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How to Survive Your First Solo Camping Alone Trip

By Alice Teacake

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A camping trip is one of the best ways to escape the monotonousness of daily life and reconnect with Mother Nature. But, sometimes planning a camping trip with others turns out to be more nerve-racking than it’s worth. You’ll be trying to come up with a schedule that will work for everyone and ensuring that everyone brings the appropriate gear. You’ll have to decide what the right meals for everyone are, and arrange ride-shares. These are just a few things that could end up spoiling the fun. Why not go camping alone?

Why go camping alone?

While camping alone means not having friends around a campfire to share stories & crack jokes with, and not having someone to complain to about the soreness of your muscles after the day’s hike (!) there are some things that you will love about the solitude nature of solo camping.

Person lying down in an orange tent looking out onto a countryside scene with the light shining through

Camping alone is something you CAN do!

Here are my favourite reasons for why being a woman camping alone is the best:

You will reconnect better with nature

The reason why most of us go camping is to reconnect with the healing powers of Mother Nature.

While camping in a group, there will be lots of group activities. Yes, this means you’ll be spending time connecting with others, but this can come at the expense of connecting with yourself (something people tend to be doing less and less these days!) and feeling at one with Mother Nature.

Camping alone as a woman gets rid of all the daily distractions we’re faced with. It gives you a deeper and richer connection with nature and yourself. With nothing to distract you, the sunrises will be more breathtaking, and the moments you experience with alone may strike even more meaning into your life. Going solo rocks.

Read: 36 Inspirational Solo Female Travel Quotes

Hiking in Xingping China

You can keep your own pace

People have varying speeds. This leaves you no choice but to adjust your speed accordingly when camping in a group. If you are slow, you will always be struggling to keep up with the fastest people in the group. If you are fast, on the other hand, you will keep slowing down for the dawdlers to catch up.

The good thing with camping alone is that you get to keep your own pace. It’s just you. You can do whatever you want!

If you are feeling fresh and energetic, you could rev up your speed to cover more ground. You can also slow down or take a rest if you are feeling a little famished or tired. This trip is yours; and yours only. Go camping alone!

Scene from the inside of a blue tent looking out onto rolling hills and blue skies

Keep your own pace by going camping alone

Self-reliance builds self-confidence

While camping in a group, you have other people to call out to when things get difficult or when something goes wrong.

There will always be a lovely someone ready to help with starting the fire, setting up the tent, or identifying the ideal hiking routes.

However, if you’re a female camping alone, you have no one else to rely on. Scary right! Or is it?

Knowing that you have the gusto and resilience to embark on a journey in the wild and survive by your own means ultimately boosts your self-confidence. You’ll be coming out of this trip like wonderwoman – and that is definitely one of the undeniable beauties of solo female travel!

Read: How to create a woman who goes traveling alone

Woman running wearing a red and black chequered shirt in the wilderness

Become the woman you are destined to be through camping

BTW, it is not going to be easy…

To be completely honest, alone camping in the wild won’t be easy (especially the sleeping alone in the wilderness part). I’m an honest blogger, and travelling alone isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.

The whole experience will sometimes send you into a swirl of fear and worry, especially at night.

Do not give into fear and worry

You are in an unusual environment, and there may be a lot running through your mind enough to make you chicken out. This is absolutely normal but there’s many easy ways to manage this to conquer the fear and worry. Nothing should be getting in the way of your goals and dreams!

One way is to not just give yourself a night or two on your solo camping trip. To reach the level of solo camping enjoyment you are after, you must give yourself time to get used to the surroundings.

After a couple of nights camping alone in the wilderness, you will reach a certain point where you become more comfortable or just too tired to worry about what’s going on around you.

Make yourself uncomfortable first, to then become comfortable going forward!

Solo female traveler with a backpack looking out onto a scenery of mountain tops

Embrace being uncomfortable to ultimately become comfortable with yourself and your surroundings

11 tips on what to do when camping alone

These 11 tips are going to get you off to a great start and help make your first camping adventure go as smoothly as possible. Here we go!

Preparation is everything

Your first solo camping will feel more or less like a rite of passage. It will be a test of whether you have the mettle to not only survive but also flourish alone in the wild.

Are you ready to camp solo?

This is the first question you should ask yourself before embarking on a solo camping trip. If this is your first time camping alone, it might be challenging for you. Understand this, read the the rest of the blog to gain the knowledge and right gear to start camping alone, and walk into your camping trip like a boss.

Do you know your survival basics?

The survival basics that you ideally need to know include:

  • Pitching up a tent (carry some waterproof tents while camping for extra points)
  • Knowing how to navigate with a map and compass
  • Building & putting out a fire
  • Accessing clean water (use a water filter bottle – check out the packing list below!)
  • Handling wildlife (including violent wild animals)
  • Self care & first aid
  • Weather forecasting (the last thing you want is to get stuck in a storm)
Woman warming her hands by a campside fire she has made herself

You need to know basic survival skills - this can include making , starting and putting out fires

Be mindful of what you pack

Over-pack and your walk up to the camping ground will be unforgiving. Under-pack and things will turn from bad to worse upon reaching the camping destination.

