How to go Unicycle Camping

Posted by Charles Mitchell on 02/10/19

After learning how to unicycle in February 2017 on a friend's trials unicycle, I became totally engrossed with all things unicycling. I purchased a Nimbus Equinox trials unicycle, Nimbus 24" muni, and a Nimbus 29" muni in quick succession so I could learn tricks, ride trails, and travel on one wheel.

As a life-long (two-wheeled) cyclist, I was entranced by the new challenges of one-wheeled locomotion. In particular, the idea of self-supported unicycling camping was captivating. Like everything else on a unicycle, the idea of multi-day trips on a unicycle sounded silly, hard, and ridiculously fun!

So, on August 20th I set out from Boise, Idaho with a bicycling companion. We planned on heading north towards the Solar Eclipse's path of totality. The distance was modest, only 25 miles, but there was about 4,200 ft of climbing to do along the way. This was my first time on a loaded unicycle (thanks to the Shadow Handle Set) and I was also riding with a 50 liter backpack. The weighted unicycle and steep hills were definitely challenging, and we only made it 20 miles the first day. The elevation change affected the temperature more than I expected, and my hammock camping set-up was definitely not insulating. After spending more of the night shivering than sleeping, my companion and I were tired but excited for the eclipse to come. So we loaded up and descended to the very picturesque and aptly-named Clear Creek.

Clear Creek was a wee bit outside of totality, but the open meadow surrounded by forested mountains and intersected by a pristine creek was too perfect. We decided to enjoy the view and some coffee while waiting for paths to cross. The temperature dropped and the sky dimmed. Even the birds seemed flurried in anticipation. Experiencing the eclipse on my first uni-camping journey was blissful. As the effect waned and the air warmed, I shook out of my rapturous trance and remounted my Nimbus.

The ride home was tranquil, made easier with the practice on a weighted uni from the previous day and the promise of a warm place to sleep. The long ride had plenty of engaging terrain and scenic views, but after such a successful first uni journey I found myself continually lost in the question, "Where should I ride next?"