As you may have guessed, I love camping! This is the time of year where I am usually on my computer almost daily to book various sites and campgrounds. Mostly because I love camping in August. It all needs to be booked so far in advance.
My super amazing camping friend had to bail on me for my annual girls backcountry trip this year. I thought about it long and hard, and decided to take the plunge and do it alone. It will be my first solo trip, and I have been getting super fired up since booking the trip. I chose a much easier canoe route than she and I usually do. It has much shorter portages, though from what I have read some of them are short but tough due to elevation.
At first I was thinking of adding someone else to fill my friend’s shoes, but decided to take the opportunity and do it alone. Initially, I figured that it would be easier to do it with someone else because I have the right gear for a duo or more. But the cards were dealt. Even while we are out there camping, my friend and I often chat about doing solo trips.
This is my chance!
Traveling on my own means a change to the way I pack and a reassessment of my luxury items!
I have a relatively large bulky older style stove – it was the first piece of equipment I thought to downsize, and it has been a piece of equipment I have been eager to replace. I have seen so many smaller wood burning stoves that I have my eyes on. It may mean I need to bring a bit more firestarting materials but at least I can cut weight on fuel and the old bulky stove itself!
I am always finding new ways to pair back on the clothing I bring. Each year I change it slightly to account for the requirements of the previous year. This year, knowing I can fully rely on my sleeping bag to be too warm, I should just need some PJs, camp clothes, and trip clothes!
My friend and I each upgraded our tenting system to a hammock system last year. I am super excited about sleeping in it again! It gave me a bit of the sensation of being out there on my own last year, so I feel like it will work perfectly this year!
Cutting back on the food. Because I will be alone, I will only need to worry about my own food. So, by default that gets rid of half that weight!
Tightening up my first aid kit. I have a pretty hefty first aid kit. I usually plan to have enough stuff so that if anyone in my group gets hurt on any one of the days we have enough first aid supplies to get out as safely as possible. I am going to go through it and just bring the bare minimum.
How to choose the luxuries. We often bring a fair bit of wine between the two of us. I would pair down by half by going on my own, but I may pair down even more so that I don’t have to lug around the weight. It’s such a hard choice though. Sipping on a glass of wine, watching the sunset is the most spectacular thing out there in the wild. The other luxury that I usually bring is a second hammock. Again, being able to sip my wine while reading a book in my lounging hammock is so incredible. I guess I will have to pack it all up and see how it fits and feels.
The thing that I probably won’t cut back too much on are my tarps and rope. I have been caught in massive amounts of rain and definitely want to do everything I can to stay dry. I look forward to checking the weather forecast a few days before I go!
Sometimes opportunities present themselves in interesting ways. Often, if plans change it’s easy to react to it, or be disappointed, especially if you are excited about the plans. You may get a gut feeling, and you just know what the change is telling you to do – go for it, or back out. Other times you may need to search yourself for what your surprise change means for your life. In this case, I see it as an opportunity to put my skills to the test.
As we get more bit by the outdoor adventure bug, it will mean even more camping adventures through future summers. The kids are as excited about their backcountry adventure this summer as I am for mine. Next year I may have to add a couple more trips so that everyone gets their little bit of adventure!