Solo Camping Advice?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Solo Camping Advice?

Postby stray0176 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:15 am

Hi, so I've been on here for a while mainly lurking about and I finally have something to post about.

This will be my third year on the playa, and my first year single and most likely camping alone. I have camped with the same group the last two years and collaborated with them on structures, food, carpooling etc. I have the option of camping with them again this year but I think it would be cool to camp by myself and be entirely self reliant with the rites of passage theme..

So who out there has camped solo? Any experiences to share? Any suggestions or tips?

Also I have most of my own supplies already, so I'm not facing buying a whole new lot of equipment..

Thanks in advance :)
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Postby Bob » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:05 am

You've never camped alone? Anywhere?
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Postby TomServo » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:17 am

"Even though were all alone..we are never on our own"


Do it! Less bullshit to deal with.


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Postby mudpuppy000 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:50 am

Should be a breeze for you since you've already been there. I went solo the first year and other than my EZ up getting destroyed the first day had no problems. :)
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Postby AntiM » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:04 am

Bring plenty of lotion.
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Postby Bob » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:17 am

Or else it gets the hose again.
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Postby Turnip » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:37 am

The only advice I find myself fit to give is to bring extra socks, if you're the sock wearing kind.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:39 pm

You might want to consider joining one of the "villages" of such people.

No shared chores or structure, but they sorta look out for each others belongings, etc.

I think AEZ works something like that...although they don't allow gennies at all.
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Postby stray0176 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:33 pm

Bob wrote:You've never camped alone? Anywhere?


Nope never! Thats why this is very new and kind of exciting for me to think about camping alone.
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Postby stray0176 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:34 pm

Lord Of Ruin wrote:You might want to consider joining one of the "villages" of such people.

No shared chores or structure, but they sorta look out for each others belongings, etc.

I think AEZ works something like that...although they don't allow gennies at all.


I dont like genies at all so maybe I will look into that. Way too much noise and it ruins the point of camping for me. I stick to the simple stuff..
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Postby stray0176 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:40 pm

Does anyone have any experience of camping alone at the Burn? Should i be worried about my stuff if i leave it all day? I will try and talk with my neighbors and make friends with them, but thats not like camping with 20+ friends like I've done my last two years..

Any advice? Has anyone run into any problems camping alone?
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Postby Elorrum » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:20 pm

This will be my fifth year solo. I started out by just finding an open place. Setting up, I got help from some neighbors, gave help to some neighbors, voila, neighborhood. "Want a cup of coffee?" "Check in when you get back, we're barbecuing tonight..." These sorts of things. My third year I happened to camp near the same neighbors from the year before, 4th year we planned on it, next year the same. They are real nice folks. I've met solo neighbors who keep to themselves, and some who go out and meet all the neighbors. I don't think it matters where you are in the city, I'd think it would be the same all over. Say hello, introduce yourself, have a chat, sit in the shade with your neighbors. I haven't had to ask anyone to look out for me or my stuff. I say, "I'm heading out." when I go, or ask if anyone wants to go check something out. If people are sitting around when I get back, I stop and sit for a few stories, offer snacks, beverages, etc. It's all good.

I would suggest having your own shade arrangement even if small, a place to hang out.
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Postby Savannah » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:27 pm

* Make sure you can set up your tent and shade structure yourself and stake everything well. If you think there's a chance you're going to need a little help, be ready to offer drinks and reciprocation.

* Being alone means your packing list needs to be really well thought out.

* Don't stress about thievery too much. Bikes, booze and tools are most likely to go walking off, and most of these are drunken crimes of opportunity rather than organized malevolence. Remove temptation: lock your bike (to itself at a minimum) and drag it away from the street. Keep true valuables in your car & out of sight. Lock your vehicle, and strongly consider having an extra key. (One to keep on you, one to hide in camp in a responsible place.) People are unlikely to stray into your tent. It's not impossible, but it's pretty unlikely.

* Yes, introduce yourself to your neighbors, absolutely.

I camped alone last year and I was fine. It was a little weird the first two nights, because I had early entry and the city was fairly empty, but after that I had neighbors on either side.
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Postby stray0176 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:32 pm

Im not sure what my shade arrangement will be since i have a carport and I believe thats a little excessive for one person. Who knows though, maybe I will bring it and offer other people some yummy snack or something under it, get to know my neighbors that way..
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Postby Savannah » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:58 pm

Properly staked with rebar and properly rated rope, a carport is not (in my opinion) excessive for one person, but just as you say--a way to host cocktail parties or welcome in people who look like they could use a little more sunscreen or a misting.
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Postby LLQchasm » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:02 pm

Savannah wrote:* Don't stress about thievery too much...


I would think that burn night would be the opportunity that organized criminals would exploit because everyone will be at the man.
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Postby dragonpilot » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:07 pm

There's camping solo and there's camping alone...

