaving mid-week. I plan on staying at 2 state or federal parks as far as locations go, but I wondered what tips folks had for solo camping. I usually camp with a group, and I've been camping probably 8-10 times in the last 2-3 years, so I'm starting to get some experience, but this one will be a first for me.

Any tips, advice, etc. welcome. I will be car camping, i.e. the car will be 10 feet if that from the campsite, and I will have access to water, but not electricity (well, I will have my semi-portable generator with me but won't get it out of the car unless emergency requires).

Thanks all!
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Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby pelenaka » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:35 pm

Enjoy.
Yup, that's about it since you be car camping. Now if we're talking backpacking well that's a tent of less weight.
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby RedHorse_Ronin » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:42 pm

If you are like me, then you will realize how little you actually need when there is only yourself to look out for. So many of those "necessities' become luxurious hassles.
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Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good .45acp at your side, kid.

Winston, Julia, or O'Brien? How about none of the above?

It's got electrolytes!
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby Das Sheep » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:15 am

Bring more bug spray then you think you need!
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby Gunns » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:31 am

When I was a young man I loved camping by myself. I found a few places while hunting that were surrounded by farms and no one camped at. Asked the farmers, got permission and it was better than any park. Fished and took wild game to eat. No one knew about these spots except the farmers and I never saw another soul while doing it.
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby RedHorse_Ronin » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:24 pm

Gunns wrote:When I was a young man I loved camping by myself. I found a few places while hunting that were surrounded by farms and no one camped at. Asked the farmers, got permission and it was better than any park. Fished and took wild game to eat. No one knew about these spots except the farmers and I never saw another soul while doing it.

Before getting old, fat, and in the daddy way, I was stationed in AK and ID and would just take off on my own. I loved it. There are many merits and lessons to going solo, in my experience.
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves" William Pitt the younger

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good .45acp at your side, kid.

Winston, Julia, or O'Brien? How about none of the above?

It's got electrolytes!
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby mombear » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:40 pm

I probably keep too much stuff in my car now, but when ever I go solo camping I use what is in my car. That is why I have a 6" cast iron frying pan in my BOB. I use only what is in my car. I find that over the last few years, My pack has gotten lighter. If I don't use it camping then I probably don't need it.

I recommend you use your bob, and see if you need anything or don't need anything. Over time your pack will be perfected. Just make sure your camera has a full charge/or fresh batteries. I am looking forward to seeing the pictures!!
Your failure to prepare, does not make it an emergency for me!!
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby Rosco » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:00 pm

mombear wrote:I recommend you use your bob, and see if you need anything or don't need anything. Over time your pack will be perfected. Just make sure your camera has a full charge/or fresh batteries. I am looking forward to seeing the pictures!!


I heartily agree. If you want to gauge your own skills, build a comfort level and fine tune your pack, do your best to forget that your car is even there. Solo sort of implies self-reliant. The car makes a nice safety net, but you’ll grow much faster as a camper if you can do without. You might want to keep a note book with you as ways to improve come to mind.

I’m 62 and solo camp 4 seasons in New England, but I started tailgate camping with my son 30 years ago. Mombear is right, you’ll be amazed at what you don’t need when it’s just you. It’s good to bring something to focus on (a book about fire building or compass work, etc) so you don’t get bored with no one to talk to. That’s the toughest part for me… keeping occupied. I always have a project or two in mind before I go out.

Enjoy.
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby bandlaw » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:48 pm

Took a quick 1-day solo trip this weekend to use the bob for the first time and test it out in anticipation of my longer solo trip, and definitely learned a lot. Here's a few of my lessons:

1) Eggs+sausage require a pan and a spatula. If you want that for breakfast, pack it. (haha)
2) Need to learn to better winch my main rope on my tarps (I ran a main rope across the campsite to put a tarp over the tent, which makes sure I stay dry and gives me a front porch in case it rains... it rained about 3 hours after I arrived until I packed up this morning).
3) The small tarp I used over my tent was the perfect size, and my new backpacking tent worked great instead of using my massive 6 person tent.
4) I still am not sleeping comfortably on my sleeping pad+sleeping bag combo, even with a proper pillow. Any tips appreciated!

I didn't rely just on my BOB, but I definitely used my rope, a trash bag, some of my firestarters and some other items. I didn't get to try out my magnesium fire starter, as I got into camp late and knew I only had about 3 hours to setup camp, eat dinner, and retreat under the tarp before the rain began, which fortunately came right on schedule and not early.

I appreciate all the tips - I learned a lot this week, not the least of which is the strong desire to pack lighter, especially if it is just me (even if I am just car camping). Keep the feedback coming, and I'll promise some pics from my longer trip by next Sunday.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby Rosco » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:16 pm

bandlaw wrote:Took a quick 1-day solo trip this weekend to use the bob for the first time and test it out in anticipation of my longer solo trip, and definitely learned a lot. Here's a few of my lessons:

1) Eggs+sausage require a pan and a spatula. If you want that for breakfast, pack it. (haha)
2) Need to learn to better winch my main rope on my tarps (I ran a main rope across the campsite to put a tarp over the tent, which makes sure I stay dry and gives me a front porch in case it rains... it rained about 3 hours after I arrived until I packed up this morning).
3) The small tarp I used over my tent was the perfect size, and my new backpacking tent worked great instead of using my massive 6 person tent.
4) I still am not sleeping comfortably on my sleeping pad+sleeping bag combo, even with a proper pillow. Any tips appreciated!

I didn't rely just on my BOB, but I definitely used my rope, a trash bag, some of my firestarters and some other items. I didn't get to try out my magnesium fire starter, as I got into camp late and knew I only had about 3 hours to setup camp, eat dinner, and retreat under the tarp before the rain began, which fortunately came right on schedule and not early.

I appreciate all the tips - I learned a lot this week, not the least of which is the strong desire to pack lighter, especially if it is just me (even if I am just car camping). Keep the feedback coming, and I'll promise some pics from my longer trip by next Sunday.


What was the primary issue with your sleeping kit... hard ground, slipping off the pad, back-side-front sleeping orientation, overall comfort, etc? years ago I used to pack a few of the small inexpensive childrens inflatable swimming aids (the kind that slip over their arms) to partially inflate and move around as my body found points to complain about through the night.

Don't expect a full sound night's sleep for while until you adapt. I like to place a pole or ridge running along each side of my pad to help keep it oriented with my bag and give me more of a sense of a containing structure if I attempt to roll in my sleep.
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Re: First solo camping trip

Postby Kentactic » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:28 pm

2) Need to learn to better winch my main rope on my tarps (I ran a main rope across the campsite to put a tarp over the tent, which makes sure I stay dry and gives me a front porch in case it rains... it rained about 3 hours after I arrived until I packed up this morning).


For your ridge line the two knots you need are a boline knot to tie one end to the tree and a trucker knot for the other end around a tree. You can sinch it down as tight as you want.


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