How to Camp Alone Safely

Travel doesn’t have to be a group activity. There are times when you have to choose to travel alone or not to travel at all. For adventurous souls, travel always wins. Below are six tips to travel smarter and safer while solo-venturing. 

1. Deceiving Campsite  

Make your campsite appear as if there are multiple campers there. Set out two camping chairs and hang a hammock.​

2. Alarm Lantern

If you’d sleep better knowing there was something out there keeping an “eye” on things while you rest then consider picking up a camping lantern that is equipped with a motion sensor alarm. Any object that is larger than a raccoon will set off the parameter alarm which triggers the LED light and a loud alarm. This should scare off animals like bear and big cats as well as potentially harmful humans. The downside would be the years of life you’d loose by any false alarms.  

3. Lock Your Tent From the Inside When You Go to Sleep

Yes, a tent is still penetrable, however it is nice to have a heads up if someone is trying to break into your tent while you’re in it. Simply purchase travel locks that have the steel wire that can slip through each small hole in your tent’s zipper from the inside after you’re all tucked in a cozy. Make sure to have a knife nearby and leave the key in the lock so you can quickly remove the lock in an emergency or cut yourself free if need be. ​

4. Add a Bear Bell to Your Tent 

If you don’t feel comfortable locking yourself in, tie a bear bell to the inside zipper. That way, if there is an intruder you will wake up to the sound of the bell and can arm yourself with your nearby can of bear spray, knife, or machete.

5. Take Extra Bear Precautions (Keep a Clean Camp, Hang Food Far Away)

Bears are not after you, they are after your food and fragrant items. Unattended tents have been ripped apart only to find that the bears ate deodorant, toothpaste, and other fragrant items. Store all smell goods in a bear safe can hung far from your tent, or at the very least (if car camping without bear lockers) store them in your car.  Make certain you clean your cooking gear and plates well after meals. Otherwise, they will hold enough “smell-goods” to attract a family of bears. You never know what porridge will be just right.  

If a bear enters your campground and you can safely escape to your vehicle without running or attracting attention, do so. It is always advised to be in a hard shell than a canvas one when bears are present. Remember, no eye contact and NEVER run.

6. Camp in Established Campgrounds

Camping in established campgrounds usually means you’ll be around other campers. There is safety in numbers. Granted, this is not a full proof statement, but in general terms more people mean more folks looking after one another.  Sure, there might be one creep in the bunch or a camper that doesn’t keep a clean campsite thereby attracting bears, but if you are by yourself there is no one to come help if you scream or if you see one weird stalker outside of your tent (which I’ve seen happen). If you opt to boon-dock, follow your gut. If you feel like your spot isn’t safe, or you have a bad feeling, don’t second guess yourself, move.