So you want to go camping alone? My wife and I have some tips and tricks to ensure your next camping trip alone is a safe and pleasant experience.
- Get to know your campsite
- Research the wildlife
- Protect yourself from the insects and animals
- Don’t go too far out from the other campers
- Share your plans with someone you trust
- Check the weather forecast beforehand
- Familiarize yourself with the nearby area
- Set up a proper shelter
- Bring all the essentials, as well as food and water
- Bring an emergency device
- Entertain yourself
- Be fully settled in before dark
- Always have an exit plan
- Meet some new people
- Relax and enjoy yourself
- General Tips for Camping Alone
- 1. Choose a good campsite
- 2. Research the nearby area
- 3. Beware of dangerous insects or animals
- 4. Don't head too far out
- 5. Share your plans with a trusted person
- 6. Check the weather forecast
- 7. Set up a proper shelter
- 8. Bring all the essentials
- 9. Bring lots of food and drinks
- 10. Set up a doctor's appointment before going
- 11. Bring an emergency device
- 12. Entertain yourself
- 13. Set up camp before it's dark
- 14. Go camping in a familiar location
- 15. Take all the safety precautions
- 16. Bring bear pepper spray
- 17. Don't take risks
- 18. Always have an exit plan
- 19. Make friends
- 20. Go for more than a few days
- 21. Pack some thermal underwear
- 22. Keep calm, and have fun
- How to Camp Alone as a Woman
- How to Camp Alone as a Man
General Tips for Camping Alone
1. Choose a good campsite
I highly recommend picking an area that you are familiar with, just so that you can be safe.
If you insist on going someplace new, make sure to check online and see if others have successfully camped alone there as well. It’s a good idea to ask questions online and talk to the people that have camped there before so that you can have some extra preparation.
Once you’ve decided on an area and decided to head in, make sure you talk to the ranger and let him know about your situation so that you can have him as an emergency contact.
2. Research the nearby area
Wherever you plan to go camping alone, it’s always a solid idea to research the nearby area to know what’s in stock for you when you get there.
I always like to read up about the different wildlife and plants I may encounter in the area just so that I can be prepared.
You should also do some research about the different bugs and insects you may find so that you can pack some proper repellents for them.
If you plan on going hiking, research the different trails and know your way around the campsite just in case you get lost. I always like to get a map of the area and mark the locations that I stay at so that I can always have a way back if something happens.
I provide detailed information regarding safety gear for families in a separate article.
3. Beware of dangerous insects or animals
Like I said above, you should always do some research about the different wildlife you may encounter.
Pack some proper repellents for the insects, and make sure you know how to protect yourself from the different types of wildlife.
It’s not only bears and animals that can be dangerous, however. There are also tons of mosquitoes that can carry diseases, so it’s important that you also know how to repel mosquitoes in the wild.
Remember, it’s just you this time, so it’s extra important to know how to stay safe since there might be nobody to help you.
4. Don’t head too far out
If it’s one of your first times going camping alone, I highly recommend not heading too far out.
I like to still set up my tent facing an area where there is no sign of humans so that I can create the feeling of solitude, but I’m still not too far out from the main area.
Just in case something happens, you should always have an exit and someone you can contact that is able to help you.
5. Share your plans with a trusted person
Whether it be your friends or family, always share your plans with someone who you can trust.
If something happens to you, at least there will be somebody who will know where to look for you. Tell that trusted person exactly when you plan to come back from your trip, where you will be staying, and other important details they should know.
This is one of the best safety tips for camping alone, and it’s an absolute must that you do this. For extra safety, I also advise you ask the ranger for their phone so that you can call them at any time, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help you.
If you want to be extra cautious, become friends with some of the other campers out there and share your plans with them so that they can be able to find you.
6. Check the weather forecast
It’s not that some types of weather can be dangerous for you, but it is a good idea to be prepared. You don’t want to get rained on and sleep in wetness, do you?
I thought not. Just check the weather ahead of time and be prepared for whatever is to come – rain, storms, etc. If it were me, I keep up with the forecast every day, and even when I’m out camping if I can catch some internet signal that’s the first thing I’d check.
Of course, if something like a weather emergency is expected to occur, then it would be a good idea to pack up your bags and postpone your solo camping trip to a later date.
7. Set up a proper shelter
Though it’s a bit more risky to camp in a tent if you are alone, it won’t be the end of the world. I personally love camping in tents when I go camping alone.
If you are scared of tents, you could always just rent an RV for a few days. If you feel like you’ll miss the tent experience, you can just get a pop-up tent for your RV!
Don’t be afraid to make yourself comfortable, bring an air mattress or whatever you may desire that can help keep you comfortable.
8. Bring all the essentials
Though you still want to pack light since you’re only one person, it’s extremely important to bring all of the essential items. Nobody will be there to help you in case something goes south, so make sure to prepare for the worst.
