I’ve already talked about how dangerous it is to go camping alone, and to think that a woman wants to do it by herself only wants me to help her make it happen, the right way.
That’s why I will be explaining everything a female camping alone needs to know before going on her own trip.
But most of all, knowing how to protect herself in the event she comes across an attacker.
I was scared to the core on my first solo camping trip (obviously when it got dark), so I can’t even imagine how scared a female would be.
But maybe that’s just me, I was probably too much of a wimp back in my teenage years 😛
Is it Safe & Should You Go?
Of course it isn’t safe, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go anyway.
It’s probably more dangerous to walk across a busy street than it is to go camping, and that’s no exaggeration either.
Sometimes our own backyard isn’t even safe! Everything we do on a daily basis has some type of risk to it anyway.
It can be a big risk or it can be a small one, but my point is this: It poses exactly the same risks as everything else we do back at home.
So yes, you should definitely go on your camping trip. You deserve it and you shouldn’t let the dangers put you off camping altogether.
Reasons a Female Might Want to go Solo Camping
Camping alone is not for the feint-hearted, nor is it for anyone who doesn’t have any knowledge about the outdoors.
But if you’ve camped many times before and you are really confident in your actions, then you can absolutely consider going alone.
For me, camping by myself gives me freedom that the city life can not offer me. It allows me to learn more about myself and grow as a person (to become a better version of myself).
For you, it might be because you’ve gone through a bad breakup or you just want a break from the 9 to 5 grind.
Those are good enough reasons to say you’re in need of a well-deserved vacation if you ask me!
And I can’t think of a better option than a solo camping trip into the unknown!
Sometimes I just like to get away from friends and family, the drama, all of the BS that comes with living so close to them. It can get VERY stressful after a while.
Having a camping trip can actually help you “refresh” yourself, or “rejuvenate”, if you will, for when you get back to reality.
Know How To Protect Yourself
You are a female, so your strength is much lower than that of a man.
Not only that, but because there are dangerous men out there. You will need to know how to defend yourself.
Believe it or not but you are more likely to be attacked by another human than a wild animal, and that’s simply because of the reasons I just mentioned.
How to defend yourself from an attacker:
Kick Him in the Balls…and HARD
The reason why I put this at the top of the list is because you might not have time to do anything else.
Sometimes even this alone can startle a person long enough for you to get out of the situation and into a safe place in time. However, if that fails, the steps below will be your next line of defense.
Shout, Scream, but Most of all, DON’T STOP FIGHTING
It has been proven many times that attackers don’t want to put up a fight.
They would rather attack a girl that’s going to be quiet and do as he says.
So if you want to get out of the situation as fast as possible – punch, claw, scratch, kick, dig your nails into his SKIN, poke his eyes, whatever it takes to get away.
Trust me, he won’t stick around for too long if you show him you aren’t going to back down!
Fight like you’ve never fought before! Heck, your life might depend on it.
Have a Knife on You and Don’t be Afraid to Use it
It is either your life or his.
Think about your family and friends while you are fighting.
Do you want to see them again?
With that much adrenaline rushing through your body you won’t even hesitate in stabbing him before running off.
Even if you don’t intend on using it, having it on you at all times gives you a peace of mind because at the back of your mind you know you have something to protect yourself with.
Take a Gun and Know How to Use it
Check your gun laws before taking one with you!
If you are trained in using one (highly likely if you’re from the U.S), you can threaten the attacker to make him go in the opposite direction.
This will test you, a LOT.
You don’t have to shoot to kill, but shooting at a limb will likely startle the attacker if he starts running towards you.
Do not shoot if he doesn’t leave, just shoot if he comes for you. It is plain self-defense and fully legal.
If you want to be on the safer side, then by all means shoot to kill. You don’t know if he has a gun or if a bullet to his leg will stop him from coming for you.
Consider Taking a Dog (My Preferred Choice)
If you ever do take a dog on a camping trip, make sure that it is ready and trained properly before you head out on your journey.
When you do that, everyone can have a much happier and safer trip.
A dog WILL protect you.
Dogs even put their own lives on the line to save their owners! What is that telling you? 100% loyalty ’til the day they die!
