Women camping safely

I started camping last year. I found myself being nervous to tent camp all by myself. I’m loking to go camping again this year but want to be safe. What do women here do to stay/feel safe while camping alone? Thanks

I always make sure someone knows where I am when camping. I have an app which tracks my location even when I don’t have signal which is very good and also I try to have a safety buddy which I talk to when I know I will be out of range before and after I am traveling in these areas. This not only makes me feel better but also my family. Additionally I keep something loud with me… I have an emergency siren that is designed for jogging and another one that is on my walkie talkie which I make sure is in my tent at any given time. This is just something extra that might scare away someone if they know others are able to hear it around. Lastly I never travel without a weapon… and no I do not mean a gun (that is complicated traveling from state to state) I have something I can use in case of attack like a shovel or hatchet. I have been camping solo for over 3 years now and never had an issue but it is always better safe than sorry.


What app do you use? I’ve only solo camped in campgrounds but I want to start backpacking.


I have been using Life 360… it is nice because it provides great maps and tracks my phone… but also when I do not have signal still can pinpoint my location… It gives indicators such as how fast you are traveling, if you have stopped etc… pretty handy for a family or friend app for every day and very useful for traveling solo and having a safety buddy

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It’s funny, most of the camping I do is solo, and people are always like ‘wow you camp alone? Aren’t you scared?’. Ok, let’s be fair…have you ever been to a campground? If so, you know you aren’t ever really alone :slight_smile: I find most RV people are generally friendly and tend to look out for others. Being a tent camper and a woman, I make a point to scope out who is around me and will go introduce myself to the nice retired couple in the RV (there is ALWAYS a nice retired couple in an RV). They are like built in Neighborhood Watch.
If I’m in a more sparse area, or one that is all tent camping, I will sometimes put up a ‘dummy tent’: a second tent so it looks like more than one person is there, or expected to be there. I don’t say I’m camping alone, I say I have friends that will be joining me at some point. When you reserve a camping spot, say there are two, not one.
I also bring along my Harley Quinn baseball bat (that was an interesting Halloween :wink: and I keep it with me by the fire and then in my tent at night. Honestly, that one is as much the ‘don’t look like an easy mark, so you aren’t an easy mark’ kinda thing, as much as it is a defensive weapon. At night, I sleep with my headlamp, car keys and bat in exactly the same spot every time, so reaching for them in the middle of the night requires no fumbling in the dark. If I hear something that gives me pause, I can use the key fob to make the lights on my car blink. This lets anyone that might be lurking around, know that I am aware they are there.
All this said . . . I have never had an issue. I have never felt unsafe at a campground. When I’ve done dispersed camping, it takes that first night for me to acclimate, but following nights are not an issue. Hope that is helpful.


Similar to the other awesome solo female campers…

  • Let someone not with me know where I am - or at least when to expect me back
  • Sleep in my tent (instead of in my hammock) - no one knows how many people are in a tent unless they’ve been watching you.
  • Make ‘friends’ with the neighbors
  • Choose my campsite based on surroundings and who is near. I’ll camp anywhere when I’m with someone, but won’t camp somewhere I don’t feel confident alone.
  • Since I already have bear spray in my kit, I keep this inside my tent as my safety weapon (works for humans and animals)
  • Tie the tent zippers closed from the inside (but not too tight because you want to be able to get out if you have to pee)

I like the dummy tent idea… that is different haven’t thought about that…


@Bunny I also find the Dummy Suitcase to be a valuable asset for those of us with cats, that like to ‘help’ when we are packing for an adventure :smiley:


HI Ladies! Great tips and I want to add that I have a 4 digit suitcase lock that I put around the inside zippers so that no one can open them from the outside. You can even use rubber bands or string. TMI but you can also get ‘bathroom bags’ … think airplane airsickness bags but designed for women/mini bathrooms so you don’t have to leave your tent at night. The one thing I pause about is hiking alone, but that’s more about animals than people. Do you hike alone? I saw someone mentioned bear spray… thoughts?

I typically do hike alone as I am by myself most of the time. I have spoken to several rangers in regards to different parks specifically and they all suggest doing a few things.

