Many women are understandably nervous the first time they go solo camping, whether they’re boondocking or in a campground. Aside from safety issues, the other big thing is some are worried they will get too bored and not have enough to do. And while sometimes people will give snarky responses like well that’s the point of going camping, so you don’t have to do anything, some of us still like the structure of having optional things to do if we want.
Here is a giant list of things you can do when you are Solo camping to keep yourself occupied or just do some things that you never have the time to do when you’re at home.
- Books! And not just one, you want to grab a few. Maybe you already have a book or two you really want to read that you’ve been putting off, but I also like to bring a few other varieties of books along with me as well. I might bring a few chick-lit romance novels, then a biography on someone I wanted to read, and maybe something non-fiction like a history book or something on current events, and then maybe a cookbook you’ve never had the chance to really go through. I like to bring a variety because sometimes I’m nice and relaxed and I want to let my brain do a bit heavier reading, or I might just want to sit and just read something more frivolous. Bring a few different books and you have a variety to pick from depending on what your current mood is.
- Bring something crafty that you never have time to do at home. Most of us probably have something craft-related that sitting at home that we plan to do forever but just never have the time. Now is the perfect time to bring along that knitting project or cross stitch project or maybe some modelling clay to see if you have talent creating sculptures or knickknacks with it.
- Art and painting supplies. A sketchbook or some painting supplies, then start creating something that’s either in nature you are admiring on your trip or something that is in your mind.
- Write letters or cards to those friends and family you have that you think might enjoy a handwritten note from you. Bring postcards or envelopes along with stamps so you can mail them while you are away. If you have any younger relatives, kids love getting personal mail, even if it is just a quick wish you were here postcard.
- Start a journal. It could be a life journal, or it could be something specific where you are journalling each camping trip. The sky’s the limit on whatever you’d like to do. Here are some great camping themed journals and logbooks if you need inspiration.
- Bring your phone or iPad. Yes, there are people who will say that that’s not really camping and the point of going camping is to completely disconnect. But if I’m solo camping, I also do like to periodically check in on the news and make sure the sky isn’t falling, to check up on things like the weather or maybe any forest fire activity. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to bringing technology with you, only doing what’s right for you.
- Take a nap. There’s nothing to say that you can’t get up with the sunrise and drink coffee and then have an afternoon nap. Or you can stay up late and sleep in if you’d like.
- Go for a hike or just a walk if you don’t have the stamina for something harder. You don’t have to go on a 5-mile hike if you don’t want to. Even walking around the campground is perfectly fine. Make a goal to go around the campground, or to the beach and back, or whatever goal you choose.
- Bring a bike. If you aren’t fond of hiking, bring a bike or e-bike and ride around the campground or the area you are staying in to go exploring. Remember to bring a bike lock if you plan to stop anywhere.
- Build a campfire. If campfires are permitted, have a campfire at least one night and sit and enjoy the crackling fire. Roast marshmallows or make smores, there are no age limits on when you can enjoy these kid treats!
- Experiment with camp cooking. There are lots of great recipes you can make over a campfire if fires are permitted where you’re staying. Or work on perfecting the perfect campsite coffee. Or just experiment with what you can make in your RV kitchen, especially the oven which so many RV’ers are scared to use for the first time. And you don’t have to please anybody else except yourself.
- Do some organizing. Everybody has that one covered or one drawer in their RV that just seems to be full of junk. See if you can find homes for some of the stuff in there, or maybe see if there’s stuff you can leave at home for next time. It’s a great time to take stock of what you have in the RV and decide if it’s something you really need or not because we’re often quite rushed when we’re packing the Army getting ready to go but when you’re at the campsite and you have some free time it’s quite easy to make time to do.
- Make lists. Be sure to make a list of everything that you forgot so that you won’t forget it the next time you go. Likewise, it doesn’t hurt to also make note of the things you brought that you didn’t end up using so that you know not to bring it next time.
- Make friends. Especially for those of us that are more on the shy side, you don’t have to go up and greet everybody in your campground. But make a point of waving to your neighbours or give a quick nod to anybody you see on their site as you’re going for a walk. Baby steps!
- See what classes the campground offers. Unfortunately, while Covid is a thing, a lot of campgrounds aren’t putting out any other classes or group gatherings, but once the pandemic is over, see what programs your campground or RV park offers that you might want to do to be a little bit social or learn an activity. Larger campgrounds and RV resorts offer a wide range of activities including craft classes, cooking classes, group hikes, dance lessons and more.
- Enjoy a cocktail. There are lots of campground-friendly wine glasses, martini glasses, and more that you can use to enjoy an adult beverage while at the campground. And if you experiment with something and don’t like it, toss it out and make something different.
- Do a puzzle. You don’t need to do a 1000 piece puzzle unless you really want to, but even a 500-piece puzzle is easily doable. And there are also puzzle keepers. So if you don’t finish the puzzle you can simply pack it up and take it home without losing your progress, or carefully stow away until the next campground or trip.
- Bring a colouring book. There are adult colouring books for everything from Jason Momoa to get your favourite book or movie series. Just pick something that looks pleasing to you, whether it’s a mosaic, nature or whatever you find soothing
- Write a bucket list. You don’t have to sit down and write it all at once, but maybe just add things as it comes to you while you are alone camping
- Take a camera. Take photos of interesting things you see on walks, Sunrise, Sunset, a lake if there’s one nearby. Just be careful about taking photos of people you have in the background of a photograph because not everybody likes to have their photo taken, or blur them if you post them online anywhere.
- Listen to music. Self-indulge in all the music you love but are too embarrassed to admit. Want to bop along with some old-school Britney Spears? Or have a love for 90s era rap? Or enjoy the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s music? Listen to the music you want to listen to! Be aware of your neighbors and don’t play music too loud and disturb other campers or use headphones so you can rock out without bothering anyone, just always be aware of your surroundings if you do.
- Save articles to read while camping. You can save articles you have been wanting to read to your phone, tablet or Kindle then read while you are camping. If you save them for offline reading, you don’t even need the internet to catch up.
- Bring your dog. If you have a dog (or even a cat!) at home, consider bringing them for company. While you will know your pets best if they can handle the trip, many people bring their dogs while camping and it is also a great conversation starter, not to mention you will be required to get around the campground. Just make sure pets are permitted wherever you are staying.
- Bring a hammock. Gently rocking in a hammock is amazingly relaxing.
- Stargaze. If you normally live in the city, you will be amazed at how many stars can be seen once you get away from the city lights.
- Consider staying longer in one place, if your schedule allows it. Sometimes if you are moving daily, setting up and tearing down the campsite every day can make you be that much more aware that you are alone and doing it yourself. If possible, do less of driving to the next campsite daily and spend more time relaxing in one place.
- Anything else you want to do but never seem to have time for!
These are just suggestions, but a great start for the kinds of things you can do while solo camping, even if you are worried you are going to get too bored or feel too alone while camping.
What do you like to do while camping solo?