Having a dog with you makes any attacker run in the opposite direction, which is almost guaranteed.
Don’t Trust Anyone
Usually a murderer or rapist will be “the nice guy”.
It’s not just in movies.
The nice guys are the ones you have to look out for in the real world too.
You can’t trust anyone when you’re a female camping alone. A lot of attackers will try and build trust to get close to you first.
After that it’s just a matter of when he’ll make a move.
And guess what?
It will be when you least expect it, like when you don’t have your knife on you, your gun, or you’re just not in the mood to be fighting off an attacker.
Basically, sometime DURING THE NIGHT!
Don’t Let This Put You off Camping
There’s a good chance you probably want to avoid camping altogether now.
Sorry, but that’s just the reality of camping alone when you’re a woman.
If you are, you could always take a dog with you. Remember, they offer 100% loyalty until the day they die.
They aren’t afraid to put their life on the line for you, and that is why I highly recommend taking one instead of going by yourself (unless you are a really brave soul and all that I have just said doesn’t scare you).
If you don’t want to take a dog, then please learn how to defend yourself at least.
It is a dangerous world out there.
Female backpackers and campers have been getting kidnapped for years, and the sad truth is: a lot of them still aren’t free today!
I don’t want you to be another statistic
So be safe, do the right thing (by taking a dog), and you’ll have a much better experience!
My Final Thoughts
There is so many risks involved as a female camping alone.
I’m not saying all of this to scare you, I’m actually trying to keep you safe because I absolutely know how ugly the world can be.
Your life is precious and your family and friends want to see you come home again.
If you want to have a greater peace of mind, camp in a public campsite instead of the wilderness.
You’ll have people that can come to your aid when they hear you fighting/screaming and shouting.
I hope you learned a thing or two in this article. If you did, please let me know in the comment section below.
- Do you not want to go camping alone now after reading this article?
- Have you ever noticed any suspicious behavior on your travels?
39 thoughts on “How to Camp Alone as a Woman”
For a woman, I think a public campsite or taking a dog would be my preferred options. I am not a great risk-taker physically and would much rather go somewhere I feel safe or have my husband with me.
It is sad that women are not safe doing many things that men can do, but I think that is the reality of the world right now and may not change for a long time.
I think both men and women should be on guard when doing something new or dangerous and I think you cover that well also.
Thank you for this sound advice.
Great choices, Jennifer.
Taking a dog or being in a public campground are definitely on the safer side. I agree with you, it sucks that women can’t even enjoy the great outdoors without feeling scared or frightened going around every corner.
And yes, men need to always be on the lookout as well. It’s a harsh world out there, the sooner people realize that the easier it will be to have their guard up 24/7.
Thanks for these posts. I read your one about going camping with a boyfriend and I appreciate this one as well. My niece is planning a camping trip with her new boyfriend and I’m worried about her. I can’t see that I would ever want to go camping by myself, especially after reading your article. I appreciate that you aren’t afraid to tell woman how it is. You might just be saving someone’s life with this. Excellent mission, my friend!
Well that’s the reality of the world that we live in right now, and as others have mentioned, it isn’t changing anytime soon. It is either women learn how to defend themselves or they risk getting kidnapped, murdered, raped, or all of the above. I’m not blaming women either, it is not their fault.
Maybe I should do an article about men going camping, to NOT bother women on their travels. It might actually work, you never know, HAHA!
Thanks for your kind feedback, much appreciated 🙂
Thanks for some tips. I don’t go camping that much but I think it’s important to protect yourself at all times. I do believe that bringing knife, gun and dogs would be good for you when camping in the wilderness. It’s always better to be safe. However, I don’t know if I would enjoy camping by myself that much. I think I would prefer bringing my buddy or some friends along with me.
It all depends on how experienced you are. And believe it or not, but a lot of people go camping alone because they have no one else to go with, they might be too busy or just don’t feel like going, which is why people have to resort going by themselves. It is completely up to you in what you do 🙂
Hi. That would be my predicament: no one to go with me. I’ve been camping numerous times but never alone. I have always flown duo, never solo.
