To those of you who thrive veering off the beaten track, I applaud you.
As a traveler who gradually progressed to solo trips, I still struggle feeling confident with my own instincts when I’m lost or having belief in my own strength if I happen to find trouble. One of my personal goals is to find confidence in my independence and take it to new heights in the future.
For inspiration, I look to my friend Clare. She lives to experience the world off the beaten track and really feel its beauty. “In fact,” she says, “if I could walk the whole world with my two feet I would.” Throughout her childhood, she was encouraged by her father to explore the world and not to be afraid. I admire Clare, her husband, and their daughter for their fearlessness to fully step out into the world and see what’s out there.
Clare regularly camps alone partly because her husband travels for work, but mostly due to her passion to explore. I’ve always been in awe of her ability to camp in the wilderness alone and decided “You know what? I wanna do that to! But how can I ensure my safety while I’m out there?”
Here’s the advice she gave me:
- When camping alone, bring another lawn chair and set it up in camp so it looks like there are two of you.
- Keep a boat blow horn in the tent/camper with you and/or bear spray.
- Always have a whistle with you wherever you go and make sure it is easily accessible.
- Keep your cell phone charged up during the day and make sure it’s fully charged before the end of the night. Keep it with you at all times.
- When I am registering for a campsite, I always say there are two people camping. Especially when I am at the counter with other people in the office registering too. When I mention there are two of us, I usually try to say that the other person is a man, like my husband, brother, father, etc.
I always pick campsites that are open, where I can see others and they can see me. I like KOA campgrounds when I’m alone because its more family camping. Personally, I prefer the wooded areas but I have to be safe for my family and myself.
Camping in the woods doesn’t have to be a scary experience. In fact, it can be quite the liberating and empowering experience. Try it!