I was recently chatting with a friend when she said something that really struck me. She said that she wanted to go camping very badly, but her boyfriend didn’t want to. I asked her why she didn’t just go by herself, and her response was, “I never thought about that.” My message for everyone, but especially women is, YES, you can go camping by yourself.
Disclaimer – While I enjoy camping by myself, I don’t do it very often. I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of people who love camping too so I’m hardly ever alone. I do not profess to be an expert. I know some people look down on “car-camping”. If you are She-ra when it comes to outdoor activities you might think I am ridiculous. I don’t care. This isn’t intended to be a how-to. I am writing this because I don’t ever want a woman to think she can’t go camping whenever she damn well wants to.
Solo camping can be empowering and relaxing. You don’t have to go to the middle of nowhere to have a meaningful trip though. If you have never camped alone and are hesitant, I strongly suggest you camp at one of our lovely state or national parks. Parks give you access to creature comforts like toilets and showers, designated places to set up your camp, and a bit of security knowing there are rangers around.
You probably aren’t going to want to spend your entire trip in your tent though. You should go hiking or kayaking or something. Parks usually offer access to these kinds of activities too. I personally do not own a kayak, so going to a park is a great way for me to get on the water. Follow up your day of activity with dinner around a campfire, and you will want to go solo camping again.
You should also check into camping at festivals or other multi-day events. I had a really nice time when I decided to camp at a weekend bike ride rather than get a hotel room. I got to talk to some interesting people, with the added benefit of being able to collapse in my tent at the end of the ride.
Camping by yourself is great, but be prepared for anything. Tell people where you are going and be smart.
If you want to learn more about how to camp or do things in the outdoors and you don’t have someone to teach you, check out REI’s youtube channel or a local outdoor store. If you want to learn how to do things, but prefer some company and are located in an area with a Bold Betties chapter, contact them. (and if you live near a chapter, I’m jealous) – Bold Betties you are needed in Roanoke.