How to Go Solo Backpacking

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Backpacking can be a wonderful activity to do with friends. But if you’ve only ever gone on group backpacking trips, you may be missing out! Solo backpacking trips are a great way to take time to yourself, reflect on life, and just recharge from the general stresses of life. Here’s what you need to know about solo backpacking.

Picture of a Backpacker

If you are just getting started, check out Backpacking for Beginners.

Benefits of Backpacking on Your Own

Backpacking alone is great because you don’t have to worry about slowing a member of your group down or going so fast that no one else can keep up. You can determine the pace and stop or slow down when you need to without disrupting anyone else’s flow.


Completing a backpacking excursion alone will also give you a confidence boost. It will show you just how much you’re capable of when you put your mind to it. You can accomplish great things without relying on others when solo backpacking!

What to Bring on a Solo Backpacking Trip

Safety first! Stock up on first aid supplies before heading out on your solo trip. While first aid supplies are vital for every backpacking excursion, you want to be especially prepared since injuries can be more dangerous when you’re on your own. Make sure you also familiarize yourself with how to use the various items in your first aid kit.

Picture of a first aid kit

You should also bring a way to communicate in case you don’t have good cell reception. A satellite messenger or a personal locator beacon are great investments. If you’re in danger, they will help you easily send an SOS.


Feelings of loneliness setting in when solo backpacking is to be expected. You can only sit with those feelings for so long. Because of this, it’s a good idea to pack a journal, sketchbook, novel, or something else to keep you occupied during your downtime when backpacking alone.


3 Tips on How to Go Backpacking Alone

Picture of a backpack

1.     Build Up to Harder Trips Gradually

The first solo backpacking trip you ever go on shouldn’t be a massive undertaking unless you’re a highly experienced backpacker. For best results, it should be in an area you’re already familiar with. Like with most things in life, it’s best to start out small and gradually increase the length and difficulty of your trips if you go on future solo adventures.


2.     Share Your Trip Details in Advance

It’s always a good idea to let at least one person know exactly where you’re going and when before you head out on your trip. Let them know how long you’ll be gone, the route they are taking, and any steps you’d like them to take if you return when expected.

Checking a Trail Map

3.     Prepare to Succeed when Solo Backpacking

If you assume you’ll fail, you probably will. Although it’s important to have measures in place to mitigate risks if things go wrong, you should believe in yourself. People go solo backpacking every day. There’s no reason you can’t do it!


With these tips in mind, you’ll know how to go backpacking alone in a way that’s safe and fun. It could become your new favorite way to go on backpacking trips!

For more tips on solo backpacking, check out this article from REI.


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