My first adventure into solo camping was quite the experience. When I brought up the idea with friends and family, the majority of responses included:
- That’s not safe!
- Aren’t you scared?
- Do you want to die?
I did get one:
- I’m so excited for you, and jealous!
Now either I’m too naive or stupid to be scared of solo travel, or there’s nothing to be scared about. I guess time will be the judge of that conundrum!
You can read how I prepared for my trip here, but I’m so excited to share where I went in this post!
I started my trip right after work Thursday evening. As soon as I had my little chitlins(students) on the bus and I was free of responsibility, I filled my cooler of ice from our break room, jumped in my Toyota RAV4 and hit the highway. 4.5 hours later I reached my first destination where I would camp for the night. An amazing little (free!) campsite, Cedar Point Recreation Area, was the perfect spot to sleep for the night. This location is first come, first serve, so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a spot in one of their 9 campsites, but when I arrived at 8pm with the sun setting and deer frolicking in the fields on either side of the drive, only 3 of the 9 sites were claimed. I backed into site number 9, directly on Lake Buchanan, and started to set up camp as the camp host pulled up to write down my tag number and let me know about the rules of the campsites. This elderly gentleman was so kind and reminded me of my grandfather as he let me know not to try to drive around the speed bumps when I leave and if I planned on drinking to make sure I do it from a koozie. Reasonable requests in my eyes. And can you be mad about the view?
I honestly cannot rave enough about this lucky find for my first night camping. They are grossly undercharging for their product, but don’t tell them that.
Some lessons learned from my first night:
- The temperature drops significantly at night in the spring in Texas. It was 90 during the day, 40 when I woke up.
- Leaving the windows down is a mistake if the temp is going to drop 50 degrees.
- One quilt is not enough to provide warmth if the temp is going to drop 50 degrees.
- Why didn’t you check the weather and temperatures you would encounter, knowing you would be camping?
- Add to shopping list: sleeping bag for cold temperatures.
This may have been my first time camping in my car, but it wasn’t my first time camping. Apparently I was so excited for adventure I forgot about common sense things like: it’s cold at night.
Any questions on my setup or experience?
More on day two coming soon!