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Women Camping Alone - Safety Advice

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 25 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
Camping Safety Women Safety Advice

Camping alone is often due to necessity or sometimes because people get more out of the experience of camping as a place to find solitude and to relax in peace. Whatever your reasons for camping alone, it is important to ensure your safety as the outdoors present more challenges and exposes your vulnerabilities more greatly if you’re camping alone and for women, in particular, it pays to be careful.

Stick To Official Campsites

Whether you’re male or female, if you’re camping alone then unless you’re a hardened enthusiast who is used to the wilderness, stick to official campsites where you’re going to be surrounded by others. Being out in the wilderness can be fraught with dangers anyway and especially so if you’re alone where you’ll have no support and you cannot easily summon help if you get injured, become sick, get lost or encounter any other difficulty.

At The Campsite

For women camping alone, the best thing you can do when you get to the campsite is to introduce yourself to the camp owner or to a park ranger. Let them know that you are travelling alone and ask them if they have a mobile phone number you can contact them on should you experience any problems. If they make regular patrols, ask them to make a point of stopping by your tent to check things are OK when they’re passing through. Make sure you store that number so you can quickly contact help with a single push of a button if you need to. Also, ask if there is a 24 hour number you can call in the event that they be coming off shift.

Even if you like your solitude, make it your business to try to pitch your tent in an area which is fairly close by to others – preferably a family, a couple or a female group. You should go and introduce yourself too. That way, you’ll feel less vulnerable and you’re more likely to call on them should you get into difficulty.

Try to avoid walking around the campsite alone after dark. If you need to get out of your tent late at night to go to the toilet, for example, make sure you carry a torch and take your mobile phone with you and be alert to others that might also be out and about too. At this time of night, it’s better to try to remain as inconspicuous as possible and to be a bit wary of engaging in lengthy conversations with others. Try to just go about your business and then go back to your tent. Carrying a personal alarm might seem extreme but will give you an added feeling of security too.

Keeping In Touch With Someone Back Home

Safety advice should also include letting someone at home know your plans and keeping in touch with them via your mobile phone at designated times of day. Even if it’s just sending a text message, arrange that you’ll call or send a text message at certain regular intervals and stick to the plan. The last thing you want to do is to forget to call or send a message and then have a loved one worrying about you at home or, perhaps, even panicking them into calling the police or park ranger service.

Other useful safety advice tips include ensuring that your car (if you’ve travelled by car) is not boxed in on any campsite so that you can make a quick getaway if you start feeling uncomfortable on a campground. And, if you have travelled by car and feel nervous, don’t forget you can abandon your plans to sleep in a tent and sleep in your car if necessary with the doors locked.

Finally, should you be camping alone because you can’t find anyone to come with you, it’s a good idea to check out camping message boards and forums as there are bound to be other women in the same predicament too so, not only will you have safety in numbers, you might also make some lifelong new friends with whom you can share your camping experiences.

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I see a lot of advice to solo women campers saying essentially that they should glom onto (or near) another group to help ensure their safety. While I understand that on the surface this might seem to make someone feel safer, I want to point out that you are creating a real imposition on others if you expect them to suddenly take on some responsibility for your safety, just because you happened to have encountered them. I doubt many people would even be in a position to do you much good in an emergency. Also, sad to say but true, it creates a real legal liability risk for other people. For example, my brother once saved the life of a man following an automobile accident (which my brother wasn't involved in; he was just driving by). That man later sued my brother over a bogus claim that my brother "might have" (although didn't) made his injuries worse by helping him. As someone who worked in law for many years, I've seen similar cases as well. Also, the police and law might even be against you if you assist. For example, if a nearby stranger is attacked and you end up firing a gun at the assailant, the criminal and his family not only can, but will sue you in civil court, even if he is convicted in criminal court. It happens all the time. So, no; don't go camping if you're afraid and expect/force/obligate strangers to take on the responsibility for your welfare. If you are that afraid, camp in a vehicle, different type of area, or don't do it at all. Or learn how to protect yourself. There is a reason that pioneers all carried guns, you kno.
Joyful - 25-Jul-19 @ 7:01 PM
In an ideal world, women wouldn't need to feel worried about doing anything alone. That's not the case, though, so this is good advice, especially about wild camping - it can simply be too dangerous to do alone (that can apply to men, too). A small personal alarm to fit in the hand isn't excessive, it's just good security and makes a woman feel happier at night. Keep your mobile charged up so the battery won't die when you need it most.
Ursula - 11-Jun-12 @ 10:16 AM
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