Brandon, thank you ever so much for the much useful recommendations and suggestions. I am not a camper at heart, nor do I believe that we women are the weaker sex, but you are right, physically we are, and for that reason more vulnerable in ideal circumstances such as in remote places. I could talk forever about how much your post has given me to reflect, from the beauty of being on your own to the inspiration and epiphany it brings when you are put before a beautiful natural scene!
I shall just mention that the idea of taking a dog is a brilliant one. But remember, a dog is for life, not only for camping. And guns – now, that is not something I agree with. Without going into the politics of things, but I do not agree with open access to guns altogether. But yes, a knife could be equally effective. And yes, use the adrenaline positively and cunningly: kick, scream, scratch, and the rest of it. And aim for the balls!!! Catch them by surprise, as it’s often deterrent enough.
Yes, a dog is for life – which is why you should have one at home as well. Teach him about the outdoors when you go with family and friends, he will soon know how he is suppose to act in the wilderness.
Since it’s such a different scenery for him, it is our job as owners to teach him the dos and don’ts, to make it easier for both us camp goers and strangers as well. Nobody wants to be annoyed by a barking dog while they are trying to relax at a public campsite, nor do you want him to run off into the wilderness, increasing the risk of falling off a cliff or running into a wild animal.
The gun is for protection only, but each to their own 😛
And you are correct, catch them by surprise and they won’t stick around to fight you, they’d rather run off before someone comes to your aid.
This was an interesting and pretty direct article. I have to say, I think a lot of the women who are inclined to go camping alone might take issue with the idea of not being as strong as men 🙂 That said, we live in reality, and in reality violence is far more often male-on-female, and female solo campers basically have a target on their backs.
I have never gone camping alone but have considered it, back when I was single and stuck in the city. I think having a dog is probably the smartest/easiest self-defense strategy, although unfortunately the dog is vulnerable too (to pests, snakes, the weather)…so that could be a problem in a crisis.
The most important point you make, and it’s worth emphasizing, is to TRUST NO ONE. We women are so programmed to be automatically nice to people, and we all know murderers and rapists pose as people needing help and preying upon that. It’s really important to not deal with strangers in need when at a disadvantage (alone in the woods).
I’d have to agree with you on that one, Penelope. I didn’t think of it where solo females have a target on their back, but it’s a great way to see things and to be ready for when something does happen.
Hmm, even though there’s some risks to taking a dog, I like my chances 🙂 And I think so many females could benefit taking a dog with them. It’s more much safer and you’re pretty much guaranteed to come home safely.
Yes, you should not trust anyone when you are out alone in the woods. I like that you point out females having a disadvantage, or in other words, really vulnerable, since their strength is nowhere near as much as mens. But that’s why it is important to know how to defend yourself, so you can actually fend off an attacker and stay alive.
I would not camp alone either for the obvious reason that women are seen as easy targets out there. Which is sad really.
Some of the things you said about knowing how to protect yourself really resonate with me because not only do we have to protect ourselves when camping alone but just in everyday life.
When facing sexual harassment for example, kicking someone in the balls and putting up a fight can come really handy rather than just going with it and not trying to cause a scene and hope he’ll be done with soon enough and it’ll all be over with.
Women go through a lot so thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely use it.
It is really sad, indeed!
Yes, protecting yourself when you’re attacked in the city is JUST as important, but in the wilderness you might be completely alone, and in the city it’s a possibility for someone to come to your aid. However, you are definitely correct.
I’m glad you’re taking these tips on board. It’s hard for a woman to stand up for herself, so it makes me happy to know I might save someone’s life one day 🙂
Hope all is well man.
I am not female but these tips apply to anyone…although I wouldn’t be mind being attacked by a hot female looking to relieve some of her stress lol…
The dog tip is the best I agree. Dogs are very protective and they know what humans are up to!
Great article sir!
Haha, great thinking, Ravi.
You are right, these tips apply to men as well. We just don’t know when a murderer will be sitting around the corner waiting for us, which is why a dog is my preferred choice as well. I highly agree with you, they can sense other people, they basically know what they are like and what their intentions are!
