Planning a winter tenting journey? Right here’s a case for going solo
For most, the benefits of traveling alone go well beyond worrying that something will go wrong.
The benefits of traveling alone start with the simple fact that a shared trip needs to be more conscious and arranged. Going alone is easier. You can eat what you want, when you want, and travel where you want and for as long as you want. But it is also a time when your senses are more alive and you are studying the complexities of nature more than ever. Traveling alone is definitely a life changing experience. Before doing it on your own, however, there are a few key points you need to consider.
Going alone in winter is a lot more work. Keep this in mind before you go and wherever you are going. Hauling gear, pitching a tent, collecting wood, fetching water – all of this takes twice as much time and energy, and you have little daylight to do it.
Make sure you are familiar with navigation, wilderness first aid, weather forecasting, and survival. Errors that occur within a group situation are often manageable. A simple blooper when solo can be deadly.
Most first-time solo gonorrhea try a single night. That’s one of the biggest mistakes.
At first you will be phobic towards the unknown and you will be frightened when you sleep in your tent at night. After the second or third day, you’ll be so exhausted that you start to relax a little. After the fifth day, most phobias go away.
On the seventh day you are at peace and the real danger becomes the desire to stay outside and live the life of a hermit.
Here are some tips for solo travelers:
Wrap up easily. Not having someone to help share the burden is a problem – so packing light should become an obsession. Be careful with your food intake.
Bring a good book. You have a lot of free time, especially when the weather turns bad. Pack something to read to keep your thoughts active and raise morale. Some solo favorites include Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael,” Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire,” John Muir’s “A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf,” and Kenneth Brown’s “The Starship and the Canoe.” My personal choice is Sigurd Olson’s “The Lonely Land”.
Tell someone at home your plans for each day. It is even more important that you stick to these plans or notify someone of any changes.
Buy, rent, or borrow a Satellite Phone and / or SPOT Personal Locator Beacon. Also, always carry a whistling pipe.
If you don’t bring these emergency devices with you, you’ll be playing silly games and unnecessarily worrying friends and family back home.
Always consider the worst case scenario and draw up an emergency plan. You may need to unplug at any time during your trip. Don’t just pack a map of the itinerary, include information about the area as well.
Keep a journal. You will have moments of deep thought there.
Use them – write everything down. Others have done the same: Henry David Thoreau, Noah John Rondeau, Paul Gauguin.
Get a full physical before you travel. You don’t want any surprises out there. It is not a good time to pass a kidney stone or have a heart attack.
Your family doctor can also help you plan your trip. My first aid kit is top notch thanks to my GP.
Never listen to people who criticize solo campers as anti-social misanthropes. Some are, of course. But most of them are versatile, highly intelligent, heartwarming people who consider it a privilege to be able to deviate from the norm every now and then.