Solo might mean by yourself, but in the vicinity of neighbors. Alone might mean setting up in the Walk-in Camping area with nearest neighbors 100 yards away...you've got options.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:18 pm

Consider bringing gifts (I'm talking booze, boys!) for your adjacent neighbors whoever they may be.
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Postby Savannah » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:26 pm

I would think that burn night would be the opportunity that organized criminals would exploit because everyone will be at the man.


This is somewhat true. It's also the case because:

1) people really like to imbibe/partake on Saturday night in particular; inhibitions are down, people get tired & wretched & occasionally steal a ride home.
2) a few weekenders don't get the point & behave in non-burny ways.
3) a lot of people leave right after the burn, last chance to steal and not be bludgeoned (unless one is caught).
4) If I remember correctly, people are discouraged from bringing their bikes to burn night in the first place. They're bad in big crowds.
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Postby socks » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Have no fear at all about camping solo.This will be my 7th burn in which i have camped solo 4 times.I have found that the walk-in camping area is a good for solo campers.Just park and set up camp behind the flag fence and introduce yourself to your new neighbors.

As for theft its out there.One year someone did go into my tent on the night of the burn and stole a IPod.But besides that one time its been good.One would think among 50,000 plus people a few assholes will slip in and do their asshole things.The best part is friends you will make.
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Postby redrum420 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:30 am

my first burn was last year, and i camped solo. i loved the freedom, the option to get up and leave whenever i wanted. or if i was getting tired, i could go take a nap. i think youll love it. food was the only concern i had. i didnt really bring anything to cook, like a meal for myself. more snacks than anything. besides that, i had a blast.
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Postby CornStar » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:55 pm

I have always figured that its 10x more likely to lose or break something than it is to get stolen. Keeping that in mind I pretty much only bring items out that I expect to lose or break. Anything fancy or expensive leave locked in your car except while you're using it. I don't know what you are driving down in alone, but I brought a couch once and it attracted all kinds of neighbors and passer-bys. It's always a good way to meet some strangers.
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:03 pm

I'm working on a patch idea, with Felix and his bag of tricks as a reference...
Image
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:55 pm

Elorrum wrote:I'm working on a patch idea, with Felix and his bag of tricks as a reference...
Image


THIS is AWESOME 8)
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Postby accordionMan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:27 pm

For the past 12 years, I've camped solo most of the time.

Many questions and points were discussed prior to this post, so here's my take:

Theft: If it's important, lock it in your car.

Car key: I sewed a loop into the bottom of ALL my playa pants pockets. I attach a piece of rope to my key and tie it to the inside of my pocket loop. With all the climbing and crawling around, I've never lost the key... knock wood.

Neighbors: Make friends! You can't have enough friends.

Register: Make sure you register where you are camping so in case of an emergency your family and friends can find you. Plus it's easier to find you if your neighbors know you.

The best thing about going solo is that you can do what you want, when you want and your responsibilities are greatly diminished. Plus you won't have to deal with other people's issues.
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Postby LittleJack » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:41 am

I completely agree with Lord of Ruin - a village is a great way to go solo.

One of the things I like best about BM is radical self sufficiency. My first year I very consciously decided to go solo, and had a blast planning and preparing. Even though a good friend came with me last year, we essentially camped as 2 solos - he shared my shade on occasion and used my stove once or twice, but we each brought everything that we needed for ourselves.

Being in a village as a solo camper has huge benefits. For example:

- You'll have neighbors who are also part of the same village, thus may have slightly more sense of watching out for the neighborhood.
- It's easy to tell people you meet where you're camping (e.g. I'm at Hushville, in a monkey hut just off the town round).
- Villages often have parties or other social functions that you can attend, but mostly don't require the time commitment and shift scheduling that a theme camp does.

In other words, all the freedom advantages of going solo with many of the community advantages of a theme camp.

SYOTP,

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Postby Bob Bitchen » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:18 pm

I pretty much camped alone last year my first burn. :D

All went well nothing was stolen knock on wood. :)

I am also camping Solo this year.

I like being solo you can do what ever you want when ever you want. :P

Except breaking the law.

You'll be fine.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:42 pm

Best way to meet people when you're camping alone is to put up a big sign that says GO AWAY.

Yup, reverse psychology, works every time. :)
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Postby Dropman » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:43 am

Good reading guys.
Thanx.
Reconsidering going solo for this, my virgin, year.
(still gotta deal with the 1 pack, 20kg stupid airline rules though)
Be bold enough to let your thoughts take wing ... )'(
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Postby addison4 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:03 pm

In some ways you can contribute MORE to camps by being a great visitor, but not interfering with their leadership and organization. You can also make contributions to several camps. Every camp needs good team players to bring in ideas and energy, but not rock the boat.

Independence itself is also good. I've found that being alone makes me go out and find more people without even thinking about it!

However, towards the end of the week the whole vibe on the playa changes, because of all the "tourists" and people aren't nearly as inviting. It's really kind of depressing; so find your new nitches by say, Wednesday. People see you differently if you are a potential friend for a week, and not a friend for a day. This goes for romantic relationships too: the sweetheart you meet on Friday will wreck you in my experience.
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