I agree wholeheartedly that this world is not as safe as it once was. There are a lot of dangers in the wilderness even for trained personnel. I am mostly concerned with survival techniques that every camper should know. I learned a great deal about camping through my Boy-scout manual back when I was a younger man. Simple things like tying knots, building a fire without fuel or matches, setting up a camp and protection from wild animals. Today I would never recommend camping alone because of the risks. However, If one is to pursue camping alone, then knowing the environment and how to protect oneself from predators is key to having a safe experience.
Survival techniques is pretty much VITAL if you want to come out alive. Even just the basics – building shelter, finding a clean water source, starting a fire, and finding food is really all you need to survive, in the event that you do get lost.
Thanks for bringing up such an important topic, Kenneth 🙂
I’m planning on my first solo camping trip very soon. Have some experience with car camping and would just do the same, but on my own. The plan is to be in “hosted” campgrounds, in Canada so hopefully that would keep me safer. Often sites can be had that are close to the hosts camp. I don’t have a dog, but am considering the knife/mace option. Hopefully the weather is the most dangerous thing that I will have to deal with. Not saying I’m not scared – I’m scared shitless but have to do this to get perspective on my life.
Great idea on doing something you’ve already done before. Since you’ve camped numerous times before, it’s just a matter of putting all the knowledge you’ve learnt over the years and putting it to good use.
You are doing a good job thinking about your safety. The ones that don’t are the ones that have bad things happen to them.
You are so brave and I applaud you for that! Definitely take a knife and a mace. Having it on you at all times will calm your nerves and make you feel more at ease.
Good luck. I’m rooting for you 😀
Let us know how you go when you get back.
I really love how you give us every reason to be terrified to go camping alone, basically scaring us shitless, and then repeat, ” But don’t let that stop you!” I read through your post and kept saying to myself, “Oh my God I can’t believe he’s actually saying this stuff.” And then reading through the comments I couldn’t believe women were actually thanking you and buying into it! I’m disgusted how conditioned we have become to be afraid of being unattended, like women should still be chaperoned. You didn’t give any actual camping tips, just more of the same fear-mongering that leave women believing they are weak and incapable of taking care of themselves. Yeah, sexual assaults happen. But newsflash, I’m in more danger of assault in a populated area and among men I know (which statistics prove!) than I am on a hiking or camping trip in a county or national park (which our fears and imaginations tell us). How about encouraging women to do it, and how empowering and badass it is to do this on her own. How you’d really respect and admire a woman who has the course and tenacity to venture out on her own undaunted. How safety is important and wise for any solo camper, regardless of sex. Yeah, I fully intend to go solo camping this weekend, to prove my badassery to myself no matter what anyone thinks, and refuse to be thwarted by phantom fears that seek to keep me home and “safe”. I had a friend who once cautioned, “I just don’t want to see you in an episode of Forensic Files!” And I told her, “Then turn off your tv and go for a walk! You need to get out more and not watch so much junk!”
I understand why you’re upset – 100%. But the truth of the matter is: Woman have been getting attacked for years, and the more scary part is that a large majority of these cases don’t even get reported.
Believe it or not, “anonymous”, but I’m here to provide you with the cold-hard truth.
I would be lying if I said it’s all roses and fairies.
I would be putting you in danger if I said camping alone is easy and you should never have to put your guard up.
I’m not even saying it’s the most dangerous place in the world. I even stated in the article that “even our own backyards isn’t even safe”.
Of course women can go on a successful camping trip. I believe you saw all the bad points only and thought to start defending women from the get-go, and that’s completely fine.
You have your opinion, and I have one.
And I already do have some tips on keeping safe while you’re alone.
You have also given me a new article idea, so thanks a bunch! Please be on the lookout for that. I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂
Thanks for the comment – have a lovely day!
I know right. “..solo backpacking is not for the feint hearted”. “…It’s very dangerous..”. lol. I absolutely get the biggest smile on my face and joy in my heart as I backpack down that trail solo, enjoying my surroundings, and then later sit around my camp, with no one around, enjoying myself, breathing in the fresh air and birds chirping as I sit relaxing by a babbling creek or by a crackling campfire. It’s heaven.