I highly recommend checking out REI’s Camping Checklist, as it has pretty much everything you could ever need.
Of course, try to stay minimal, but make sure to be smart about what you decide to bring with you.
9. Bring lots of food and drinks
You should definitely plan your meal for every day that you are going to be camping alone.
You don’t want to be starving out there, so make sure to accommodate yourself for your needs properly. I highly recommend carrying easy to prepare for foods that are specific for camping.
Also, sometimes you may not be able to find clean water, so you should definitely pack lots of water. My rule for water is one gallon a day per person, and in this case, we have just one person, so a gallon for each day would be quite good.
I also highly advise not to bring alcohol with you, as it could be quite dangerous. Besides, it might be illegal at the campgrounds, so make sure to read the rules about that.
Stick to some good old water, easy to prepare foods, and enjoy yourself out there.
10. Set up a doctor’s appointment before going
You’ll be alone, and you don’t want any surprises to happen, right?
Make sure you get a good checkup and a heads-up from your doctor before heading out on your solo trip. It’s always a good idea and will help keep you safe out there.
11. Bring an emergency device
If anything goes wrong, you always want to have an emergency device with which you can either call your friends or family or find your way back home.
Satellite phones are a pretty good tool with which you can do this, so I highly recommend it.
Give your trusted people a call once in a while to let them know you’re OK, or to report any changes of plans that you may have. Like I said above, always make sure to tell a trusted person where you are and what you plan on doing so that they can find you in case things head south.
12. Entertain yourself
Whether a book or something else, bring something with which you can entertain yourself if you’re ever bored.
After all, you want it to be a pleasant and fun experience, and entertaining yourself is a perfect way to achieve this.
A little bonus, if you like, is getting some audiobooks to which you can listen to at night. When you’re alone, a lot of people feel that the sounds coming from outside are a lot scarier, so audiobooks are a perfect way to shut them off.
13. Set up camp before it’s dark
This is one of the most important rules when camping, no matter if you’re alone or not.
The last thing you want to be doing is setting up your camp in the dark. Not only is it dangerous, but it is also quite difficult to set up camp in the dark, so just do yourself a favor and make sure you’re all set up in the daytime.
14. Go camping in a familiar location
I talked about this a bit above, but I really think this is also another very important safety tip for camping alone.
Knowing the area will help you out tremendously, and you should definitely check out an area with which you’re familiar.
If you insist on going somewhere new, then at least head out there a day early so that you can explore the area and see what’s in stock for you when you actually go camping there.
15. Take all the safety precautions
Whether you plan on going hiking, swimming, or whatever other activities you may do, please be safe. Make sure to not take any risks and do all those activities in the safest way possible.
Remember, when you’re alone there is nobody that can help you. After all, prevention is the best safety measure, so make sure you stay safe when doing any of those activities.
A lot of this article will include many of the possible safety precautions, so keep reading on down to find out more.
16. Bring bear pepper spray
In case a bear ever comes up to you in the wild, it’s important that you know how to handle it. I always like to bring bear pepper spray, as it can come in handy if you’re camping alone and a bear comes up.
Make sure to read up online about the proper way to handle a bear encounter in the wild.
Bear pepper spray is one of the best solutions, so go on Amazon and buy yourself some bear pepper spray.
17. Don’t take risks
Again, you’re alone and nobody is watching you.
We’ve all done risky things so that we can impress others, but there’s simply no point in doing something like that when nobody is watching you.
Enjoy yourself and have fun by staying safe, it’s pointless to attempt doing risky things. When you’re alone, even a small mistake can be quite dangerous, so be smart out there!
18. Always have an exit plan
In case the worst comes to worst, you should always have an exit plan. Make sure you set up your things in such a way so that you can quickly grab all your valuables within less than a minute and make a run for it.
No matter the situation, you always need to have an out, so please come up with a plan like this to stay safe.
19. Make friends
There are probably quite a few other campers who might be enjoying themselves out there, so go and meet some new people!
I highly advise making friends with some other fellow campers just in case, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them! Besides, if things do unfortunately go wrong, the other campers can help you out much faster than someone further away from you.
They’re not there to do harm to you, but if you are still a bit afraid, then your best bet would be to talk to some people who are with their family.
20. Go for more than a few days
This is one of the most common mistakes people make.
If it’s your first-time solo camping, I wouldn’t advise staying out there for a very long time, but definitely stick longer than two days. The first two days for people usually are a bit scary and unusual, but after two days you can just ease off and relax.
Enjoy the peace for as long as possible, as it’ll soon be gone and you’ll miss it!
21. Pack some thermal underwear
I’m in love with thermal underwear, and so is my wife. It can truly be a lifesaver out there once it gets cold, so make sure to bring a few of these suckers.
If worst comes to worst, you’ll be warm no matter where you are, even if you are outside your tent.
