Solo Camping at Skwellepil Creek Recreation Site

I decided to get out and go camping for just one night, prior to going in for my knee surgery. With no clear outcome from my knee scope, I felt the need to “get out while I could” in case I came out of surgery with more pain.

I knew I wanted to get out of cell service and be near water somewhere, but other than that had no idea of where to go.

I decided on Skwellepil Creek Rec Site as the drive is beautiful and not too rough. There’s outhouses and other people if my knee decided to give me too much trouble.

When I camped there previously, we set up in the upper part of the campground in the trees as we were part of a group with lots of kids and needed lots of room. This time, I wanted to be in the lower portion of the campground, closer to the water. This also meant being more exposed to the wind and rain, but I decided it was worth it.

Going up on a Saturday, I knew I would be lucky to get a spot, but luckily there was a couple packing up from a day trip not long after I arrived, so I scooted over to their spot when they left!

First Stop

As soon as I arrived, I took out my camping chair, put my feet up, and enjoyed a cool drink in the unexpected sunshine! I walked around the campground to scope out a couple of open sites and enjoyed the view of the lake, the sounds of the birds, and watched an eagle perched at the top of a nearby tree.

Eagle watching

Sadly my pop up tent is broken, so I had to hang a tarp with very few trees, or spots to anchor to that were not far from the ground. It was worth it to be right on the creek though!

Eventually, I walked into the forest and foraged for a fallen tree branch to use as a tarp pole. I wrapped one end in duct tape to protect my tarp, and tried to prop it against my picnic table. After a good few minutes of struggling, a man came over and offered his help. I told him that as much as my pride said no, my back said yes please!

He had noticed my four wheel drive association of BC decal on my truck and mentioned he was also a member, but hadn’t put his decal on yet. We chatted about the 4WDABC association and the great work that they do for our province and road access, and then my tarp was good to go!

New Spot Setting Up

Once I had the tarp hung I sat by the creek and just relaxed in the beautiful and unexpected sunshine!

The best part about camping alone is not having to worry about anyone else-their wants, needs, time expectations. You can do everything in your own time!

I brought a cot to relax in and was so happy for the hot sun!

I set up my tent and made my bed, then took a break. I also have hip and back injuries so I have to pace myself and take lots of breaks, or I would be in bed by 7 p.m. in pain. I’ve learned that it’s better to go slow and take breaks, then try to do it all at once and pay for it later!

I made a huge tray of nachos for dinner, and wrapped my leftovers in foil in my cooler. They kept better than I expected and I was able to reheat them the next day for lunch before hitting the road!

When you forget that you are cooking for one…

The next morning I woke up to pouring rain! My tent was a giant puddle but I was dry in my bed so I still call that a win! I was glad I had put my bag of clothes on my air mattress with me though…

My tarp held up, but unfortunately had been dumping water on my fire pit and my firewood all night long. Luckily, I had put a big log on the evening before, despite the wood being wet, because I knew it would protect the fire pit from water overnight. Sure enough, I rolled it over to find white hot ash and got to work with some newspaper.

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Cursed Set Up But Oh Well!

I got my fire going in the pouring rain and I heated up some breakfast casserole in my propane oven as I made my coffee.

Once caffeinated with warm food in my belly, the rain didn’t seem so bad. Then, to my surprise, it slowly stopped raining and the sun came out.

I folded up my bedding and my tent, drying it up the best I could as I went.

Then I made the mistake of sitting down again. All I had left to pack was my chair and tarp. So I sat down in front of my fire again and just a few minutes later I heard it… raindrops!

The rain started out of nowhere and quickly grew to a torrential downpour. I contemplated trying to wait it out, however it was already noon and it was continuing to rain harder, so I cut down my tarp and packed it up as fast as I could.

Despite my best efforts, by the time I got into my truck (which had been running with the heat on) both of the sweaters I was wearing were soaked through.

I was glad I had hung my wet hoodie from the previous night on my driver’s seat in my truck so it could dry out while I finished packing up.

I sat for a few minutes after peeling my wet sweaters off, ensuring that my fire was out completely and to enjoy the serenity of Skwellepil Creek.

One other camper pulled out right before me, and there was a couple with a big trailer all set up right on the lake. We were the last three campers in the place, I realized as I drove out slowly through the campground.

Quiet, Peaceful Drive Home!

The drive home was wet, but peaceful. I only saw a few other vehicles on my way, an unusual thing on a Sunday afternoon, so I can thank the rain for one thing at least.

Sometimes we just need to disconnect from everything, and that’s exactly what I did. I wish I had been able to go for 2 nights – it’s always nicer to have a full day to relax, instead of one day to unpack and the next day to pack up again – although for one person there isn’t too much to pack anyways – and as a busy mom of two, I’ll take a short trip over no trip!!

I love the views on this drive!

Next time I go solo I will be testing out my backseat air mattress for my truck and will see how comfortable that is. It wouldn’t save me from setting up a tarp, but it would make packing up in the rain a bit easier. I will also be watching for a sale on pop up tents so I don’t have to hang a tarp next time, not that it was all that bad.

Comment Below If You Have Any Solo Camping Tips, Whether You Tent It, Or Sleep In Your Vehicle, I Would Love To Hear From You!

As always, thank you for reading! I am 6 days post op and recovering well. It will be a few weeks until I’m out driving any Forestry Roads, but I’m using my couch time to work on some new Road Trip Mama projects, so stay tuned!!

Take the Back Roads, Not the Highway

Published by Road Trip Mama

I am a 34 year old Mom of two, married to my wonderful husband living in Beautiful British Columbia. My kids are 9 and 12 and pretty much complete opposites! My daughter loves to Road Trip like her Mama and my son is more ‘are we there yet?’ From 8 hour road trips to see family, ferries to the island or just a good old drive up a dirt road, I’ll have tips to keep the kids entertained, food to pack and road reports! We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful place surrounded by mountains and rivers and endless trails to explore! Follow me and see how I maintain my sanity on these trips!

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