We recently ran a survey asking readers: “Couples: Would you likely keep traveling with an RV if your partner died?” The majority, 74 percent, answered, “Yes, I believe I would.” Many men seemed not worried in the least.
That got me to thinking. What would it take for me to feel comfortable (read: “safe”) when solo camping as a woman? After a bit of research to see what other women do (or have done), this is what I found:
Many people advised exercising your 2nd Amendment rights. Get a gun. Get training. Keep practicing to stay sharp. (Caution: Check state and local gun laws for the places where you plan to camp.)
Self-defense skills help some campers feel secure. Many places offer classes that will refresh your knowledge and keep your abilities sharply honed.
Visual ruses when solo camping
Purchase large-sized men’s boots. Place them outside your rig in plain sight. Passersby will assume that you are traveling with a man.
Always set out three or more camp chairs near your RV. This tells others that at least three people occupy your campsite.
Purchase a dog toy for a large dog. Put the toy, along with a large dog water bowl outside your rig. Also, find an app of a dog barking and use it a few times throughout your stay. Or just get a dog! Many singles enjoy the company, and a thief or attacker will think twice before targeting someone with a canine companion.
When drying clothing outside, hang a few men’s shirts on your clothesline along with your own clothes.
Safety precautions for solo camping
Always keep doors and windows securely locked.
Pull down black-out shades well before dusk and leave them down overnight. Also, keep shades down whenever you leave the campsite.
Upon arrival, get the local emergency numbers for the police. Key the numbers into your phone for quick access. Keep your phone near your bed each night in case you need to get to it quickly.
Place your tow vehicle’s or toad’s key fob on your nightstand. The fob’s emergency warning signal is loud and can easily awaken those around you if you need help.
Personal carry items
When hiking alone or simply walking around the campsite, many folks recommend carrying pepper spray. Other folks say that a longer-distance spray will provide better protection. They suggest bear spray, wasp repellent, or mace. (Again, check local regulations.)
A stun gun is the “go-to” for many solo campers. Learn how to carry, access quickly, and use it properly before depending upon it for security.
Personal alarms have grown in popularity in recent years (we recommend this one). The loud sounds will potentially frighten off an attacker, but also alert others to the danger you face.
Many folks carry a whistle on a chain or fastened to a jacket zipper, well within reach. Blasting the noise may distract a would-be attacker and get the attention of other campers.
Flare safety bracelets like this one can, when activated, simultaneously connect with your phone, and call the local police. It will also immediately provide your GPS location. Some personal bracelets will also signal a loud warning sound to alert those near you.
A word of caution
Repellent spray, stun guns, and firearms may be turned against you. Be aware of that fact and choose your protection wisely.
Do you travel alone? What kind of (if any) protections do you rely upon? Please tell us in the comments below.