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Hello kind krafters!
Hope you are all enjoying the summer and making time for rest, relaxation, and fun! This past long weekend I headed off to Cape Breton Highlands National Park for a three-day camping trip. One big thing on my bucket list is to visit every Canadian National Park by the time I turn 30. At 21, I still have many to go, but Cape Breton was certainly one of my favorites so far.
The trip almost never happened, primarily because with no friends or family able or interested in going, I was faced with the option of go alone or not at all. The idea of camping alone was a little daunting, for myself and my concerned family. But, I didn’t want the fear of being alone to stop me from doing something exciting. So, I spent a few days planning and prepping, making sure I had everything I would need to be well fed, warm, and safe. And you know what? It was an awesome trip! Being alone meant I could do what I wanted when I wanted, which lead to a lot of early morning back to back hikes, and late afternoon reading breaks. I was prepared with pocket knifes for protection, and opted out of hikes through coyote territory where I felt unsafe all by myself. I even brought my little dog Molly along with me as a companion. All in all the trip was enjoyable and eye opening as to what I am capable of and reality that saying no to an opportunity because no one else will go or do it with you, doesn’t have to be the only option. Below are 15 things I learned camping alone in the highlands, with a few tips I’d like to pass along to all of you kind krafters!
Lookoff views from along the Cabot Trail. For more photos check out my Instagram!
15 Things I Learned Camping Alone in the Highlands
1. You can start a fire, it might be slow and you’ll might use a lot of matches, but yes you can do it. Kindly neighbours with lighter fluid are also helpful.
2. Most of your portable chargers will probably die before you actually need them to sustain your google maps guided homeward drive. Remember your car charger.
3. Dogs make good companions, but will demand to sample all of your human foods.
4. You will likely never regret bringing a toque and baselayers, you might even wear them to bed under piles of fleece, your mummy sleeping bag, and two blankets.
Puppy cuddles to keep warm at 5:45am, and the wake up views from my tent.
5. Don't forget dish soap. You can probably forget a bathing suit and shorts.
6. Dogs make good heat packs at 5am in the morning.
7. Audiobooks make great driving companions, but make sure your chargers work.
8. Always have a knife in your pocket. Your Mom will be thankful. Mini machete sized saw optional.
9. Packable coffee French press thermos. I think this one speaks for itself.
10. It’s not weird to camp alone, don’t let anyone tell you that.
My camp site, and my furry companion.
11. Eggs scrambled in butter on top of biscuits is the best camp breakfast.
12. Always bring a tarp, some rope, and lots of bungee cords. They’ll keep you and your tent dry.
13. Collect your kindling, twigs, firewood, and rocks to keep your tent corners weighted down when it’s still light out.
14. Always pack a headlamp, they’re helpful in most situations.
15. You are always much more capable and much stronger than you think. Don’t sell yourself short, trust in your abilities and preparation.
Saying goodbye to the Highlands from Cape Rouge; sunburnt with messy camp hair, but happy.
Seriously, kind krafters, you can do anything you set your mind to, and being alone doesn’t have to stop you. I challenge you all to trust more in yourselves, in your strengths and abilities. Find something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t. Prepare, research, plan appropriately and do it! I believe in you all, and hope you’ll share some of your fearless experiences with me!