Glamping to Solo Camping

Glamping to Solo Camping


Let’s talk about camping. Camping was merely something I’d like to try until the beginning of this year. Our glamping trip in April ignited the fire. I felt like we might actually like it if we try. After our try-out overnight camping trip in May proved my hunch was right, camping quickly became another way for us to enjoy the great outdoors together.

In October, I did something I never thought I’d do in million years. Solo camping. No, I am not joking! I enjoy the comfort and luxury of car camping so I tried car camping alone with Xena. For those of you who are new to camping,

Car Camping:  A type of camping which involves driving rather than walking to a campsite.

Since you can drive to a campsite, you can bring whatever you want to make you feel comfortable. Take as many blankets you need to keep you warm at night for one. Between Xena and me, we have 6 blankets in the tent and 4 of them are down. LOL

I decided on a campground near Lake Arrowhead which is only 2 hours away from home and takes a reservation. I prefer primitive camping but driving around to find an available campsite on Friday afternoon didn’t sound fun to me at all.

Prior to this trip, we only camped with my adventure buddy Jen and I heavily relied on her knowledge and experience. So as the trip date approached, I got anxious and nervous. What if this, what if that thoughts kept popping up throughout the day. A week before the trip, I drove to Big Bear Lake and hiked. Big Bear Lake is past Lake Arrowhead so I can stop by at the campground on the way back and check it out to calm my nerves. The plan worked. I drove around the campground, talked to one of the rangers and scoped out our campsite. I liked the site! There are no other sites adjacent to our site and we are next to the water and bathroom. Perfect. My anxiety rooted from unknown vanished. Now I was only feeling the excitement.

I took a half day at work on Friday and drove up to Lake Arrowhead. Camping feels like playing house to me, only I am playing all roles. Mom, Dad, and Kid. Xena is the dog, of course. I just finished setting up the tent when a middle-aged couple walked into our campsite. Xena didn’t bark but she was very much alert. Oh no, what is this? Are they not happy with Xena being off-leash? She didn’t leave our campsite though. I tried to tell Xena via telepathy, Don’t approach them nor bark at them right now pleaaase. They noticed we both were uncomfortable so they stopped walking and stayed near the entrance. I walked toward them and the woman put her hand out and showed me a small paper plate covered with aluminum foil. They introduced themselves as our neighbors. They were 3 generations of family camping with 3 Huskies on the other side of the bathroom. They told me to holler if I need anything. They brought over homemade egg rolls to welcome us. I was so shocked and absolutely touched by their warm gesture! Any worries I had about that weekend, ALL GONE at that moment. As I mentioned before in my solo travel post, when you travel alone with a trained dog, you meet the kindest people!

I had my chili and the homemade egg rolls for dinner by the fire. They were absolutely delicious (want the recipe!) but mostly they warmed my heart. I couldn’t stop smiling.



Dogwood trailhead is located in the campground so we explored it next morning.



And spent the afternoon taking naps and doing puzzles. I won’t name names but certain someone did most of the napping.



Exploring always makes us happy but the best part of the weekend was the early mornings. Sitting by the fire drinking coffee watching the sunrise. We were the first ones to be up both days. We very much enjoyed the sleepy campground for several hours before others were ready to start the day. By then, we were ready to go out and explore. 🐾

How much longer do I have to wait for that coffee?
Here comes the sun


I absolutely loved every minute of that weekend. After solo camping, my camping confidence shot up to another level and it felt great. That’s the best way to learn something new. Self-reliance was empowering. Glamping to solo camping in 6 months… Who would’ve thought? Never say no to a new adventure!

Adventure on!


30 comments on “Glamping to Solo Camping”

  1. Solo camping is something that I haven’t built up the confidence to do. Part of this is because I almost always have a willing partner ready to go. In fact, she’s been pushing us to go camping in the cold weather months. We haven’t really done much cold weather camping though since it requires a different set of equipment that we haven’t been eager to invest in. Four-season tents may as well be called one-season tents.

