To the multitude, whether city or country bred, the bare idea of faring alone in the wilds for days or weeks at a time is eerie and fantastic: it makes their flesh creep. He who does so is certainly an eccentric, probably a misanthrope, possible a fugitive from justice, or, likely enough, some moonstruck fellow whom the authorities would do well to follow up and watch.
But many a seasoned woodsman can avow that some of the most satisfying, if not the happiest, periods of his life have been spent far out of sight and suggestion of his fellow men.
... By yourself you can sit motionless and mutely watchful, but where two are side by side it is neither polite nor endurable to pass an hour without saying a word. Lonesome? Nay indeed. Whoever has an eye for Nature is never less alone than when he is by himself.
...Solitude has its finer side. The saints of old, when seeking to cleanse themselves from taint of worldliness get closer to the source of prophecy, went singly into the desert and bided there alone. So now our lone adventurer, unsaintly as he may have been among men, experiences an exaltation, finds healing and encouragement in wilderness life.
When twilight falls, and shadows merge in the darkness, the single-handed camper muses before the fire that comforts his bivouac and listens to the low, sweet voices of the night, which never are heard in full harmony save by those who sit silent and alone.
- Horace Kephart, Camping and Woodcraft