July 2, 2023

Why you should go camping by yourself.

After a few weeks of writing somewhat depressing and thought intensive blogs, I decided to do something different this week. 

I decided to go camping by myself. 

This decision was largely inspired by a friend who I caught up with a few weeks ago, where he told me about how his life had essentially been flipped upside down in every way. 

He had been laid off from his job, he and his girlfriend of five years had broken up, and he was moving back home. 

Circumstances like that would properly fuck anybody up, right? So what does he decide to do? Go on a month long road trip across the country.

Fucking sick.

This inspired the hell out of me, because this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. But I’ve just never had the circumstance or the initiative to do it. 

So after weeks of just waiting around, I decided to take a bit of my own advice and just go out on my own as well. Sitting at home and continuing to do whatever the hell it is I do on a daily basis isn’t going to do anything for me, so I might as well try something new.

So in just a night, I plan my trip and get ready to head out on Monday morning. 

My overall goal of this trip was to drive all the way up from Sacramento to Redwood National Park and back, within four days. Not that difficult right?

Well little did I know, that’s actually pretty damn far. And driving along Highway 1 where the roads are constantly winding around and you’re constantly scaling up and down mountains can be pretty taxing if you’re driving for 5+ hours a day like I was. 

As I drive up I begin to feel a little bit of loneliness, wishing that I had someone with me on this drive to keep me company and make me feel like this wasn’t a stupid idea. 

Along the way even as I stop at random hikes or secluded beaches, I enjoy it but I still somewhat wish there was someone there to share it with.

My first destination of the day was Sea Ranch. To which I was quite disappointed because there wasn’t any clear public access to any trails or beaches, at least not that I could find easily. Just a bunch of private property that someone incorporated into a weird neighborhood with quirky modular homes (which I later discovered there’s a cool ass story behind these houses, so now I definitely want to come back).

(not my photo)

Eventually I arrived at my home for the night, Fort Bragg. 

I reserved a camp spot here the night before, but little did I know it wasn’t a normal campsite. It seemed like it was on someone’s land that was then later repurposed into a campsite in the thick of the Northern California woods. So it felt as if I was setting up camp for the night in someone’s backyard.

Also, once you stepped foot on the property, you lost all cell service. So being that I hadn’t really spoken to anyone that day at all, I decided to drive into town and tell my family I’m alive.

As I wander around trying to get some service, I start to get nervous. It’s getting dark and I still haven’t set up my camp, eaten dinner, or even gotten firewood. The last thing I want is to be setting up my spot when the sun goes down while I’m by myself.

So after a quick phone call with my mom, a trip to the store for firewood, I was on my way back to my shady camping spot. 

I manage to set everything up, make myself a nice pot of mac and cheese, and even get a fire going relatively quickly. I think to myself, “Damn, I’m pretty capable. I’m good at this camping shit.”

To pass the time I just write in my journal, listen to music, start to whittle a stick with my pocket knife, or just zone out and stare into the fire.

It was incredible.

I was afraid that being out there with no ability to contact the outside world was going to be boring and I was wondering what I would be doing with my time. It’s like the fear of being bored, you know? Like what am I literally going to be doing? 

Well what I realized is that, you don’t have to do anything. Do nothing, seriously. 

It was refreshing to be able to sit there and wander around on my own without always having to be distracting myself with my phone or with someone else there even.

I could really just be by myself to the fullest extent and with nature and shit. 

That night I decided to go to sleep early (because what else am I going to do) and I slept in as much as I wanted the next day.

Here’s where the story gets unfortunate though. 

The next morning, after I make myself some breakfast and pack up my campsite, I’m ready to hit the road again. 

As I’m pumping gas I decided to call my mom and update her on the night I spent and what my plans are for the upcoming day. 

Unfortunately, this is where my trip is cut short, as she convinces me to come home early and abandon my plans to reach Redwood National Park.

As I head home, about an hour into my trip I then realize, “Why the hell am I going home? That’s literally the last place I want to be. Why did my mother tell me to come home? I’m already out here, why would I come back?”

So when I try to reset my GPS, it becomes clear to me that I’m already too far out of the path to turn around and go anywhere significant.

I was stuck on the road back home.

I was crushed. Then I was angry. 

Why would I allow myself to do this?

Did I not have enough faith in myself to keep going?

Was I satisfied doing only the bare minimum?

What’s the point of just leaving for two days and coming back home? 

This drive wasn’t a total loss though. I manage to stop at every interesting detour I come across. Hiking along sea cliffs and meadows that I see from the road every chance I get. 

Driving through the thick redwood forest on my way out from the coast was also pretty fucking awesome too. And then even driving through wine country areas like Navarro and lakes were just beautiful to look at.

But once I return home I’m still pretty upset with myself. I told myself I would never cut myself short like that ever again.

Which is why I’m already planning my next trip. A few friends of mine actually called me up a few days after I returned home and proposed a road trip up to Oregan the very next week. Fuck yeah.

I guess the universe knows when business is unfinished.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re feeling stagnant in life, just go out and do something you’ve never done before and get out of your comfort zone. I almost guarantee you’re going to be just fine. Find where you can experience adventure in your life and seize the opportunity. 

Something I realized when I was out there is if you’re ever sitting at home, feeling stuck, you should just leave and go somewhere else. Change your scenery. 

Because while you may think you know everything, there’s a whole world going on around you that you just aren’t seeing. So go out and see it. And realize that your problems might not be as big as you think they are. 

Song of the Week:
What I Watched This Week:
The Bear' Season 2 Official Release Date and Poster Revealed - Nerds and  Beyond

A Cool Youtube Video:

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