Going on a camping trip is something that everyone should try at least once in their life. I think most people would be in agreement with that, and it’s probably something that the majority of people have done by the time they reach adulthood.
We all just have this natural compulsion to seek out nature and the wilderness. It’s probably something leftover from our ancestors who spent basically all of their time in nature and it’s also just a little break from all of the noise and business of modern daily life.
But what most people aren’t really inclined towards, is a solo camping trip. We tend to look at it as a social thing or something to do with family. Camping alone is intimidating, but it is definitely worth experiencing.
Being out in the middle of nowhere, with only yourself for company will lead you to making some interesting discoveries about yourself and about the world. Especially as darkness falls and the world slips into quiet slumber. Here’s three revelations I’ve made when camping at night by myself:
- I Have More Thoughts Than I Realized
So many things occupy your mind when you’re going through the motions of your life. Am I ready for that meeting in work tomorrow? Do I need to hire a plumber to deal with the kitchen sink or can I do it myself? I haven’t called Dad in a while, I should do that.
There is so much going on, there are so many things that demand your attention and it is basically impossible to ignore it all. Most of the time anyway. There is something about that moment when you’re sitting outside your tent with only the light of the moon and your campfire, that changes things.
The days duties are done, you don’t need to worry about the house or work or your family because they’re all back home, your mind is free. But it’s also not free, in a surprisingly beautiful way.
You have so many thoughts, and not the worrisome kind of thoughts, but the hopeful and exciting kind. Quiet, lonely seclusion opens up your mind to all the possibilities that the future holds, all of the things you want to try but haven’t got around to yet.
You are like everyone else. You’re a dreamer who normally doesn’t have enough time to dream. It’s pretty comforting to realize that you are not truly a lifeless drone who lacks the capacity to think for themselves.
- Comfort Isn’t That Hard To Achieve
One big thing which is a deterrent to a lot of people in regards to camping is how seemingly limited your comfort is. You’re leaving your mattress behind in favour of the ground, and your bedsheets in favour of a sleeping bag.
You’ve got no oven, no fridge and you only have access to as much food as you can carry in your pack. And perhaps most devastatingly, you’re away from a TV and a reliable internet connection.
But the fact is that we have a false sense of what comfort actually is. You don’t need all of that stuff, you’re just used to it. Do you think your ancestors who lived in caves that had no central heating weren’t comfortable? Or the Ancient Romans who hadn’t discovered electricity.
You can keep yourself warm without electricity while camping, it’s just a matter of wearing certain kinds of clothes and bringing along a few specific supplies such as hot water bottles. You can get more than enough nutrition from the right kinds of non-perishable foods.
And cooking isn’t actually that hard as long as you know how to build a fire. As for all of your gadgets and distractions, you get used to not having those after a couple of days, and you realize that you can occupy your mind without them.
In short, camping alone at night will teach you about yourself and about nature. You will learn that not only are you and your thoughts valuable, but that there is value in the world itself which you’ve never been aware of.