Camping solo can be refreshing, especially if you have no one to camp with! Having friends and family with opposing work schedules, or who just aren’t into camping means that I sometimes camp solo. If you are someone who is feeling nervous, it’s not as intimidating as you think! Overall, I feel like it’s very peaceful and I’ve never felt unsafe. I also feel a lot safer now that I have a dog. However, there are still some basic safety tips to follow if you are camping alone! In this post, I’m going over 7 safety tips for camping solo as a female.
*All of these safety tips for camping solo as a female can be adapted to more than just solo female campers. If you are camping alone, or even if you are camping with other people, you can utilize these safety tips!
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10 Safety Tips for Camping Solo as a Female
1. Never tell strangers (or social media) that you’re alone
Don’t tell strangers (especially ones you get sketchy vibes from) that you are alone! If anything, lie to them and tell them you are waiting on your friends or that you’re meeting someone. Use your gut instincts and if you feel unsafe around someone, don’t reveal any personal info and try to leave the conversation.
Along the same lines, don’t tell Instagram or other social media you will be hiking or camping in a specific place alone and when. If you want to post about it, wait until after your trip to tag the location or post pictures. You never know who is going to see your post and it’s better safe than sorry!
That being said, I don’t think you have to go camping alone and be lonely. If you are talking to other campers who invite you over and you trust them and don’t get sketchy vibes from them, I don’t think it would hurt if you told them. Just don’t broadcast the fact that you are alone to anyone and everyone.
2. Always tell friends + family where you will be
Before leaving to go somewhere where you might not have reception, tell at least two different people where you will be. I always tell my parents and my boyfriend where I am going whenever I am camping or hiking alone. This way, if something were to happen to me, someone would know where to look. This is just basic safety 101!
3. Carry some form of protection
The 2 biggest things that I would think that you need to be protected against are 1. people and 2. animals. I think this might be the biggest thing that stops people from going camping solo. There is the unknown and fear surrounding what could happen. I’ve gone hiking and camped alone many times and I can’t think of a single experience where I felt unsafe. However, I feel much better knowing that I have a way to protect myself if I were to be in a situation where I didn’t feel safe.
There are a ton of different things that you can bring to protect yourself. I suggest having at least 2 options. Also, don’t tell strangers or people on the internet what forms of protection that you carry! If you’re wondering about what you can bring, try one of the following:
- A knife – Knives have useful purposes in the camp, as well as for protection. They are easy to keep on you, or next to you at night.
- Bear spray – this can be used on people or animals (like bears). I think this is a great investment, especially if you’re in bear country. Keep it somewhere that is accessible, especially if you are hiking or camping alone in the backcountry.
- Taser/mace – I feel like bear spray would work better than mace, but it can’t hurt having it on you (especially if it’s already on your keychain). A taser could be another safety device to use, especially if you already have one at your disposal.
- Hatchet – If you are planning on having a fire and needing to cut wood, you might already have a hatchet on you. This can double as a form of protection if you keep it accessible.
- A gun – I know that a lot of people get guns to bring with them, especially while camping alone. Make sure you have the proper permits, know how to use it, and are safe if you choose to go this route.
- Air horn – Can be used to scare away animals and get the attention of other people in the area if you need help.
4. Be prepared and stay organized
It’s no use carrying protection if you aren’t able to access it when you need it! As a general rule, keep everything organized. Have the essentials like your ID, keys, protection, phone, etc. somewhere that is readily accessible. Stay organized and prepared to camp. Make sure that you have everything that you need (especially the necessary things like water, a tent, food, gas) before you leave. This way, you won’t find yourself in a bad situation.
5. Keep food and other scented items stored properly
Since food and other scented items can attract animals, from small rodents to bears, keep it stored properly. Utilized bear lockers if you are staying at a campground that offers them. If you are staying at a campground near your car and don’t have bear lockers, keep your food and scented items locked in your car out of sight with the windows rolled up. This isn’t the most ideal situation since animals like bears can still smell food, even in your car. However, if this is your only option it’s better than keeping it out or keeping it in your tent.
If you are staying in the backcountry or somewhere away from your car, use a bear canister and store it at least 100 ft away from your campsite. Also, make sure your kitchen at your camp is at least 100 ft away from your tent (the triangle method). For more safely using bear canisters, check out the REI post here.
Above all, never keep food, drinks, scented items/toiletries, or trash in your tent!
6. Have a safety plan
Make sure you have a safety plan in place (just in case). If you get weird vibes from someone (maybe they keep asking you if you’re alone, or too personal questions), what will you do? Devise a plan to be able to leave fast, sleep in your car (with something to cover the windows) or in another location they don’t know about, etc. Overall, you just want to have a backup plan to be able to stay safe if something happens, or you are getting a bad feeling about a situation.
7. Look at reviews of the area you’re going to be in
Always look up the area you are going to be in to see the general vibe. Also, this way you can see if it’s a safe area or if there have been problems with sketchy people, assaults, or animal attacks in the past. I’ve seen numerous Facebook posts or articles warning others about a specific person on a section of the Appalachian trail, that has been hanging around or has attempted to assault someone. It’s much better to know if there have been similar warnings in the area you are going to, in case you need to change plans.
MY CAMPING FAVORITES
Here is some of my favorite gear to bring with me on hikes that I use:
- Hiking boots: Lowa Renegade GTX Women’s Mid Hiking Boots (durable, waterproof, comfortable)
- Water bottle: 32 oz Wide Mouth Hydroflask
- Camera: Canon Powershot G7x Mark II Digital Camera (perfect small and portable camera for hiking)
- Camera bag: BAGSMART Camera Backpack in Pink Canvas
- Daypack: Osprey Daylight Hiking Daypack
- Tent: REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent
- Backpacking Backpack I Use: Kelty 44L Rewing
- Camping + Backpacking Stove: Jetboil
If you enjoyed this post or are looking for other hikes in the Pacific Northwest area, be sure to check out the other hikes that I’ve posted, which I will be linking below!
- Mount Storm King: What to Know Before Hiking
- Wahclella Falls: What to Know Before Hiking
- Lewis River Falls | Trail Route, Hiking Tips + Best Time to Visit!
- Trail of Ten Falls: Silver Falls State Park
- The Best Hikes in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
- 10 Outdoorsy Facebook Groups to Join if you Live in the Pacific Northwest
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you were able to pick up some safety tips for camping solo. If you want to follow along on my hikes + camping and get notified when I post new posts, be sure to follow my Instagram @maddie_deer here or like my Facebook page here.