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Reflections & Tips on Female Solo Camping

Updated: Feb 9

a girl and her shikoku dog solo camping
Reflections & Setting your Mindset

I think the hardest part about solo camping was the narrative I told myself before I ever attempted to go. I was so hyper-focused on all the negative things that could happen, but decided to re-focus my energy on the things I could control. I asked myself, "what are the biggest fears I have surrounding this?" and the answers were usually around being followed/attacked by someone or an animal. So I gave myself an "out" and told myself if I felt scared, I had options: I could book a cheap hotel and stay there, if a sound unsettled me outside, I could move to the car. I gave myself some backup options, just in case.

During the trip itself, I filled the day with lots of driving and adventures. By the time I returned to my site and poured little cup of wine, put a movie on my ipad, settled in Sora, then I actually fell asleep pretty quickly. There were a few instances throughout the night where I woke up to random sounds. I think I spooked myself a few times, but I just reassured myself that it was just my anxiety, and closed my eyes again and pulled Sora closer.

We woke up the next morning with the sun rays shining through our tent, the fresh mountain air in our lungs, and the sound of birds chirping and the wind blowing. It was very surreal and peaceful, something you can only really get when you're in nature. We ventured out to Dominguez Canyon where we got to hike with someone from instagram, so our weekend wasn't totally lonely! After our meetup, Sora and I walked around a bit at Rifle Gap resevoir; it was too windy to SUP sadly.

Tips for a Successful Solo Camping Trip

Review your Packing List x2

Having your packing list all set and ready to go can help give you the reassurance that you're not forgetting anything important. When you're adventuring alone - you can only rely on yourself, so it's critical that you make sure you aren't forgetting any necessities. I recommend adding every basic thing you need to the list, so you can manually check them off when you're packing up the car.

  1. Camping Essentials: Tent, Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, blanket, pillow, lantern

  2. Food/Water: jugs of purified water, full hydration packs for hiking, trail snacks for you and your pup, instant meals that can be heated up or ready to eat as-is (soylent is great for this!), mug for coffee or wine, instant coffee, wine can/screw-top bottle

  3. Dog items: tie up/long-line leash, food, bowls, cleaning wipes, blanket for them to lay on

  4. Personal items: makeup eraser, contacts, glasses, sunscreen, shower wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste

  5. Others: rechargeable batteries, camera gear, fire starter, lighter, cash (for buying firewood), hammock, advil, hat, a good book, journal

Create a Loose Itinerary

For solo trips, I love to have a loose itinerary written out, just so my time feels structured and full and i'm not spending time feeling lonely or anything. I like to find to-go breakfast/lunch/dinner options if i'm near a town or instant meals I can make at the campsite. I also encourage you to wake up for a sunrise or drive to an overlook for a beautiful sunset... this is some of the only time you get to truly do what you want, on your own terms, without having to worry about someone else, so make the most of it!

a girl and her dog at colorado national monument

Get Familiar with the Campsite

If you have a reactive dog (like me), then you want to choose a site that is ideally not too close to another site because there is always the possibility of other dogs being around. If you're doing dispersed camping, maybe have a few backup ideas in case you get to a spot and can't find enough room to be far enough from others. It's also good to find out if they have water available or if there is shade (in the hot summer months for dogs). I also like to see how remote the site is and/or if there are rangers present at the site. If you're doing dispersed, these wont be something to consider.

MSR hubba hubba backpacking tent in Black canyon of the gunnison campground colorado

Before you Go

1. Weather: Make sure to check the weather and ensure no storms are forecasted and that it won't be too cold at night; Colorado weather can be unpredictable!

2. Notify Others: It's important as a solo female traveler to make sure at least one person knows where you are! Share your location with someone close to you, or at least make sure your family has it in case of emergencies.

3. Check Fire Restrictions: If it's fire season and conditions are dangerous/high, there might be a ban in place; usually an official campsite will have signage.

4. Offline Maps: Download offline maps of the camping area/site in case you don't have service.

Have fun and stay safe out there, happy camping!


Hi! I'm Jackie and my dog is Sora. I work remote as an engineer, but I love to spend my free time in nature and by traveling to new places. I take my camera wherever I go, and sometimes my drone.

Somewhere With Sora is a Seattle-based lifestyle and travel blog that provides helpful travel and adventure tips for all kinds of trips, with or without the dogs.

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