Skip navigation
Camping Alone as a Woman - Header
Healthy Travel

Camping Alone as a Woman: Everything You Need to Know

Thinking about camping alone as a woman? Here’s everything you need to know to stay safe and get the most out of your solo camping experience.   

Camping alone as a woman might sound intimidating, but it can be one of the most rewarding, empowering, and restorative experiences you can have. If you love camping, experiencing the great outdoors on a solo adventure is completely different than camping with friends.

While both are amazing experiences, solo camping trips can offer a new perspective on your environment and yourself. You’ll get to experience nature at your own pace and on your own terms while allowing yourself time to reflect and increase your self-awareness.

Here’s everything you need to know before setting off on your next camping trip.

Why Go Camping Solo?

There are plenty of great reasons to camp solo. It’s incredibly empowering and peaceful, it can be very restorative, and camping alone is an excellent way to get in touch with nature. Plus, when you camp by yourself, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Free Camping Travel photo and picture

There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t safely camp by yourself, as long as you’re prepared and take some precautions. Follow our advice below, and you’ll be ready to set off on a solo adventure!

How to Plan for a Solo Camping Trip

The first step for solo female campers is planning their outdoor adventure. Here are some things to consider before setting off on your trip.

How to Choose a Campsite

One of the first things you’ll need to decide when choosing a campsite is whether you want to camp at an established campsite with other campers around or in the backcountry by yourself.

Both are great options, and it really just depends on what you’re looking for in an experience, though it will take more preparation if you plan on camping in the wild.

Before settling on a campsite, take a look at some of the things to do in the area. You can camp close to trails, waterfalls, nearby attractions, and even wineries to give yourself activities to do during the day.

Free Fondue Switzerland photo and picture

Interested in camping in wine country? Check out our article on the Best Wine Country Getaways.

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Check the weather forecasts before you go and prepare for things to potentially change. Make sure that you pack accordingly (we’ll get to that below) and have a backup plan.

If the weather changes (or you feel unsafe for any reason), it helps to be ready with a plan B. Will you stay at a nearby hotel? Sleep in your car? Drive home? Stay flexible, and once again, trust your instincts.

Make Lists and Pack Camping Gear

Stay organized by making lists of all the gear you’ll need to bring.

It also helps to write down all of your emergency contact numbers to have on hand (and make a list to leave with a close friend or family members at home).

Make sure that your first aid kit is stocked, and test all of your gear before you leave.

Things to Consider if This is Your First Solo Camping Experience


Free Mountains Camping photo and picture

An established campsite (like the ones you’ll find in national or state parks) is probably your best option for your first solo camp. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that there are park rangers or officials nearby that can help if you need it.

Many established campsites have facilities that you can make use of as well.

That doesn’t mean that backcountry camping is off the table for your first time; just know that you’ll need to do some more preparation and take some added safety precautions.

You may want to plan your first solo camping trip at a site where you’ve camped before with a friend or family member. That way, you’ll have more of an idea of what to expect.

Many people feel more comfortable camping somewhere close to home their first time, though, like everything else on a solo trip, that’s ultimately your decision to make.

Car camping is another great option for your first trip. You might feel more comfortable and secure being able to lock your doors at night.

If you’re tent camping close to your vehicle, you can always choose to spend the first night (or all of them) in the car if you’re feeling nervous.


Camping Gear to Pack for Camping Solo

Your individual packing needs will change depending on whether you plan to backcountry camp, pitch a tent in a campground, car camp, or use a camper.

That’s why we recommend doing some research and coming up with a list of the right gear that works for you before you start packing.

Free Food Pan photo and picture

Whatever you bring, we definitely recommend investing in the highest-quality gear that you can afford and keeping it safe and dry in a waterproof bag or pack.

Some things you might want to bring include:

  • A tent (if you’re new to tent camping, check out our article on How to Sleep Comfortably in a Tent.)
  • A sleeping bag—make sure you get one that’s rated for the appropriate temperature of your destination.
  • A pillow
  • A sleeping mat and extra camp blanket
  • Layerable clothing—always plan for rain and for cooler weather than you’re anticipating, just in case.
  • A lantern, headlamp, or bright flashlight
  • A pocket knife or multipurpose tool
  • Enough water for the duration of your trip, plus extra. Consider bringing a water purifier or sterilization pen if you’ll have access to a water source.
  • An insulated water bottle/travel coffee mug.
  • Enough food for your stay—don’t forget the snacks!
  • A first-aid kit
  • An offline map—either downloaded on your phone or a paper map.
  • Toiletries—definitely don’t forget the sunscreen! If you’re camping somewhere where you won’t have access to facilities, remember that you’ll need toilet paper and a trowel.
  • A lighter or matches and fire starter if you’re planning to make a fire, and a camp stove if you plan to cook on one. (If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our article on Easy Camping Meals for Your Next Trip.)
  • A backup battery/charger for your phone.
  • If you’re camping for several days, consider bringing along a portable wash bag. It will allow you to easily hand wash clothes and save valuable space in your pack.
  • A portable navigation device isn’t always necessary, but it’s a nice thing to have, especially if you plan on doing a lot of hiking.
  • These are optional as well, but we always like to bring binoculars and a journal or sketchbook!

