Backpacking Solo?

QUESTION:
What advice and considerations would you have for a woman backpacking solo for 2-3 days?

Penny

Have you taken a wilderness first aid class?
Have you taken a wilderness first aid class?

ANSWER:

Great question! There really aren’t any women’s specific tips for backpacking solo, except that in my opinion it is safer for a woman to be backpacking solo rather than camping solo. In the wilderness you are going to be away from the campground party animals!

Hiking Lady’s Tips for Backpacking Solo

  • Identify your fears in advance. Most people have something they are afraid of when they’re alone in the wilderness… is it encountering “strange” people, a fear of bears or other wild animals, fear of survival in a backcountry accident? Each of these has solutions, from bear spray to carrying a SPOT messenger device to having a really good headlamp. Whatever your fears are, try to figure them out in advance so you can find possible solutions.
  • Make sure you are VERY prepared. Anyone traveling alone into the backcountry should be well-equipped and well-educated. Have you taken a wilderness first aid course? Have you planned out your route and know where you’ll likely be refilling your water? Have you left your plans with a responsible person?

Happy trails!
Hiking Lady

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7 comments

  1. hb says:

    I think planning in advance, such as studying the routes, getting forecast of weather, having compass and maps, and emergency contacts, etc, help to ease the anxiety. I guess you also have to be extra careful not to get injured or sprains, and bring along first aid kit.

    Cheers.

  2. Hiking Lady says:

    Thanks for the tips! The extra caution to avoid sprains and injuries is definitely a smart tactic.

  3. Mountain Bluebird says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I do feel safer in the backcounty than in a campground when solo, and typically find other backcountry people to be friendly & helpful. I carry a can of bear spray as an extra protection for any threat. I also tend to stay on more developed trails. Thank you ,Hiking Lady, for providing such a great resource.

  4. Adelaide says:

    I like the identify your fears bit. Also, I think female backpackers should get good at lying. As in, “My boyfriend and his football team are right behind me.”

    I’ve never felt in danger from other backpackers, but, like you said, campers are a little more sketchy.

  5. Anna says:

    I will admit I took a conceal and carry class for this very reason. I take a small .22 pistal in my gear. Probley would not do much damage unless “they” were right on me, but that is when I really want it.

  6. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Anna, There is a lot of controversy around carrying concealed guns in the wilderness, and I’m sure you saw all the debate about whether guns should be allowed in National Parks.
    At least I’m glad it helps you feel safer when you’re traveling solo! Just be careful with it :)

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