    1. Haha, camping gear isn’t cheap for sure! I see people going camping in snow. No thank you! My limit is mid 30s F. If I need hand warmer and foot warmer at night, that is “too cold to camp” in my book. Let me know if you try camping this winter. I’d love to hear about your experience!

  2. Jamie, congrats solo camping girl! You’ve largely conquered your fear of heights and now solo camping. I’m proud of you! And you’re right -new adventures are ‘usually’ GREAT… but just remember -there are no guarantees in life, and a bit of fear in the back of your mind is always a healthy thing. I’d be remiss to not recommend always hiking with a friend, but when that option’s not available it’s always nice to be able and comfortable heading out solo -especially if Xena is along. You couldn’t ask for a better hiking companion! Have fun grrl, and my best to Xena!

    1. Thank you Mike!! Your point and concern well taken! I hiked alone without Xena only once (not purposely) and I was not a fan. I was wary of male hikers. Since then, I always hike with my girl. She is such a guard dog. I feel 100% safe with her by my side even though she is only 1/4 of my weight. Haha!

  3. I love the photos of Xena waiting for coffee. Car camping also means sleeping in your car instead of a tent (in my mind anyway). It’s totally the way to go cuz, no wet blankets! I can’t wait for Christmas break. I plan to camp even if i go alone.

    1. Thank you, that’s my favorite photo from the trip as well. True, I haven’t try sleeping in my Subaru yet. I wanted to then now I have a mix feeling after my car was invaded by field mice during night on another camping trip. It was traumatizing experience for both me and the mice… Well, I hope you get to camp during Christmas break! 🙂

  4. Oh I wish I can try solo camping too! I don’t have any experience in camping in the wild or any campsites, not even with a friend so I was really hesitant in trying to camp alone when I did a work holiday in New Zealand. There were hikes that I wanted to do but I didn’t because I was not confident of trying solo camping so I wish I could have tried something like this first. Or at least have someone like Xena for company? I love that photo of her waiting for coffee though, her expression was so cute! 🙂

    1. Xena will protect you! 🙂 I’d definitely recommend trying camping with others first before you try solo camping for your safety. I learned a lot by observing my friend when we camped together from basic stuff to little tricks she learned over the years. If you are not prepared, it won’t be as fun and pleasant to say the least. Always safety first though!

      1. Hahaha, Xena is always welcomed to come to my rescue anytime. 🙂 I guess that’s true – always safety first! Oh well…I will just have to give this a try another time instead…:)

  5. Awesome job on getting out there! eventually you should try solo backcountry camping. Its amazing confidence and peace it gives you! just look for a spot not too far from your car incase you need to bail and it gives you a piece of mind!

    1. Thank you. It wasn’t so bad at a developed campground and especially when you have kind neighbors. What helped for me was checking out the campground ahead time so it wasn’t a totally unfamiliar place when I returned for camping. You feel so free when you camp alone.

  6. Love this! I solo camp as often as possible and find it to be one of the most relaxing and mind reatoring activities out there.
    I will be taking my longest trip yet (all summer) traveling the country. The first half will be with my pup. I am a bit nervous as I have never brought him camping before this. Long car rides, long hikes, and a lot of new places … I think he will dig it 😊
    Perhaps we will meet on the trailer someday!

    1. Thank you! Wow, all summer?!! That sounds awesome. Before I had Xena, I thought all dogs like car rides. Wrong! Haha. Some dogs do not like camping. You just don’t know until you try. I hope all goes well for you and your pup! Yes, perhaps we will meet on the trail someday. If you see us, please say Hi!

  7. Love this post and the Glamping post! So fun to read your transition from glamping to solo camping, but looks like you and Xena have fun no matter where you are 🐶💕

  8. Reblogged this on American Glamping Association and commented:
    So often we hear stories of lifelong campers transitioning to glamping as traditional camping becomes less practical with age or other circumstances . Jamie and Xena have an opposite transition story of how glamping helped ease them into solo camping. No matter where you are in life we hope Glamping has been or will be able to help get you closer to nature.

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