You are likely to experience more trouble when moving around if you pack so many things. You need just enough for yourself, so be realistic when deciding what things you want to bring along. The best way to go about it is to pack only what you need for camping alone.

Can you carry a hefty load?

Be honest with yourself. You will spend most of your time carrying all your items during day hikes. If you cannot carry heavy items, your first solo camping trip will kick your butt. Being able to carry a heavy weight comes down to two things: your fitness but also importantly, what backpack you are wearing!

Alice Teacake looking out to the Dolomites with a blue Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack on her back

I love my Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack! Photo credit @kim.ou on Instagram

I have tried out various backpacks throughout my 9 years of solo travel and made the mistake of not having the right backpack. What has worked for a city break has most certainly not worked for a multi-day camping and hiking trip!

I trust Osprey

I love Osprey backpacks and have been using my Osprey Women’s Kyte 36 for a while now

Check prices for Osprey Women’s Kyte Backpacks here

Start building your fitness levels now

Planning to take your trip in the next few coming weeks? Take a few hikes in the neighborhood while carrying a heavily loaded backpack to build up your muscles for the actual hike.

Start small and work your way up

To evade the dangers of camping alone, it is always advisable that you pick a spot that is not too far away from home or a place that you are familiar with for your first camping trip. The more you open yourself to unfamiliar surroundings, the more likely that something will go wrong.

How safe is camping alone?

With the right preparation, you can take care of your safety when camping aloneto the best of your ability. You need to:

  1. Let people know where you are
  2. Invest in personal security devices
  3. Learn some easy self defense moves
Personal Security Devices and Products for Travel

Travel safely with a helping hand from personal security devices and products

Let people know where you are

Your solo camping trip should not be a secret. It is crucial that you share your plans with someone close to you. This person needs to know when you are leaving, how long you will be staying, and where you will be camping.

Invest in a WanderSafe personal alarm

It is also advisable that you invest in an emergency device or a personal locator which will make it easier for this person to find you in case of an emergency. I personally use WanderSafe and love it.

WanderSafe gives you location-centric travel tips so you can see if the area you are in has been found to be safe by other solo female travellers. It is also a personal alarm with a light to help guide your way, a strobe to disorient attackers, and a full 140lb sire if needed.

My favourite thing about WanderSafe? It has an activate button which notifies 3 emergency contacts of your location using geo-coordinates via Bluetooth.

Get $10 off your WanderSafe with the code TeacakeTravels10

Learn self defense skills

A couple of years ago I learnt Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in China for 3 months straight and it’s one of the best travel gifts I’ve ever given myself. As a solo female travel you need to empower yourself mentally and physically and knowing how to protect yourself, if the situation arises, is one of the best tools you can have.

After my experience in India, I’m forever grateful that I knew what to do when it came to the crunch.

I have set up a *free* self defense course for all of you ladies. Please grab it while you can and invest in your safety.

Sign up to Teacake’s Free Self Defense Course here

Bring along some good reads

The stories and jokes present when camping in a group won’t be there when camping alone. It is up to you to figure out how to enjoy camping alone. Camping alone activities will help you kill time. Bring along a good book to help keep get rid of the spare time, as well as help you get to sleep!

I’m currently reading The Happiness Hypothesis

Woman reading a book in her tent in the woods camping alone

Read a book while camping alone in your tent

Do not forget to test your gear

Take some time to check whether your gear is working properly one day before heading out for the solo camping trip. As part of camping alone safe procedures, fire up the camping stove & make sure it is working correctly. Set up the tent and check whether the headlamp needs a battery change as well.

Camping while menstruating

For the camping alone woman, your period should not stop you from enjoying your solo camping trip. You just have to be prepared for it. Menstruation cups are the best for hiking but you can also use tampons. For hygiene purposes, carry a few feminine tissues to clean up after cup replacement. Make sure you carry the used tissues and tampons back home for disposal.

Read: How to survive your period while traveling on your period

Camping alone whilst on your period is easy with the right products

Camping alone whilst on your period is easy with the right products

Finding the right camping spot

It’s evening; you are done with your hike and you have identified the general area where you want to set up camp. What’s next? For one, a flat spot is ideal to ensure a comfortable bed. Secondly, make sure that your tent is pinned well to the ground just in case of strong winds (use huge rocks for additional support).

Finding the right spot while camping alone

Finding the right spot while camping alone

Are you ready to go camping alone?

Most people tend to think of solo camping as something only reserved for highly experienced campers. But when you plan right with the help of the camping alone tips above, there’s no reason you cannot set out on a solo camping adventure.

A solo camping trip is one of the best experiences you can have to unplug, enjoy yourself, discover nature, and to discover yourself. You will find yourself doing things you never thought you were capable of. What are you waiting for?

Camping alone camping trip Camping alone camping trip

Comment Below

Do you have any tips for solo chicks to prepare and know how to go camping alone?

Have you tried solo camping? How did it go?

Looking forward to hearing your ideas and tips.

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About Alice Teacake

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I'm a feminist British kickass solo female traveller who believes in women facing their fears, pushing their boundaries and reaching their full potential through solo adventure travel! I have been featured in Nat Geo Traveller UK, Lonely Planet, the Daily Mail and Buzzfeed and spoken about solo female travel safety on BBC One, whilst working with a bunch of awesome brands. Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

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