A Guide To Solo Camping For Beginners

A Guide To Solo Camping For Beginners

Thinking about your first solo camping trip? Knowing what to take for a solo camping trip can be tricky. You don’t want to take too much and weigh yourself down. But at the same time, it’s important to make sure you have the all solo camping gear you’ll need.

Read on to find your go to guide of all things solo camping.

What Are The Solo Camping Essentials?

Solo camping does mean you’re on your own, so it’s critical you pack the right things. Here’s our list of the most important gear you really can’t do without.

• Tent or hammock – if you’ve got lots of gear, don’t necessarily opt for the 1-man tent, think about comfort and a little extra space too
• Roll mat and sleeping bag – down sleeping bags are more lightweight but tend to be more expensive. Also, they’re harder to dry once they get wet
• Sensible, lightweight waterproof clothing – the key is to be layered up, but not weighed down
Insect protective clothing – ideal to keep the bugs at bay
Rucksack – pick one with pockets, ideally with a waterproof cover
• Sensible footwear for walking
• First aid kit
• Multi-tool knife – multi-purpose items enable you to do more with less
• Phone – for photography and emergencies, don’t forget a battery pack charger
• Map and compass – depends on your location

Food And Drink Do I Take For Solo Camping

Think about the food and drink you are happy to spend time preparing and cooking. You will probably find that after an active day of hiking and other outdoor activities, you will want to minimise your cooking and prep time. Don’t worry, we have provided our top tips on the best solo camping cooking equipment for you.

Food And Drink Checklist

• Portion your food and ration your drink carefully – opt for warmer foods if you can as it will warm you up before getting some shuteye
• Lightweight pot with a lightweight solo stove
• Spork
• Dehydrated food or boil in the bag type meals
• Prep snack bags – trail mix, dried fruit and nuts to give you little bursts of energy on the go
• Water drinking bottle – you’ll need an appropriate amount of water for cooking too
• Insulated flask with lid – you’ll definitely want to have a cuppa in the morning


Credit: Andrew Welch

Top Solo Camping Tips

Ensure you’ve got ticked off all of your solo camping essentials.

We’ve got some further hints to give you an insight of what to expect and how to prepare for your solo camping trip, especially if you’re a newbie to the solo camping world. Before you go, be sure to tell a friend or two where you’re headed and when you expect to be returning, for safety reasons.

Researching your location is our top tip for setting up your camping zone. Trust us, there’s lots of physical tasks to do on your arrival, such as pitching your tent, and safely making a fire. That’s why it’s important to find somewhere sensible and safe to camp.

Avoid any potentially dangerous areas like cliff top edges and privately-owned land too. The UK’s Lake District is often a popular choice.

Don’t make the mistake of not bothering to check the weather forecast in advance, and simply being aware of the weather as you near your destination. If you realise it’s going to be particularly stormy, windy, we’d recommend choosing a safer place less affected by the heavy rain and cold weather to camp.

Solo camping is often popular for spending quality time in the wilderness and connecting with nature. Nevertheless, don’t feel obliged to sit and twiddle your thumbs in attempt to force yourself to de-stress. Instead, relax with a good book to unwind from the stresses of everyday life.

Reading book

Credit: Lê Tân

Knowing how to pack a rucksack isn’t as simple as it sounds. Don’t just shove everything in. Pack similar items together in their own, ideally waterproof bags, and then pop them inside your backpack. You’ll avoid anything getting damp, and you’ll have a better idea of where all of your solo camping gear is.

You’re now clued up and ready to give solo camping for beginners a go. Don’t forget the handy checklists we’ve provided and remember to fully plan out your solo hiking trips in advance.

And don’t forget to tag us in your outdoor photos too! We’d love to hear more about your solo camping adventure. Simply use the hashtag #mycraghoppers on Instagram.

If you’re looking for some further solo camping inspiration, extreme camper and travel writer, Phoebe Smith offers some great insights into how to get the best out of wild adventures and solo camping trips.