So I’ve now been solo camping (took a trip to Massassauga Prov. Park alone), and I’ve got to say it was quite a learning experience. First and foremost though, I DID have an absolutely terrific time and I’m positive I would do it again. But there were some things I took away that I hope will make me a better camper and a nicer person to be around.
1.) Relax – I found myself fairly anxious most of the time I was in camp alone. The slightest rustle would get my head turning, and it wasn’t until I had a fire going that I felt more at ease. I know my stuff, and I did everything right, so I shouldn’t have been so wound up about animals, but regardless I was. I’ve heard that you relax more when you stay out longer, and I can see why, and camping in a shady valley probably didn’t help. I’d still rather be cautious than mauled by a bear though.
2.) First Aid is important – The very first thing I did when made camp was split up some logs into kindling, and I decided the best way to test the sharpness of the axe was to bury it into my left index finger. It was only a small cut, but it spewed human ketchup everywhere. After digging through one pack with a dripping digit, I found the first aid kit in the other pack, and bandaged it with a band aid and some electrical tape. Morale of the story, know where your kit is, and make sure it’s well stocked. Things to include:
- Bandages of all sizes
- Tensor wraps
- Disinfectant swabs
- A needle and tread (for when shit gets serious)
- Heartburn medication
- Pepto pills
- Any other needed
3.) Portaging hasn’t changed – It’s been a while since I’ve been on a proper portage, but I discovered it is still an inferior way of getting around when compared to paddling. I only had a short portage to do (370m), but rocks and a rather steep hill did make it interesting. Still sucks, but it’s a good way to get ‘out there’ into the land of motor-free boating.
4.) Canoeing is awesome – I know it’s a no-brainer, but this was my first trip of the year which required more than an hour’s worth of paddling and it felt so good! The nuances of navigation, the way the boat glides and cuts through the water. The last day I got out early to beat some weather and the sunrise was absolutely gorgeous. Driving the boat really did make the trip worth it.