Safety Tips for Camping Alone as a Woman

Women camping by themselves shouldn’t need to be afraid, but there are some safety precautions you should take to ensure that your camping trip is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

Free People Sitting photo and picture

Check In

Make sure that a close friend or family member knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back. If you can, check in with them during the duration of your camping trip.

Protect Yourself from Animals

Free Roadsign Bears Xing photo and picture

Before you leave, research what animals you might encounter in the area, such as bears, snakes, or mountain lions. If you’re camping in bear country, you might want to consider carrying a can of bear spray (it may even be required).

Keeping your food in a bear can is never a bad idea, but at the very least, make sure that you keep any food, scraps, and trash away from where you’ll be sleeping—yes, even crumbs.

Protect Yourself from Other People

If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and use common sense. Don’t give away too much personal information to strangers. No one needs to know that you’re camping alone (except trusted friends, family members, and park rangers).

You can always lie and tell people that someone is meeting you or even set out some extra gear (like an extra chair) to make it look like there are two people camping at your site.

Don’t advertise your exact location to anyone other than those few trusted people listed above. You don’t want to give anyone back home an invitation to break into your house knowing that you’ll be away.

Although it’s extremely unlikely to be an issue, you also don’t want the wrong person to know where to find you while you’re camping.

Be friendly but cautious around strangers, especially if you feel like they may be asking too many questions.

Protect Yourself with Self-Defense Classes

Consider taking a self-defense class. Ok, this one requires some pre-planning, but if you’re a regular solo camper (or plan to be), it’s not a bad idea to take a self-defense course or two.

Hopefully, you’ll never be put in a position where you have to use your self-defense skills, but just knowing that you have them will make you feel safer and more confident when camping alone.

You may also want to take along pepper spray or a safety whistle, which can scare off unwanted advances and signal to anyone nearby that you might need help.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Pay attention to your surroundings, not just when it comes to other people or wild animals, but also in regard to the weather. Stay informed about the potential for flash floods, fallen tree limbs, etc. Always take precautions while hiking or swimming alone.

If you have access to one, bring an emergency satellite phone. That way, you can call for help if you get stuck somewhere and won’t have to worry about cell phone reception.

Practice Fire Safety

Follow the guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association. Keep your fire small and manageable, always have a way to put it out nearby (either a bucket of water or a shovel and dirt or sand).

Most importantly, ALWAYS make sure the fire is completely extinguished before going to bed or leaving the site.

Free Camp Campfire photo and picture

Set Up During the Daylight

This is part safety tip and part make-your-life-easier tip. Set up your gear during the day when you can see what you’re doing.

You’re less likely to risk injury, pitching your tent will be less frustrating, and it’ll be easier to adapt if you start setting up and realize your plan needs to change.

Things to Do While Camping Alone as a Woman

Free Camping Woman photo and picture

There are plenty of activities solo female campers can do! Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Explore Nature—Go hiking, swimming, birdwatching, etc.
  • Bring a Furry Friend—Bringing your dog along on a camping trip will surely provide you with plenty of activities (and may even make you feel safer if you’re nervous.) Just make sure you do your research on whether dogs are permitted on your campground, know any leash laws, and bring plenty of supplies for your furry friend. 
  • Listen to podcasts or music
  • Read a book—make sure you bring a light that’s bright enough to read by but not so bright it hurts your eyes. 
  • Write about or sketch your surroundings—If you love to paint, consider bringing a travel watercolor set. 
  • Leave no trace—Remember: however you choose to spend your time while camping solo, carry everything out with you and leave no trace. 

Final Thoughts

Free Camping Constellation photo and picture

If you enjoy camping, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t feel empowered to take a solo camping trip.

Although solo male campers still outnumber solo female campers, according to Statista, the number of women camping alone climbs higher every year. That means that even if you’re camping alone, you’ll be in good company!