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Your Smart Solo Camping Guide And Tips

Picture of Solo Camping In A Tent

I've been asked if I get lonely or bored camping alone or backpacking in various countries solo. The answer is yes and no!

Solo Camping offers advantages and allows us some space to be free to do as we wish "whenever". However, going alone does have negative points as well, which are few and far between that can be avoided or dealt with. More about that further on!

Some of the important thing's we need to consider is taking the right gear, knowing the essentials we need to bring, understanding the basics of camping safety and taking an adventurous attitude. A relaxed attitude is also fine if it's your time out to relax, we don't all have to climb Everest when were outdoors.

Let's take a look at what we have to consider when going solo that will help us further enjoy our camping experience.

Types of Camping Vary

Most of you will be aware of the various types of camping. The basics focused on here are backpacking (hiking with a pack on your back), base camp (having a base whether hiking or not) and car camping (driving to camp).

An Overview Of Solo Camping Gear

A good place to start is the gear needed and what's best suited for our needs. What's suitable for ourselves will be based on the time of year we go because of the weather, whether were backpacking or have a base camp, and our budget or gear supply we already have.

Your Shelter

camping tent

When backpacking the main types of shelter is a tarp, tent or Bivy. Anyone one of these can be light enough to carry and easy to store in a pack. More experienced enthusiast's and lightweight backpackers will use a tarp, hammock or bivy type shelter because they can be very light weight and compact.

There's a large amount of solo tents/one person tents on the market that vary in quality and price. Also, many features and designs to consider.

More info at our tent review site »


There's various options you can choose from when deciding what cookware is needed.

For solo camping, cooksets are very useful because they're compact, space saving, lightweight and have most of the cookware needed nesting within a set.

If your a beginner starting out base camping then you can use cookware from home or buy less expensive starter kits that will suffice. If you decide to start going on extended trips or need to travel lightweight that's the time to start thinking about quality cookware sets and gear.

More about Cookware »

Sleep System

Tent and sleeping bags

Your sleep system will include a sleeping bag, sleeping pad or air mattress and the option of using a camp cot. It's a matter of how light and compact you want to go, also how comfortable you want to be.

It's impossible to go through all the information about which sleeping bag is most suitable or the type of pad needed within this article. If you need specific information about a sleeping bag or pad take a look at the smart guide's specifically for them.

Using the other guides here will point you in the right direction:

Camping Stoves

camping stove

When we go camping alone we have a lot of options when deciding what stove to take. Again, it's based on the type of trip, how much we can pack and carry, our budget and experience.

Here's some useful points to consider about stoves:

  • Lightweight Stove Brands: Some of the top brands for durable lightweight stoves include's MSR, Brunton, Snow Peak, Optimus and a couple of others.
  • Fuel and food: You will have to decide what fuel is best for you to use and what foods you want to cook which determine's the stove that's best for you.
  • Quick meals: For fast boiling quick meals when 3 season camping you can consider stoves like the Jetboil or MSR Reactor. These can boil in 2 minutes flat and let you get back on the trail in 5.
  • Saving money and weight: For those that want to really narrow down weight and cost's then you can make home made stoves or buy a cheap alcohol stove. Alcohol stoves can be made from something like a tuna can.
  • Base/Car camping: If you only ever stay at a base camp it makes sense to get a decent two burner camp stove which enables the user to cook two pots/pans at the same time. Your beans can in the pot while your bacon and sausage is cooking in the pan!

Once again there's to much information to cover in this article about stoves. Check out the stove guides and reviews for more information.

Is Solo Camping Fun?

Camping alone can be anything you want it to be. Some people like the time and space to themselves, others are focused on an activity they have planned to do whilst away that keeps them focused.

You don't have to stay totally alone because your solo camping. Why not make new friends and speak to others? Make conversation by asking what activities are available close to the area where you camp. Invite people to tag along for a hike...

If you choose a camp out where they have activities, whether climbing, canoeing, or others that are local to the campground, you will be able to make new friends easily.

Tip: Take a new book or buy a new album for your ipod to have at hand for when you do get too much time to yourself.

Top Solo Camping Tips

Safety : Let someone know your exact plans in case problems arise, especially if your backcountry camping. It's easy to write your plans down and give it to a family member or friend. It's smart to call them if there are any changes to the original plan.

Women only: If your outdoors and want to pee in a discreet manner then you can consider using a small device that helps a girl to pee like a guy (standing up). Sounds odd I know, but many love them. more info here »

Your tent: This applies mainly for those that have a base camp. Buy a two person tent if you don't have to worry about carrying weight, you will appreciate the extra space. I would advise not to go over the top and bring a huge shelter because they are much harder to keep ourselves warm inside.

Camping List: This is mentioned throughout the site for one reason. It's very important for preparation! There's a basic checklist you can print off here.

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