Solo Camping Chronicles: Embracing Independence at Electric Forest

Hey, fellow festival enthusiasts! I’m thrilled to share with you my exhilarating solo camping experience at Electric Forest, the magical haven nestled in Rothbury, Michigan. As a female raver from Southern California, I took on the challenge to embark on this daunting and exciting journey across the country alone. I’ll take you through the highs, the lows, and the unforgettable moments of my first solo camping trip to Electric Forest!

Solo Journey Preparation

When my original plans fell through, leaving me without a group for Electric Forest in 2022 – I faced a decision. Either stay home or seize the opportunity to tackle my first solo adventure. With some courage and a bit of insanity, I chose to take on this quest. I gathered my festival gear and jetted off to Chicago Midway International on Southwest Airlines. Packing my essentials was vital for a good experience. I packed everything from camping gear to festival outfits, toiletries, and more. Southwest’s generous two-free checked bag policy allowed me to bring everything I needed for a comfortable weekend camping experience. You can also check out my complete camping list here to prepare for your next camping festival.

Personal Shot of the Sunrise at the Electric Forest Entrance @ 5:15 AM

Logistics and Comfort

Camping alone came with its own logistical barriers, but I created a decent temporary home with careful planning. I ensured every detail was accounted for, from heavy-duty tent stakes, and reflective tarps to shield from the sun to cozy bedding and a squishmallow. Since I took the official Forest shuttle bus from Chicago, they made one stop to stock up on snacks and food at a nearby Walmart from the festival. There, I could get small meals, snacks, and drinks to enjoy all weekend. I also planned to buy at least 1-2 meals a day inside the festival because a hot meal after dancing all night can sometimes hit the spot.

Challenges and Triumphs

While solo camping can be both difficult and thrilling, each obstacle can lead to newfound resilience and inner strength.

Setting up my tent all by myself felt like a badge of honor. Traveling without a rental car and taking the shuttle bus to the festival was an adventure in itself. I embraced each hurdle with determination and optimism throughout my journey, knowing they were all stepping stones toward personal growth. Solo camping can be tricky, but it is also a gratifying experience that can help you discover your own power.

Personal Safety and Security

While traveling solo as a young woman, I prioritized my safety above everything else. I took several precautions to ensure that I remained secure and protected, such as keeping my belongings locked in my tent and always being mindful of my surroundings. To be extra cautious, I used a fake name and created an alter ego for myself, never revealing that I was traveling alone. Additionally, I was careful about my drinks and never left them unattended. By taking these steps, I could fully enjoy the festival experience without too much fear or hesitation.

Personal Shot @ Electric Forest in Tent Camping

Having Confidence to Explore On My Own

As I reflect on my solo camping journey, I’m amazed at the personal growth and confidence I gained along the way. What started as a leap of faith became a transformative adventure, leaving me with a newfound sense of independence and self-assurance. Through solo camping, I discovered my inner confidence to navigate the unknown and embrace life’s adventures with open arms. If my younger self with social anxiety could see my accomplishments, she would be so proud!

Whether I was catching sets at the main stage or lounging in the campground, every moment of the festival was an opportunity for exploration. As the sun set and the music filled the air, I danced under the stars with newfound friends, savoring the moment’s magic. And when it was time to recharge, or I was overstimulated, I could retreat to my tent for some needed space. The greatest thing about raving alone is being able to do things on your schedule. No compromises have to be made for your group’s schedule and timing. Everything is done at your pace!

The Electric Forest Community

I have some of my most cherished memories from spontaneous encounters and heartfelt connections while raving solo. Whether it was striking up conversations on the shuttle bus or bonding with camp neighbors over shared experiences, I always found a sense of belonging within the Electric Forest community. Each interaction reminded me of the power of human connection, which transcends barriers of age, background, and geography.

Electric Forest isn’t just a festival—it’s a vibrant world of music, art, and community unlike any other. As I immersed myself in the festival grounds, I was greeted by my fellow festival-goers’ electrifying energy and warm camaraderie. The festival grounds were alive with the sounds of music, laughter, and chatter as thousands of fellow ravers immersed themselves in the unique experience that Electric Forest offers.

Despite attending solo, I was surrounded by kindred spirits, forging connections that would last long after the festival ended.

With Electric Forest 2024 on the horizon, the next chapter of my festival journey awaits. I am going with a friend this time, and we will have the luxury of an RV. This time, it will be quite a change-up from solo camping to straight glamping!

So, Should You Try Solo Camping?

If you’re considering solo camping at a music festival, I strongly encourage you to take the opportunity and embrace the adventure! Although it may initially seem intimidating, solo camping offers a unique chance for personal growth, connection, and unforgettable experiences. Once I tried solo camping, I was instantly hooked. It was an easy decision to do it all over again for Electric Forest in 2023, which turned out to be another successful solo camping trip. As I look ahead to future solo festival adventures, I carry with me the lessons learned and memories made at Electric Forest.

I hope this blog has captured the energy and excitement of what your first solo camping experience at a festival could be like. Hopefully, this inspires others to embark on their own solo festival adventures, too. So pack your bags, embark on the journey, and let the music guide you to new heights of personal growth and self-discovery!

– Rachel Richter

IG: @rachelrichter

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