I survived my first solo camping trip last night (solo human anyway, the dog was there). I've been wanting to do that for a year or so now, and finally made myself go ahead and do it. Even so, I put off heading out until later in the afternoon and the site I had planned on using was already full of people. I ended up driving a few miles further down the road and found an empty spot. I'm kind of glad I didn't stay at the original place as the new one I found was more open and private. The site was off an NC Forestry Service dirt road named Cathey's Creek Road. It's located in the Pisgah National Forest and the area is packed with hiking trails and waterfalls.
The experience wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Not that I expected it to be bad or anything, I was just a bit apprehensive about spending the night by myself in the woods and was pleasantly surprised by how good it made me feel. It was a bit chillier than I expected but overall it was pretty fun. Granted, if the dog hadn't been there I doubt I'd have slept more than a few minutes at a time. The mind tends to wander off pretty quickly when you're alone in a pitch black tent in the middle of the woods. And trust me, my mind can wander into some very freaky places if I let it. There were quite a few times when various serial killers, bears, and Eastern Puma were going to suddenly tear into the tent and torture, maul, and/or eat me. And don't even get me started on what was going to crawl up out of the stream and, finding a colorful tent in its favorite napping spot, would tear me apart in a limb ripping rage. But once I reconciled myself to the fact that Shelbe would probably hear anything coming up on us quite a bit sooner than I ever would, I managed to fall asleep.
I'll definitely be doing it again soon and I'll plan things out a bit better beforehand. For one, a nice warm blanket will accompany me next time and not just jeans and a sweatshirt (yeah, I had the sleeping bag for warmth, but Shelbe claimed that as soon as she stepped into the tent so I had to "share" it with her...not going to kick the poor dog off the only soft, warm thing available to sleep on after all) . Plus I'll need to replace one of the tent poles since I managed to snap it when I was packing up camp.
All in all, a very good experience for me and I'm glad I did it.
As this is my first post, the links to right will point you to my pics page on Flickr and to my Video page at YouTube.