I have yet to branch out on a solo backpack or overnight camping experience. Lucky me, I’m surrounded by friends and family who want to go hiking and camping as frequently as I do. But, it is a personal goal to get out at some point for my own campout.
Why? I want to test my limits.
I don’t mean test my limits in the sense of gnarly climbs or really far-out locations. I want to test my limits in the sense of clearing my own head, facing my (irrational) fears and being comfortable alone in the vast darkness (or… midnight sun).
Here’s a good, brief article in Outside Online about “Sleeping Alone While Female”. I found some humor in it because it reminded me of an overnight I did this fall with my friend Amanda. After I got back from Germany, I was itching to get out for some fresh air and grounding before jumping back into the grind. I had made up my mind that whether Amanda came or not, I was going out for an overnight on this easy trail I knew. It was far enough out that I’d be “away from it all”, but close enough that in case of an emergency I’d be in cell phone/vehicle range easily.
For a handful of reasons, I’m so glad Amanda was there. 1: it was cold AF, as the kids say, and I was really glad to have someone next to me in the tent. 2: as soon as I was in the tent I remembered the stories about creepy clowns around the US and was immediately spooked. #3: there was a serial killer loose in Anchorage this fall and I started getting scared that the killer would come to the trail and hurt us. #4: it was cold AF.
You can work your mind up to anything if you just let it run long enough… I’ve tabled my dreams of camping alone for the winter, but this isn’t the last you’ve heard on the subject.