Ash Takes on Solo Camping

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 4.14.33 PM.pngThis past weekend I left the comfort of my bed and went to Diablo Lake to camp with my dog Mozzie. Friday morning I woke up and knew I needed to get out of town for the weekend. I’ve done camping in the past but never as the only human. Once I settled on a location I told my co-worker/mentor where I was headed for the weekend. He asked, “Are you going by yourself?” When I confirmed, that I indeed was only going with my dog he grew very quiet but I could see his eyes filling with thoughts. I knew our conversation was not over. To be honest, I was nervous to go camping by myself but I didn’t let that stop me.  

As we headed out for lunch he randomly asked, “Are you staying in a populated area?” I was not shocked that the conversation resurfaced. I confirmed that I was going to be staying on a very busy campsite where you needed to arrive very early to secure a spot. I could hear some relief in his voice but he proceeded with caution, “You know if something happens, everyone will say well she shouldn’t have been camping alone.” I hear and see these comments all the time in my daily life and I always consider safety in the area I’m going to explore and I prepare accordingly. Whether it’s the Sahara desert, or my backyard in Seattle I understand that safety is a BIG concern. 

Here is how my weekend went 

Campground: North Cascades Loop C  (Sat-Sun)

Type of Camping: Car (where you camp near your car)

Hike: Thunder horn  3.6 miles RT

Main Attraction: Diablo Lake (Thanks Luis!)

Drive: 2.5 hours


I arrived Saturday around 12:30 PM (not very early ha) and luckily found a spot in loop C. I am new to Washington so I wasn’t sure how securing a campsite was managed and I did not book beforehand since I read online there were some spots on a first come first serve basis. The visitor’s center was extremely helpful. Here is a step by step:


  1. Have cash 
  2. Grab a reservation slip entrance to camp grounds (2 parts) 
  3. Find a spot (if nothing is clipped to the camp lot number next to the spot you are good to go)
  4. Fill out reservation slip and attach to camp lot number (Part 1) 
  5. Return to camp ground entrance and deposit money with other part of reservation slip (Part 2) 


Tip: When the campground entrance states that the lot is full still check it out especially if its early in the day. I saw some open camp sites in Colonial Creek when I went for my hike but didn’t bother to check it earlier since the sign said full. 

After setting up camp, I drove and went on a hike near Colonial Creek about 12 miles away. Thunder Knob was 3.6 miles roundtrip and not very steep. Mozzie enjoyed the hike and was pretty tired afterwards. For my hike I packed the following in my backpack

Thunder Knob Hike 

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After my hike I headed to Diablo Lake look out about a 5 minute drive from the Thunder Knob trail head. The view is AMAZING and parking is 10 ft away.

Diablo Lake.png

 After all the exploring, I was exhausted and headed back to camp. I relaxed, ate steak with mac & cheese, drank a cold one, and read Harry Potter. It was a perfect night. The week leading up to this weekend was not ideal. To sum it up, I was a mess but learning how to build a fire on my own (thanks Chevron cashier for the advice), hang a hammock, cook an awesome steak, and MOST IMPORTANTLY not let society define what I am capable of doing solo made it a weekend I will always cherish.

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Here is what I packed for my one night of camping: 

Taking proper safety precautions is essential when traveling. I informed my mom of my day to day plan, location, camp site, and planned return. As I drove closer to my destination, I noted when I lost phone signal so I knew the closest location if I needed to use my phone. As I chose my camp site I looked around my area to see who surrounded me and how I felt. Always trust your gut. One of the camp sites next to me had a family of four which gave me comfort. Traveling solo is so empowering but I always make sure to prepare. Safety can never be guaranteed but with the right precautions it will go a long way!

Well, that’s one OFF THE BUCKET LIST!

❤ ash

Next Stop: Mount Pilchuck Sat. 19th 

Be on the lookout for my next post


If you happen to be on my blog for the first time make sure you check out A Girl Who Loves to Travel post and find out my story. Want to travel but airfare giving you a hard time? Find out How to Score Cheap Flights.

Any questions? What is your favorite camping spot? Do you have any camping hacks or safety tips? Comment below 🙂 


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