Last year, shortly after my first ever solo camping trip, I wrote this post about five reasons you should go solo camping.
Now, with a few more solo camping trips under my belt, I think it’s time I gave you even more reasons to go camping on your own.
I’m basically like that friend who started doing hot yoga, and keeps on telling you that you should do hot yoga, and gives you all these reasons why you should try it, and will not take no for an answer, no matter how many times you try to tell her that you don’t even like cold yoga.
(Except I’m totally not that friend. I would never make you put on spandex to go hang out in sweltering room full of people doing the downward dog. But I am about to suggest you go live in a nylon sack by yourself in the woods for a couple days. So I’m not entirely sure which one’s worse.)
1. It’s a cheap way to travel on your own.
Here’s a fun fact: I’m poor.
Here’s another fun fact: Hotels are freaking expensive especially if you’re traveling on your own.
Even though all of my camping trips in the past year have been to places in Michigan, I still could not have afforded these trips if I hadn’t been camping.
Sure, I could have stayed in cheapo, sketchy motels. You know the kind with the parking lot right in front of the door, which makes it easy to drag the dead bodies to your car. But even those kind of places cost forty or fifty dollars a night. Whereas a campsite usually only costs about twenty dollars a night — often less if I opt for a site without fancy stuff like electricity and running water.
Plus, there’s also the possibility of saving money on meals, since you can make most of your meals at your campsite.
Note I said this is a “possibility.”
Mind you, this is hardly ever a possibility for me. Because when faced with the choice of eating quick oats at my campsite or going to the local diner and eating diner food, I will almost always choose the local diner. Because DINER FOOD, YOU GUYS.
Plus, I figure since I’m saving money by staying at a campsite rather than a murdery motel, I have more money for diner food!
2. You can pack ALL THE THINGS.
The first time I went solo camping, I really took the whole roughing it thing to heart. I didn’t pack a lot of things that I would later wish I had packed — like my air mattress.
You guys, there was maybe a point in my life when I was much younger, and I could sleep on the ground with nothing more than a sleeping bag and my own sweet dreams, and not wake up feeling like a creeky skeleton. But I am well past that point. I am old. I need a mattress.
Now, I just pack pretty much anything I could ever possibly need. After all, when you’re going solo camping, you don’t have to worry about making room in your car for other people and all their annoying, other-people things. Instead you can just pack your car full of all your annoying things.
When I went on my ten-day camping trip to the Upper Peninsula this past month, my car was completely crammed full of my junk.
Including my bike (which I used exactly once before the kickstand broke off), five bags of groceries (most of which I never ate because DINER FOOD, YOU GUYS), and not one but two mattresses (because, trust me, there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to realize that your air mattress has sprung a leak, and you’re flat on the ground, and you are now a creeky skeleton).
3. You never have to argue with anyone about the best way set up your tent or build the campfire or fill the air mattress or HOW YOU’RE DOING EVERYTHING WRONG EVER.
One fun, totally-not-creepy thing that I like to do while I’m solo camping is listen to my camping neighbor’s conversations. (What? That’s not creepy, right? I mean, I figure, if you really wanted to keep your convos private, you wouldn’t go have them in the middle of a campground in front of a couple dozen strangers with nothing but nylon tent-walls for privacy.)
These conversations usually go something like this:
Camper 1: Yay, we’re camping!
Camper 2: Wahoo! This is going to be awesome!
Camper 1: Let’s set up the tent. But not like that. I SAID NOT LIKE THAT.
Camper 2: Hold the pole. HOLD THE POLE! WHY DID YOU LET GO OF THE POLE??? WHY DO YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME???
Camper 1: Why do I never listen to YOU?? Why do YOU never listen to ME??? I SAID NOT LIKE THAT!!!
And so on and so on, until at least one of the campers wishes they had decided to stay in a motel room, where it would be much easier to murder each other.
Needlesss to say, I never have these arguments while setting up camp because, well, I never have anyone to argue with.
Except inanimate objects. But, luckily, they never argue back or plan to murder me in my sleep.
4. Be pretty much the only person at the campground who is doing nature “the right way.”
Now, I’m sure you’re shaking your head right now, saying, “But, Sally, there’s no WRONG way to do nature.”
To which I have to tell you that you’re wrong.
During my recent ten-day camping trip, I noticed lots of wrong ways of doing nature.
These ways included: screaming, listening to NASCAR loud enough on your truck radio so everyone can hear it, screaming, having late-night parties complete with tiki torches, a corn hole tournament and blaring Steve Miller Band music, and, well, screaming (OMIGOD, YOU GUYS, WITH THE SCREAMING).
Meanwhile, this is what I was doing:
Oh, and this:
I was like Henry David Freaking Thoreau.
If he drank herbal tea and read Kindle by firelight.
5. Solo camping is the new solo traveling.
Remember when solo traveling was super edgy and nobody was doing it and your mom was convinced you were totally going to die?
Well, guys, I hate to break this to you, but solo traveling is sooooo 2005. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is solo traveling these days. And they all have solo travel blogs to prove it.
But you know what absolutely nobody is doing ever?
To prove this, I want you to do something for me right now.
Go to Google, type in “solo camping,” and tell me who’s ridiculously unhelpful and terribly unpopular blog shows up as the number one Google search result.
Yes, it’s my blog!
You guys, if my blog is the number one Google search result for solo camping, that has to mean that hardly anyone else is blogging about it, which means hardly anyone else is doing it, because do people really do stuff without blogging about it, anymore?
Every time I go on a camping trip, I make a point of walking around the campground to see if I can spot any other solo campers. (What? That’s not creepy either, right? Slowly strolling around the campground, peering into each site to see how many people are camping there. Not creepy at all.)
On the half-dozen camping trips that I’ve taken in the past year, I’ve seen exactly three other people camping on their own. And only one of these three was another woman.
Now, I’m sure in a few years EVERYONE will be solo camping and will have fancy solo-camping blogs, and old-timers like me will be talking about how we went solo camping before solo camping became a thing.
But for now solo camping is the new frontier!
It’s fresh and new and exciting and nobody’s doing it!
Plus, I can guarantee you that your mom will be convinced you’re going to die.
(Hi, Mom! I haven’t died… YET!)
Have you ever been solo camping? What are some other reasons to go camping on your own?