When ticking off your camping preparation checklist, don’t forget to plan for fun activities to do while you are out there. You may be super excited about going camping, but it can get boring when you are in the wild alone and with nothing to do. Here are some fun things to do while camping alone.
Is It Fun To Camp Alone?
It depends on your personality (do you enjoy spending extended periods alone?), how much you love the outdoors, and what activities you’ve planned.
If you are a regular camper, then you already have an idea of how much you enjoy camping alone.
But if this is your first time camping or your first time camping alone, it can be intimidating. The trick is to plan several fun activities to fill your time.
There are plenty of things you can do alone. We’ll list the best ideas shortly.
That said, if you are not a big fan of extended me time and like spending your time with friends and family, then you probably shouldn’t attempt solo camping.
Instead, tag along with friends or family members who enjoy camping. It’ll be more fun as a group.
But if you are looking forward to going camping alone, keep reading for ideas of how to fill your time and avoid boredom.
What To Consider When Planning Camping Activities?
Do not think of activities to do once you are already at the campsite. Plan them before you leave.
Planning lets you schedule different activities for each day and lets you know what you need to pack for various activities.
It also gives you time to research the best things to do around a particular campsite. If for instance there are interesting natural features nearby, you can schedule time to see them.
As you plan these activities, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Plan activities that you actually enjoy. Just because you are going camping doesn’t mean you have to go hiking even if you don’t like it. Do things that you love to make camping fun.
- Consider your fitness and physical abilities. If you have bad knees or an injury, it’s probably not a good idea to plan a daylong hike or go rock climbing. Plan for things within your ability to ensure you have fun and stay safe.
- Plan a variety of activities to avoid getting bored. Mix up active things like hiking and swimming with more laid back activities like reading and yoga.
- Don’t forget to plan for evening and nighttime activities. This is the time many campers start to get bored since you can’t see much or go far. Solo board games, a book or a movie are perfect for the evening.
- Factor in some ‘do nothing’ time. Don’t fill up all your time with activities. Part of camping is doing nothing and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Have time to relax and take in the beauty around you.
Things To Do While Camping Alone
Here are our top 10 ideas.
Camping provides one of the best opportunities to read. You have loads of time and a quiet environment.
Carry a couple of novels or books, and don’t forget a comfortable chair. If you are planning to spend most of the time reading, consider getting a comfy hammock that’s perfect for reading and napping.
You can also carry a Kindle or any digital reader if you want to carry your entire library. Most of these have a long battery life, so you can read all day long without having to recharge it.
Tip: At night, the overhead lamp may not be enough for reading. Consider carrying an additional lamp just for reading or get a dedicated reading light like this one that goes around the neck.
2. Board Games & Puzzles
There are many board games you can play solo. If you have none at home, check out the local store or search for one online.
You can also play cards alone or print a bunch of puzzles like crosswords, math puzzles, and brain teasers.
Cooking is a great way to spend your evenings and mornings when camping. The challenge of cooking outdoors with limited appliances, tools and ingredients is surprisingly fun.
Look up some interesting recipes you can try when camping and write down a list of all the ingredients and tools you’ll need.
Remember cooking is not limited to the stovetop. Try things like grilling (carry a portable grill) and roasting.
Tip: Have a complete day by day meal plan before you leave home. Know exactly what you are going to eat and the ingredients you need to pack. Don’t forget to plan for snacks and beverages like coffee and beer.
If the area you are camping at has trails nearby, take the opportunity to go hiking.
It’s up to you to choose the level of hiking you want to do. To keep it easy, choose a flat trail and hike just for an hour or so.
If you want a bigger challenge, look for a tougher trail or extend your hiking to half a day.
If you are hiking enthusiasts, plan a full day hike. Just make sure to plan your route in advance, including coming back to camp (unless you are backpacking and plan to camp at different places every night).
Tip: Remember to pack comfortable hiking shoes, snacks to eat on the way, a smaller water bottle you can carry in your backpack and anything else you might need for the hike.
You can combine hiking and sightseeing. When planning your route, look for one that takes you through interesting features and sceneries.
If you don’t plan to do any hiking, you can still sightsee whatever is nearby. But you’ll need to select a campsite that’s close to interesting stuff.
6. Yoga & Meditation
Yoga and meditation are great ways to relax when camping. The serene outdoors makes for the perfect environment for these activities.
Don’t forget to bring a comfortable yoga mat. You may need to get an extra-thick one that you can lay on the ground.
7. Journaling & Writing
If part of the reason you want to go camping is to catch a breather from a busy lifestyle, journaling is a great way to express your thoughts and talk to yourself.
Carry a pen and notebook, plus a comfortable camping chair.
If you are not much for journaling, you can do some general writing whether it’s poetry, your blog, or that book you’ve been working on.
If you plan to do extensive writing digitally, make sure your device (tablet or laptop) has enough charge. If you’ll be camping for more than a couple of days, carry a power backup like a power bank or solar generator.
8. Hobbies (Photography, Painting, Sewing etc.)
Engaging in your hobbies is a great way to pass the time when camping. If you love photography, there will be plenty of beautiful stuff to photograph.
You can also paint the nature around you, sit down with your sewing kit, make wood carvings with a whittling knife, play a musical instrument and so on.
Just pick a couple or more hobbies and pack the stuff you’ll need to do them.
Yes, you can watch movies and shows even when camping.
Since you are alone, you can easily watch from your phone or tablet. If you want a cinema experience, buy a portable outdoor mini projector plus a foldable projector screen. You can set up your own big screen wherever you are.
Tip: Remember to download whatever you want to watch before you leave home. You probably won’t be able to stream once you are in the backcountry.
A good podcast can make the time fly. Use your phone or a small bluetooth speaker to listen to your favorite podcasts.
They are great when you are relaxing in the evening or when cooking.
As with movies and shows, remember to download the podcasts you want to listen to as you may not be able to stream them once you are in the great outdoors.
Still not sure what to do when camping?
Here are a few other ideas.
- Stargazing. You’ll be far away from city lights, so you can see stars more clearly. Use a digital tool like Google Sky or a sky map app to locate interesting objects in the night sky. Here’s a video on how to get started on stargazing.
- If you are an astronomy nerd, take stargazing to the next level by getting a portable telescope or a pair of binoculars. You can even try some astrophotography with a camera or your phone.
- Camp near a lake and spend your days swimming and lounging in the water.
- Carry your bike and do some cycling around the campsite. You can do some easy trail riding or try some hardcore mountain biking.
If you prefer camping solo but don’t want to be completely alone, consider bringing your dog along. They can provide fun company and you can even play some games together.