6 Solo Camping Safety Tips for Women

Solo camping can be thrilling or scary, depending on how you look at it. But if you feel the call, don’t let fears and naysayers persuade you against it! Should you take safety precautions? Yes. Do you need martial arts training, a gun, and a guard dog? No.

If you’re considering either an impromptu and well-planned solo camping trip, then make sure you’ve packed the following safety tips.

6 Safety Tips for Solo Camping as a Woman

1) Know Your Fears and These Statistics

Your first hurdle to solo camping may very well be your own fears. Which can look like any combination of the following:

  • Women can’t camp alone.
  • If I camp alone, I’ll get raped, attacked, assaulted, some variation of harmed, or stalked by a wild animal or human.
  • I don’t know what I’m doing.
  • What if people look at me funny? What will they think?
  • My partner, mom, or uncle will be worried about me.

You can let these fears make all your plans, which would undoubtedly include staying in with Netflix and popcorn, or you can assess the validity of each one. Do these fears actually hold water? Who says women can’t camp alone? Your dad? The dad, mom, uncle, or friend who is speaking from their own fears?

If you fear not knowing what to do, then the best way to learn is to get out there and do it. You don’t have to backpack deep into the forest. Find a campsite with running water and electricity. Drive your car right up. Pop up a tent, and you’re set!

At the end of the day, what other people think won’t matter. If that family across the campgrounds is giving you the funny eye, then calm yourself with these statistics. In 2016, there were only 36 reported rapes in all of the national parks combined. Compare that with the national rate of 95,730. Which means you’re more likely to get raped doing what you normally do on a day-to-day basis than you are camping solo. Plus, seven out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.

rape statistics

2) Be Confident

Confidence is key, they say, and it holds true when you’re out and about by yourself. Do you remember how in college you’d go downtown to meet up with your girlfriend? You’d have to walk that long dark street by yourself. That was far more dangerous than camping alone.

What you may not have known then is that confidence keeps you safe. If you walk down the street or strut around your campsite with your head held high, then you’re far less likely to be messed with. People who prey are looking for just that – prey. Weak, easy-to-get targets.

Beam confidence, and you’ll be the last one on a potential attacker’s list.

The case even goes for bears. If you have a close encounter with a bear, it’s best first to slowly back away. But in the process, you should stand tall while looking the bear directly in the eye. You’ll also yell at the bear, “Hey, bear! Get out of here!” Bears will usually flee. Confidence works with animals and humans.

3) Make eye contact

Along the same vein as confidence, make eye contact. You’ve got to have the confidence to make eye contact. You have to be willing to be mildly uncomfortable to look strangers (or animals) straight in the eye. Staring someone in the eye is taboo in some cultures, but if you’re traipsing around the national or state parks by yourself, then your safety trumps taboo.

When is it appropriate to look people directly in the eye? If they’re staring at you, then look back, make contact, and acknowledge the individual. If they keep staring, then give them the look. The, “What the heck are you looking at?” look. Maybe they just want to tell you that your tent is about let loose in the wind.

Otherwise, staring back at them will do two things for you. First, it will give the air of confidence, which is more likely to lessen your risk of being attacked. Second, it gives you the opportunity to assess whether this individual means to do you harm. Use your gut feelings. Maybe they just want to be friends, and they’ve got a whole crew of people who want to be friends with you, too.

4) Bring Pepper Spray

Confidence and eye contact can go a long way in keeping you safe but you don’t want to rely on it entirely. You don’t want to find yourself after the fact saying, “Man I should have brought pepper spray.” Just bring it. It’s more likely you’ll not use it but at least you’ll have it.

Even if you don’t have to use it to protect yourself, it serves the purpose of easing any anxiety. Which will make your whole experience ten times better.

If you're considering either an impromptu and well-planned solo camping trip, then make sure you've packed the following safety tips.

5) Come Prepared

You don’t want to be down and out on your first solo camping trip. It leaves you in a vulnerable position, in which you might have to approach a stranger. Which isn’t all bad. Not every stranger is evil. But it’s safer if you can keep to yourself mostly. And that starts with coming prepared.

Before you leave home to go solo camping, stage everything in your hallway or living room. Make sure you can see it all. Do you have your flashlight, tent, water, food, first-aid kit, and sleeping bag? Run through the list of must-haves. Don’t leave home without all the essentials.

6) Bring an Emergency Device

An emergency device is like a personal locator beacon. If you were to ever be in an emergency, then you simply push the button, and it sends out a distress signal. Help would be on the way. It’s another sneaky way of keeping yourself safe.

Keep it on your person. If you find yourself wandering off from camp and in trouble, then you know someone can always find you. In this instance, it’s not even about an attacker. It could be an animal or an unexpected injury. You need a way to call for help when you’re alone. Especially since cell phones don’t always work or run out of battery.

Images via Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thank you for posting.

Christine S
Christine Stewart9 months ago

thank you. I would still want to bring a dog- even though that does not guarantee your safety!

JoAnn P
JoAnn Paris9 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

Lesa D
Past Member 9 months ago

thank you Paula...

Danii P
Past Member 10 months ago

Thank you for sharing

Danii P
Past Member 10 months ago

Thank you for sharing

Roberto MARINI
Roberto MARINI10 months ago

it might be dangerous for a woman to camp alone.

Ann B
Ann B10 months ago

i do not agree with this article a woman camping alone is just a target for trouble--no matter what precautions

Ann B
Ann B10 months ago

ora moody and past member are spammers flag them

Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.