I get what you were trying to communicate, Brandon. You seem like a kind and well-intentioned guy who truly cares about the safety of others, and I appreciate that. I felt though that you seem to underestimate the courage, strength and resourcefulness of women. We are already well aware of the dangers out there, because we face them every day, even more so than a guy who can “only imagine”. And we’ve learned that we can either cower in fear and stay home, or face the fear, trust our intuitions, adapt, prepare, and do stuff anyway! All the things you say you want from solo camping are the same things I do!!! (don’t just assume women take this on because of a bad breakup! 🙂 ) Lots of women are doing amazing, courageous and adventurous things, both with friends and by themselves! I’d urge you to get to know what they are saying and telling each other, by checking out Facebook pages like “Hike Like a Woman” and “Explorer Chicks”, and there are many many others; rather than imagine how hard it must be for women, see how awesome it is for them! 🙂 All I can say personally is that if I waited around til someone wanted to go with me, I’d never get to go anywhere; but doing it in my own and in my own terms, I’ve had some great experiences (and have never crossed paths with a creeper). I do not want to carry a knife or a gun, neither gives me peace of mind. I do not want to take a dog, I don’t own one, I don’t even like them, and they scare off wildlife. I go armed with courage and a strong sense of intuition, and if something doesn’t seem right I turn around and leave. All I know is I’d rather take my chances and go alone and undaunted and be happy, than stay home alone and “safe”, but sad, scared and regretful that I didn’t live a life.
Absolutely. You are a brave and courageous women and you are a great role model for others out there.
I can’t agree more. If people wait around and keep saying “I’ll do it next week”, or next month, they will never end up doing it.
They keep on saying that until years have passed. Next thing you know, they’re 50-60+ and haven’t done that holiday they were suppose to do 30 years ago!
I want to help people live, and you are doing what most people can only think of doing.
Taking action is the very first step and oftentimes the hardest.
Great job for doing it and not being scared. Keep up the good work.
Stay safe and good luck 😀
PS: I may have to take up your offer about looking at those Facebook pages too.
Thank you!! This is exactly how I feel. I don’t want to have to buy a dog or depend on a man so that I can go camping. I love your perspective and your voice! I’m tired of putting limits on myself because I’m a woman.
I am a 61-year old grandmother and I camp by myself. I have never been bothered or harassed by anyone (an advantage, maybe, of being older!) and have met many helpful and friendly people. Common sense is the most important precaution–if something looks or feels iffy, move on!
That’s awesome to hear, Katherine! I’ve also been preaching that exact advice to other campers and backpackers. If something feels off, go the other way and avoid a confrontation in the first place.
Camping alone for women is not as dangerous as living in an urban area. According to statistics published in OUTSIDE magazine: “…. the woods turn out to be remarkably safe. The National Park Service reported 83 rapes (one in 3,527,951 visitors) on its public lands in 2014, compared with 84,041 reported rapes (one in 3,794 people) in the rest of the country. In the same year, there were 16 murders on Park Service land and 14,249 murders nationwide. ”
I have camped alone for years and intend on continuing. I have been scared (by my own imagination), and of course I take precautions as anyone would do for their personal safety. But I think you are mistaken and spreading needless fear.
Of course chances for something to happen is definitely low. I just want to help people get prepared for the worse.
I love how honest u are with this post . Not gonna lie , it kind of scared me more than I already was .. I’m planning on moving across the country alone with my dog in a couple of weeks & I was planning on camping in different states along the way . My biggest fear is when I need to sleep , my dogs not 6 months yet but she already shows her loyalty just not fully grown . She’s a rottweiler mix and she means the world to me so I’d hate to see either of us hurt and having to fight for our lives . I’m pretty well aware of how horrible people can be including the strong man against a wimpy 23 year old girl like myself . I can just since now how much trouble I’m going to have with sleeping . I’m a pretty heavy sleeper as well & to wake up to some stranger or even already kid napped is what’s putting me on alert and I don’t know if there’s any other tools, weapons, advice you might have for my situation . Either way , this article helped me a lot thank you
I can almost guarantee nothing will happen. As long as you have your dog with you you’re going to be safe. No one wants to fend off an attacking rottweiler!
