I've been backpacking for years. The first year I did it I had a friend with me every time. After that, until last year, I was almost always alone. The oddest part is being in a strange place after the sun goes down and not knowing what the sounds are. Often I would sit by my fire knowing that most of the sounds were a frog of some sort or some raccoon in the leaves but it would still cause me to pay more attention to what was happening around me. I would compare some of those experiences to that of almost being in a care accident. You end up ok because nothing happened but you still feel that there was a possibility. It makes me feel alive.