Solo Camping Tips

Simplicity is best when camping solo.

I want to spend my time enjoying the fire and the solitude, not prepping food and washing dishes. I also don’t need fancy meals, and usually try to pack my food from things I already have in my kitchen so that I’m not spending a bunch of money on food for my trip.

This has led me to adapt a few methods when going on solo trips:

  • Prep food at home as much a possible. (I’m talking washing, slicing, dicing, wrapping in foil ahead of time, etc.) If I know I’m going camping, I will make extra for dinner during the week and then put it in the freezer for my camping dinner.
  • Pack food in Tupperware containers, foil containers, wrapped in foil, or whatever you will be cooking it in. (If I’m only going for one night, I close up and throw the Tupperware back into my cooler, and deal with the dishes when I get home!).
  • Keep your bed simple if you can – lots of blankets are great when it’s cold, but if it’s raining I opt for my backseat air mattress so I don’t have to worry about packing up my tent in the rain and then setting it up to dry out when I get home.
  • Pack your camping gear in bins, so you know where everything is all the time. I have a 3 drawer stand that houses everything I need to do dishes, my cutlery, plastic wrap and tinfoil, and a large kitchen bin where our small propane tanks, pots and pans, and our little cook stove go. This makes packing up easy (as long as everything goes back in the bin after each trip!) as I just need my two kitchen bins, my bedding, and everything else is usually already under the backseat of my truck!)
  • Trust your gut! I always come prepared from a safety point too. As a woman camping alone, there are lots of recommendations out there (especially the naysayers telling you not to do it – don’t listen to them!).
    One time I felt a little bit weirded out in the middle of nowhere, but had already unloaded my kitchen stuff for the night, so instead of packing up and moving, I decided to sleep in my truck on my backseat air mattress instead of in my tent like I had planned, so I could lock myself in and feel secure. I was totally fine and didn’t see anyone the whole time I was there. The bottom line is – always trust your gut!
  • Be prepared to adapt, be prepared to defend yourself if you need to, but try not to go into it with fear, instead try to have a proactive mindset. I keep a large wooden baseball bat under my backseat, and also carry a large knife as well as a swiss army knife.
  • Tell someone reliable what days and times you will be gone and where exactly you will be (by reliable, I mean someone who will notice if you don’t return when you should, and will alert the appropriate people).
  • Let them know if you will or will not have phone reception, and provide them with your site host’s information if necessary. When camping at a campground, I always send my husband a link to their website, or share the location on Google Maps before I leave, so he knows exactly where I am, and who to contact if I don’t come home when scheduled.
  • Don’t advertise that you’re alone to other campers. I always bring a second chair and this is dual purpose – it makes a great foot rest, but also makes it less obvious to people passing by that you’re there alone. I’ve also read many women say they bring an old pair of men’s work boots and leave them outside their tent.
  • Be comfortable when you go to bed – have your vehicle keys, a weapon of some sort, and your phone (if you have service) nearby in your tent or sleeping space so they are within reach, and try to go to bed with a positive mindset, prepared for the rustling of leaves and sounds of little creatures scurrying around for the night. The first time I camped solo in the middle of nowhere, I didn’t fall asleep until about 4 a.m.
  • Remember that other people’s fears are not your fears – when you tell people that you are going/have been solo camping, you will receive many reactions.
    Personally, my mother was a little bit upset with me when I went on my first solo trip, but recently she admitted that she’s proud of me and thinks I’m a little bit of a badass for going on all of these solo adventures like I do!

My last trip was so last minute I took the chicken souvlaki I had just cooked for my lunches for the week, and then chopped up a Greek salad with feta. Then I sliced a potato and added slivers of red onion and topped it with cheddar cheese, and wrapped it in foil! That was a perfect combination for dinner.

Breakfast I try to keep simple and usually bring hash brown patties and cook them in my propane oven, or over the campfire. I usually bring an oven rack out of my old oven to lay across the top of the fire pit and enhance my ability to cook over the fire. Sausage patties are good too, but usually I opt for the precooked bacon from Costco! No mess and so good! This last trip I made eggs in a foil dish to save the mess, and topped them with leftover shredded cheese.

Camping coffee is one staple I can’t do without, and love my coffee in the percolator in the morning! Made on the propane stove, then moved to the fire to keep warm.

I have had many people tell me I’m crazy for camping alone, or tell me they’re concerned about me because I went camping alone. Everyone is different, and some of us crave time in nature, and time alone, more than others.

The best trips that I have had, have been solo.
As a Mom, a wife, a pet owner, full time employee, etc. there are so many responsibilities and demands on the daily that sometimes it’s nice to get away for a night or two and just be responsible for myself. Sometimes I don’t even bring my dog, because I literally don’t want to be responsible for anyone but myself, and it’s taken me time to realize that that is okay!

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.

John Burroughs

Going camping alone as a woman can help you learn how to trust yourself – your instincts, your abilities, and your body. Every time I come home from a solo trip, I feel stronger and more confident.

As always, Thank you for reading! Please comment below and share your favorite camping tips and tricks, especially if you are a solo camper/adventurer!

Published by Road Trip Mama

I am a 34 year old Mom of two, married to my wonderful husband living in Beautiful British Columbia. My kids are 9 and 12 and pretty much complete opposites! My daughter loves to Road Trip like her Mama and my son is more ‘are we there yet?’ From 8 hour road trips to see family, ferries to the island or just a good old drive up a dirt road, I’ll have tips to keep the kids entertained, food to pack and road reports! We are so fortunate to live in this beautiful place surrounded by mountains and rivers and endless trails to explore! Follow me and see how I maintain my sanity on these trips!

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