This 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:
- Have cash
- Grab a reservation slip entrance to camp grounds (2 parts)
- Find a spot (if nothing is clipped to the camp lot number next to the spot you are good to go)
- Fill out reservation slip and attach to camp lot number (Part 1)
- 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
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.
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.
Here is what I packed for my one night of camping:
- Boiled Macaroni with cheese on side -> mixed in aluminum pan & put on fire
- Raw seasoned Steak -> made on camp fire 6.5 mins one side, 1.5 the other & then cover for 5 mins in Tupperware
- Aluminum pan
- Foil Paper
- Fire Starter Brick -> Lifesaver
- Utensils & Tupperware
- Sleeping Pad
- Sleeping Bag
- Hammock with XL Straps
- Head lamp
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!
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 🙂