26 Things to Keep Busy While Solo Camping

Updated: Jan 1

1. First and foremost, heading out alone does not mean you have to stay alone if you don't wish. So go ahead and make friends along the way. It can be easier than you think. I'm SO introverted but a simple "Hey, where are you from/what are you up to?" or asking about their camp set up is such an easy icebreaker to start chatting.

If you will be hanging out solo, here are 25 more things you could do.

2. How About Nothing in Particular???

Wow, for once you have no pressure to really be doing anything or thinking of things for someone to entertain them. Haven't we all wished we had nothing we had to do at some point? Just chill and enjoy!

3. Floating

Is it summer? One of my favourite ten dollar investments has been a superman logo shaped floaty from Canadian Tire. Splash around and enjoy the sun out on the water.

4. Download Podcasts

While you are in cell service you can download podcasts for free from Google Podcasts to listen to later offline. If you do not have much data on your phone, usually you can park outside of a fast food chain like Tim Hortons or A&W and jump on wifi for a few minutes. Many grocery stores also have free wifi, so you can also do it while you shop.

5. Get Some Books

Whatever suits you, I'm not the most avid reader but when I find a book that hits the mark it can be a quick way to pass time getting engulfed in it. Little neighbourhood free book exchange boxes have started popping up around here so that has been a way I've gotten books to try before a trip and then I will take them back when I'm finished. Or if you don't have those, thrift stores have TONS of books that will likely be .25-50cents.

6. Fire

As long as fires are allowed where you are, what a rewarding and good camp activity. From having to go collect the wood, start and maintain the fire this can fill a huge amount of time. If you make your dinner on the fire too (which let's face it, tastes SO GOOD) you've filled more of your time as well.

7. Your Hobbies

Whatever you enjoy doing at home, you can probably do here. Bring a musical instrument, paper to draw on? You'll know the answer better to this than me! But just bring your favourite activities on the road with you.

8. Pets

If you have an animal you brought with you, simply spend more time enjoying them. Now you have ample cuddle time, play time, training time. YAY!

9. Maintain Your Space

Just like at home, you'll have to take some time to keep your space nice. Shake out fur and dirt from your blankets often. Tidy up items that may be getting messy like unfolded clothes. I have a mini broom and pan to sweep out debris. If I am staying by water I will use a rag to clean up dust gathering on the dash etc. Or clean mud off the outside of the car. I don't use any soaps/solvents, just the river or lake water. Keeping your camping space nice will make it more enjoyable to be on longer trips.

10. Maintain Space Around You

If you have the space or if a garbage bin is sucks cleaning up after people who were not responsible... but you can clean up the area. Beer cans are garbage that are worth money too if you want to take them in for recycling.

11. Puzzle Books

I personally have a Soduko book that I've ended up enjoying. You can check out a place such as a Dollar Store to see what kind of puzzle books they have that interest you. They also carry interesting art projects as well so you could get something for colouring/designing.

12. Research For Your Next Day

Jump on Google Maps and zoom around for what is in your area, see where you might hike or camp in the following days.

13. Cooking

Do you cook a lot at home? Well you could still spend lots of time making meals on the go too! Choose some of your fave recipes and see how you can make it happen on the road. There's lots of ways to cook on the go with a simple fire, or a JetBoil or a mini flat propane grill.

14. Cards

Grab a good ol fashioned deck of cards and set up a game of solitaire. It's totally addicting, give a shot to see if you enjoy it. (Will make a post soon for the games I play).

15. Get Up For Sunrise

But bribe yourself with a nap! Okay yeah generally getting up for sunrise isn't the easiest thing but it can be SO beautiful. So it's worth a shot. You'll either have gone to bed early or have a nap later, so all of these combined use lots of time.

16. Exercise

Do body weight routines to save on space in your vehicle from equipment. Or resistance bands are a compact item that add a good amount of extra work to your exercises.

17. Stretching

Take care of yourself with a good stretch session. You'll feel great after.

18. Edit Photos

If you're a picture taker you can still edit photos off grid. Get an SD card reader that can plug in to your phone, called a "dongle". I would also recommend getting a portable battery pack for recharging your phone as plugging in a dongle and downloading photos can drain your phone more quickly.

19. Take Different Kinds of Photos

If you usually take landscape, try macro. Try night photography. Try product photography. Long exposures, you get the idea!

20. Download Movies

If you have subscription service you can download movies to watch offline later.

21. Learn Another Language

Duolingo is a fantastic app for language learning. There is a full free version that you can use if you have reception or if you get the paid version you will be able to practice offline as well.

22. Nap

I sure do like a nap. Being able to nap when necessary is one of my favourite things about solo travel haha!

23. Go For a Joy Drive

Cruise around the area to see what you find. Stop whenever something is interesting to you. I've found some great camp spots because I took a road going off the main road I was meant to be on. You can look on Google Maps to make a more educated guessimate if the road might lead somewhere. (Download offline maps before you leave home!)

24. Go Swimming

What a great way to pass a summer day.

25. Go For a Walk

I go for lots of walks/hikes solo but there are a few things you can do to feel safer if this idea makes you nervous. I wrote out some of the things I do here.

26. Decorate Camp

For example if I set up a tent I have a set of battery powered fairy lights that I wrap around the poles. It adds nice light for reading inside and just generally makes camp have a lovely ambience.

I hope you'll have a blast on your solo camp!

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