Alone in the wild: Why more women should go solo camping
If you are a woman and landed on this page, then probably the desire to go solo camping is already in you, but you don’t quite know where to start. Or maybe some fears are holding you back? Camping alone as a woman can feel intimidating.
From wanting to head into the wild with a tent and backpack to actually doing it, some inner work and mental preparation can be necessary – apart from the practical planning, obviously.
Today, I consider myself a passionate outdoor woman who is almost more at home in her tent than any other place. It hasn’t always been this way. I had to build up some courage first, but I’m telling you, the beauty of resting your head in the middle of nowhere is worth it.
I’d like to inspire more women to be brave and go wild camping alone – so here are some words of advice for you.
First of all, let me say: You are not alone.
If you are just diving into the topic of wild camping, it may seem that there are few people at all or only guys doing it.
But if you dig a little deeper, you will find that there are plenty of women and men venturing outdoors on their own, whether adventurous travelers, thru-hikers, or weekend warriors.
Actually, I didn’t get to meet other female solo campers until I went out on my first long-distance hike, but if you can, connect with like-minded people. It will help you to get answers to the questions you have and build up the courage to go spend your first night outdoors.
Why camping alone as a woman is not as scary as you think
We are meant to be in nature.
Sleeping alone in nature is a beautiful way to reconnect with our surroundings. Forests. Hills. Rivers.
How little time do we spend witnessing the wonders of nature? People used to live in synchronicity with the rhythms of nature, but sadly, nowadays a lot of this has been lost.
What was the last time you fully felt the cold of the night come without fleeing into your house? What was the last time you saw the magnificence of a sunrise?
Solo camping can remind us very intensely of our natural way of being. One with nature. As humans, we need nature to be happy and healthy.
Trust that you are safe. Once you overcome your initial nervousness, wild camping can become a very grounding and peaceful experience.
Get to know your authentic self in the wild.
In the rawness of nature, it gets easier to feel what is going on inside of us.
When there are no distractions around, no entertainment but the sound of the birds and the wind whistling through the grass, that’s when you can truly feel yourself.
Wild camping gives you time to reflect, connect with your authenticity and find out who you truly are when you are away from the things that you use to define yourself in day-to-day life.
Let nature take off the layers that are not really you.
Give yourself permission to come back to yourself. That’s where you shine the brightest.
Camping alone as a woman gets easier.
Solo wild camping is, like anything else, a skill that can be learned.
Anyone who has camped many nights out will confirm that it becomes second nature. You build confidence, know what to avoid and what kind of spots you feel safe in.
The more often you practice camping alone as a woman, the quieter your fears will become. You will realize that the real danger lies in your mind, not in your surroundings.
If you are taking the common-sense precautions (e.g. knowing your gear, not camping too close to towns, or in bear territory without preparing yourself adequately, or right next to a tree that looks like it’s about to fall), then wild camping is a very safe activity.
Once you get used to it, you will realize you are safer in nature than in any big city – especially as a woman.
Other people’s fears are not your fears.
More often than our own fears, it is the comments from our surroundings that hold us back from doing what we want.
When telling your friends and family about your wish to go wild camping alone, you may encounter strong emotional reactions – I certainly did. Even though it’s usually coming from a place of good intentions, it can feel discouraging to be faced with concerns and warnings.
Do not make their fears your own. Hear them out, try to understand their perspective, and then explain yours. If they are open to learning what fascinates you about wild camping, maybe they will let you go more easily.
In any case, the wave of criticism is also something that fades with time. Once your loved ones see you go out by yourself, maybe even for longer periods, and come back safely, again and again, they might at some point even forget to ask you to religiously send your GPS location every evening 😉
And after all, it is YOUR dream. It is worth pursuing even if people you care about do not think it is a good idea. And that’s okay.
Be the woman you wish you had as an example.
I wish we lived in a world where women were encouraged to live their best lives. But they are often held small, taught from very early on that there are certain things they cannot do.
Growing up with society’s limitations and seeing how they still affect women today is why I am so dedicated to changing the narrative. I want to be an example for the women coming after me. I want to normalize it for women to sleep outside alone, go on adventures alone, without fear.
We need the next generation of women to be independent, self-confident, and courageous.
By turning your life into an adventure, you show other women what is possible. Role models matter, in business, in ethics, in the outdoors.
We all need positive role models and I encourage you to be the example you wish you had when you were younger – no matter if you want to be hiking the highest mountains or fulfill some other heart’s desire you have.
Wild camping ALONE makes you a stronger woman.
Last but not least, remember that you always come out stronger than you were before when you challenge yourself.
By doing something that slightly (or maybe even wildly) scares you, you prove to yourself that you are stronger than your mind’s fears.
Camping alone as a woman can help you to build confidence. You learn how to trust yourself and your body and you refine your natural instincts.
Personally, going on long hikes with everything I need to survive in my backpack has transformed me as a person. It has made me a stronger and more confident woman than I ever was, knowing I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
So, why wait any longer? There’s so much to discover.