  • Bear spray or distance wasp spray for predators
  • Play music on a speaker just loud enough to alert animals of your presence and give them a moment to choose to move on before you arrive upon them and frighten them into reaction. I don’t usually like to blast out music but I see their point and the other options they gave are singing loudly, talking loudly or make loud claps, all of which sound crazy so the speaker works best for me.
  • Try to tell people where you are hiking and how long the trail is so they have an idea
  • Always sign in for hikes that are distance, apparently a lot of people don’t sign in even on hikes which require a permit and this is even more problematic when hiking alone for obvious reasons.

There are a few other things which they mention as you go into certain parts of the world such as bear cans or making sure to actually check in for hikes which require permits, apparently many people attempt to bypass this step… but all in all those are my basics.

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Nothing more than a man camping solo should do :). I do dispersed camping solo so people aren’t typically as big a threat as large game. I always carry at least a pistol and K-Bar. If it makes you feel better, set out some extra camping chairs and/or tent to give the appearance of a larger group.

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I am new to camping and new to the forum. Is this too much in a reply post?? lol

My first trip was solo and I was terrified of bears more than humans. I know what humans want, but will a bear try to eat me for my deodorant? the citronella candles? Did I even pack toothpaste? WHY did they have to tell me about bears!?! However, staying safe and not getting murdered by strangers in the woods was on my mind…

My next couple camping weekends were supposed to be solo, but my sister joined me a couple of times and so did my parents, to relieve some of their pandemic woes and keep me company. My latest trips were solo once again because no one wanted to camp in December (I didn’t either after the first three nights) and because the last one was spontaneous and ill planned(I forgot my batteries and had no flashlight).

I have not tried non-campground camping, but some of the state park campsite can be more secluded than others which has its pros/cons for feeling safe. One state park had rangers driving by three times a day, another I only saw rangers at the station, but the pandemic might have affected that. I still try to get more secluded sites because camping is about being in nature, not noisy neighbors. Though the noise can be welcome and calming when solo, even late at night. Most of the campers seemed like decent folk at the state parks I have been to, though looks can be deceiving.

I always register as two campers, never one, and always online so there is a “paper” trail. Park rangers can be creeps too unfortunately. I have two camp chairs and a large tent so it may look like more people, but that’s just a benefit of me being lazy and comfortable, putting my feet up and wanting space to stand up in my tent or sit and read away from bugs.

I try to make friends with the people across the way or next door even if it is just waving to acknowledge my presence. I can tell a lot about a camper by how they greet strangers at a distance.

I haven’t had any “real” problems yet(I’m still alive and unmaimed) …though I have had conversations with creepers that left me feeling mildly unsafe, where they ask probing questions “are you by yourself?” “how long are you staying?” “are you from around here?” which I lied about obviously. To feel safer I roped in the group across the way, saying we were all camping together since the creep was a local bicyclist and not another camper. I also had a park ranger creep on me, his vibe was wrong and he lingered too long, but I didn’t see him again so I didn’t report it. Perhaps I should have.

Nothing should be different for a man/woman camping solo, but the world doesn’t work that way.

I also email my itinerary to my family before camping or hiking so if I get lost/murdered in the woods they know where to look. Sleeping is really the only time I feel unsafe. I may fear things hidden in the dark, but that won’t stop me from enjoying nature. If I am feeling particularly vulnerable in a tent, I always have space in my hatchback to sleep. I’m realistic about the possibilities, but optimistic that I am taking steps to minimize them as much as I can. I also have a darker sense of humour, which helps, I think.

People recommended I carry a firearm but they’re too heavy for backpacking, it seemed like a huge liability traveling between states, and also-- I’m not the type.

Instead, I got a giant dog from a guarding breed. F’real. I tried camping alone and nothing bad happened but I couldn’t relax so I got a big scary looking guard dog and I promise you nobody would DARE.

…Not that I sleep any better he guards me from weirdos but he also guards me from birds and frogs and tree limbs falling in the distance. There are quite a few woodland false-positives right now but he’s a ton of fun though.

I need to say this there was a constituency that insisted I was irrational for thinking I might be in danger out in the woods alone with no cell service or GPS in unfamiliar areas. Like, I know that the probability of getting murdered is pretty low but I take all practically possible precautions for my safety in the rest of my life, why would I not here? The risk isn’t zero. Solo female anythings are going to be the first to get targeted for any sort of crime.

We are all actually safer than in years past. There is always a risk but it is really pretty small. The media is loves jumping on things and stuff that happens anywhere gets broadcast everywhere. It totally makes sense to be prepared and not take unnecessary chances but the benefits of getting out there are so worth it!