After my husband passed away I had to decide what to do with our small VW camper. I decided to take it on a solo camping trip to see how it would feel. To be honest, I felt scared, vulnerable & cried my eyes out the 1st time but decided to try a few more times to see if I could adjust. It got easier over time & ultimately became enjoyable.
Here are a few tips I learned that made my trips easier & a lot less scary:
* My 1st few times, I went to an established campground I was already familiar with not too far from home.
The campground I chose was fairly primitive & not known to a lot of people, It locked it’s gates at 10pm & was patrolled by a ranger every 6-8 hrs.
* I went mid-week to avoid crowds & often had the entire campground to myself. I felt less vulnerable knowing few could see that I was a woman camping alone.
* I set up two chairs & also set a pair of my husband’s army boots by the door so it appeared someone was with me to anyone who happened by. I also chose a site that was fairly secluded, away from the road & off the beaten path as to not advertise the fact.
* I planned my trips around the full moon so I had light enough to see all around me at night. Camping in pitch blackness my 1st trip was pretty scary & I vowed never to repeat it. Henceforth, I checked the moon phases online & planned my trips around nights when the moon was full or near full, rose just after sunset & didn’t set until morning.
* I took several weapons with me for peace of mind. There were a few times i awoke to the sound of shuffling around the camper -this turned out to be only animals) I was glad I had the weapons but never had to use any of them.
I have been on about 15 solo camping trips now..
I do maintain a healthy wariness whereever I go.
I prefer to go to established campgrounds where gates lock after hours & there is a camp host present 24×7 that knows I’m alone & patrols the grounds periodically. This gives me peace of mind & allows me to thoroughly enjoy my stay.
Having a camper van that I can lock myself into at night to sleep goes long way towards making me feel less vulnerable too. I’m not sure I’d sleep too deeply in a tent.
Camping alone as a woman isn’t for everyone. It’s easy to imagine the worst happening when you have no one to distract you & your ears are attuned to every little sound. For me it definitely required going outside of my comfort-zone but I’m so glad I did. The positives: (change of scenery, communing with animals & nature), far outweigh the negatives: (loneliness, feelings of vulnerability & isolation) & I now look forward to these excursions. I usually come home feeling rested & renewed. I have also met some really nice people at these campgrounds who appreciate nature as much as I do.
Personally. I think campgrounds are the best of both worlds: You’re surrounded by nature but not removed entirely from civilization.
Don’t let fear keep you from exploring.
Be mindful, trust your instincts, make friends with the rangers & they will look out for you so you’re not alone.
Great story and you are a true brave soul, Cyndi. Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks, I’m sure other aspiring female campers would be grateful just as much as I am 🙂
Continue having fun on your journey, and I’m so sorry to hear about your husband.
So nice that you wrote this out Cyndi. I’m planning my first solo trip and yours are words of encouragement!
This has some of the best advice I have seen. I loved the overall article, but I think your advice of making it look like there is another at the campsite is so valuable. The moon phase advice is also a really great one. I think knowing the rangers would also help. I am getting ready for my first solo excursion this spring and I am so excited, but wisely nervous
Thanks Brandon 🙂
I’m not so very brave. I’ve read a lot of stories of solo women backpackers who venture way out into the wilderness alone (bear country) for weeks at a time without incident but I doubt I’ll ever be THAT courageous, lol
For women like me, there are thankfully campgrounds.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Have you read this article yet? Have a read and tell me your first thoughts 😀
I am a 67-year-old female who left a major city for more rural life long ago. I hate public camp grounds. Instead I have backpacked, fished, hunted and camped alone in the wilderness for decades. Scared? I am more scared to be in a city than in the mountain wilderness. I dream sometimes of being alone again in the woods. It is the most restorative place on the planet. Go forward women. Do not die without standing alone in the natural world.
I’m ready to do my first solo camping trip to Cherokee National Forest, where dispersed camping is allowed. I’m going to #vanlife it. Do you think a campground is safer, or somewhere off the beaten track?