It’s always better to be prepared, so go buy a few of these online or at a nearby store.
22. Keep calm, and have fun
Don’t worry, the noises outside aren’t louder, it’s just your head!
I was a bit scared when I first tried solo camping, but it’s important to just relax. It’s not any different than that one time you went camping with your friends.
How to Camp Alone as a Woman
Though I’m not a woman, I got my lovely wife to tell me a few tips about how to camp alone as a woman, so check them out below!
1. Don’t make it evident you are alone
One more important thing to note, all of the tips above also apply to you ladies as well, so go check them out if you haven’t already!
Anyways, making it evident that you are alone is not the best idea. Pack up some extra chairs and make it seem as if there are two people there so that you can stay extra safe.
If you want to be even more cautious, let the ranger know about your situation, he’d be happy to help you at any given time! Also, make sure to jot down his number so that you can save him as an emergency contact.
When meeting strangers, she said she highly advises to talk only to families, as they are the most trustworthy people and won’t give you any trouble.
2. Protect yourself
In case something happens, it’s always a good idea to be able to protect yourself out there.
From blinding flashlights to air horns and even other things, my wife likes to bring them all whenever she goes solo camping. She always has a really loud whistle attached to her neck that she can blow in case she needs help.
It can be heard from a long distance away, and I’ve read online that it is extremely useful. I think it’s a really good idea and you never know what might save your life out there.
3. Bring your dog
Nothing makes for a better protector than your dog!
Your dog probably loves you to death, and if danger is ever near, he would surely alert you!
Besides, it’ll be loads more fun with a nice companion by your side, so if you have a dog, make sure to bring him with you!
4. Bring leggings
If you don’t want to buy yourself some thermal underwear, then leggings are just as good.
They can help keep you warm, and you probably already have a few at your house. Pack them along with your other clothes, and make sure to toss on some leggings if you ever feel cold out there.
If you ever plan to leave your tent, make sure to gear up and stay as warm as possible. You don’t know what could happen outside, so staying warm if you ever get lost is probably your number one priority.
5. Bring the right sleeping bag
Did you know science has proven that women tend to get colder more than men?
My wife always likes to bring a sleeping bag that is guaranteed to keep you warm many degrees below the actual temperature. If you also like to stay warm, or cold, go on Amazon to get yourself a suitable sleeping for the weather!
6. Make a woman’s camping checklist
It’s a bit hard to make your own checklist if you’ve never camped before, but even then, I highly advise looking at online camping checklists.
My wife says she always uses this camping checklist, as it is specifically made for women.
After taking a look at it, it seems pretty great, and you should definitely check it out and bring some of the essentials listed there. Don’t bring too many things though, as it might be hard to carry it all if you’re just one person.
7. That time of the month
My wife says that she has gone solo camping during the time of the month, and even when it wasn’t.
She says she prefers going camping when it’s not that time of the month, but it is up to you. If it does happen to be the time of the month when you are camping, she advises bringing a menstrual cup as it’s really handy.
8. Don’t camp in isolated areas
I’ve included this tip above, but my wife said that this especially applies to women.
She says that you should always make a few friends wherever you go camping, and to be within running distance from them.
I’d have to say that I highly agree with her, so please make sure to do this on your next solo camping trip. Staying safe is very important, so please take all the precautions necessary.
9. Make yourself comfortable
Bring everything you might want so that you can make yourself feel comfortable. After all, no one is watching you to judge you, so bring whatever you like!
My wife loves to bring a few books as well as a nice air mattress since it’s a lot more relaxing.
At night, some of the noises may scare her, so she simply enjoys listening to audiobooks to cancel off some of the noise. It’s a really good tip, and very relaxing to gaze off into the stars while listening to your favorite book!
How to Camp Alone as a Man
1. Pack shaving cream
In case your beard grows out a little bit, make sure to pack some shaving cream and other supplies so that you can shave!
I also like to pack a little portable mirror so that I can look at myself while I do this. I just hook it up onto a tree, and voila! I can shave now.
2. Wear comfortable clothing
Even though this is a tip that is true for both men and women, I believe it is especially important for us men as we sweat a bit more.
I like to bring comfortable clothing so that I can enjoy myself and protect myself from some of the dangers outdoors. It’s not a bad idea to bring slightly more loose-fit clothing, as it can help you sweat a bit less. It’s also a lot comfier.
3. Get the appropriate sleeping bag
Like I mentioned above, women usually feel colder than men.
I recommend you get a sleeping bag that is a little less warm if you’re camping for example during the winter. I didn’t know this until my wife bought me a sleeping bag that almost gave me a heat stroke!
Camping alone shouldn’t be scary. It’s tons of fun, and an excellent way to relax, so I highly recommend you try it. Besides, after reading all of our tips and watching the video above you will be more than ready to try it out for yourself.
Good luck out there, and stay safe!