Whilst camping may be seen as a bonding activity, camping solo in Australia can be a truly peaceful and inherently special experience. Solo camping trips around Australia are not a new concept, although perhaps perceived as more the domain of you Aussie bloke, increasingly women are venturing out to experience their own independent adventures.
What may be daunting at first, by following the below 10 great tips for solo camping in Australia you can leave the anxiety behind and relax knowing that you have prepared for an epic solo camping experience.
What is solo camping?
Solo Camping. adj. [Soh-Loh Kampin}
alone; Connecting with nature without having others around to distract you.
Is solo camping in Australia safe?
No matter where in the world you decide to go camping, there will be dangers involved. In Australia, this could be threats from wildlife such as snakes and spiders or threats from other people such as theft.
Nonetheless, If you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, Australia is one of the safest countries in the world, and so is ultimately a safe place for solo camping. In fact, many camping enthusiasts move to Australia to take advantage of the endless camping opportunities.
Can I Camp Alone As A Woman? Is It Safe?
The thought of camping solo – particularly for a woman can be overwhelming. These thoughts are entirely understandable.
However, with proper planning and preparation and taking a few extra safety precautions, a woman can most definitely feel comfortable and secure going on a solo camping trip anywhere in Australia.
Solo camping in Australia benefits
Solo camping in Australia can be a welcome mental health break, and to be honest, sometimes it can just be far easier!
There are so many benefits of solo camping in Australia; You can avoid having to plan around other people, and stressing if you have enough camping gear, food and sleeping bags. You can take responsibility for your own meals, eating what you want, when you want – right in the heart of the great Australian bush.
Solo camping will put you outside of your comfort zone and force an independence that you don’t necessarily need to have when camping in a group. With this independence comes a greater sense of reward and accomplishment, nothing quite beats watching the sunrise from the camp you set up, with a coffee you brewed, on the campfire that you started.
Top Tips for Solo Camping in Australia Safely
1. Check your vehicle is in optimum condition
Before any solo camping trip around Australia, it is completely necessary to check that your vehicle is in good, road-worthy condition. The simplest way to do this is to take your vehicle for a service 2 weeks prior to setting off. This will give a mechanic sufficient time to check your vehicle and fix any issues.
This is a critical step that people often skip however, if you were to break down on one of Australia’s many vast stretches of road, it could be hours before help is able to reach you, which can be an extremely dangerous situation in the Australian Outback.
You should also ensure your fuel level and water supply should are topped up before heading off and that you top them up regularly. In Western Australia especially, it is very easy to become isolated and have large distances between petrol stations.
If you have hired out a vehicle for your solo camping trip, take time to learn what all the controls are for a have a test drive so you feel prepared for driving a long distance. Driving in Australia can feel very different, especially if you are a tourist, it may take time to build your confidence on the road.
2. Prepare Your Route
Before you set off, make a list of campsites, supermarkets and fuel stations along your route. There are some really useful Australian travel apps such as Wiki Camp (the largest camping app in Australia) which will help you find campsites.
Map of Australia is another great travel app that allows you to use whilst offline which can be essential, especially in more isolated areas of Australia.
Equally important is planning for plenty of time for stopping along the way. Solo camping in means you are the only driver and Australian roads can be monotonous, increasing the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. You will also want to plan for time to stop along the way to take some photos.
3. Plan for plenty of rest stops
Equally important is to plan for plenty of time to stop along the way. Solo camping means you are the only driver and Australian roads can be monotonous stretches of barren land, increasing the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. You will also want to plan for a time to stop along the way to take some photos.
Add on an extra hour for every 2.5 hours of your journey and remember to pull over whenever you feel tired.
4. Share your planned route or itinerary with someone
Whether it is a friend, family member or work colleague, give them a copy of your itinerary and map out where you are going and for how long you expect to be at each campsite. If you are travelling with a flexible itinerary, a text message to let someone know your location and how long you roughly plan to spend there will suffice.
It is highly recommended to keep your travel plans and current location off social media. Telling complete strangers of your whereabouts can be extremely dangerous and even more so if they know you are camping solo.
SAFETY TIP: Don’t advertise that you are camping solo. Leaving an extra pair of shoes outside your tent can give the illusion that you are not alone.
5. Travel Light
Do not underestimate the importance of travelling light when you are camping solo. It is recommended to pack no more than 10kg.
Your camping tent should not be any bigger than it needs to be, a 10-man tent would be difficult to put up and pack down by yourself. A minimalist approach to packing will not only make you more comfortable but also more mobile too.
Solo camping should make you feel as free as a bird and not like a pack mule.
6. Early Morning Start
In Australia, the morning begins much earlier so it is best to set off when there is plenty of morning light.
Setting off in the early hours of the morning will ensure you are driving in the cooler hours of the day and that you will arrive at your destination in plenty of time to set your camp up before sunset.
7. Start at paid campsites (rather than free campsites)
It is highly recommended that if this is your first-time solo camping in Australia that you opt for a paid campsite rather than a free one. Paid campsites offer facilities such as reception, which can be useful should anything go wrong. They also have kitchen facilities which mean you don’t need to pack lots of cookware.
A paid campsite will make getting to know your surroundings easier and quicker, you will be able to find out lots of useful information such as local tours and you will create connections more comfortably.
Fundamentally, it is safer to stay at a paid campsite rather than a free campsite. Paid campsites have more security, just having access to a landline phone or Wi-Fi will have a big impact on the way you feel even if you don’t use them.
8. Go camping for more than two nights
Sleeping alone out in the wilderness will be uncomfortable at the beginning. Your brain will trick you into all sorts of worry.
If you only camp for one or two nights you are not giving yourself enough time to settle into your surroundings and reach the full level of enjoyment and relaxation you went on a solo camping trip for.
After a couple of nights, you will reach a point of familiarity and you can really start to enjoy the experience.
Plus, some campsites in Australia are far into the outback so you’ll want to make the most of the long journey to get there.
9. Take a Wilderness First Aid Course
Camping in Australia can often mean that you are hours away from medical help should you need it. When you are solo camping, you may have to make choices that you are unfamiliar with.
How you might treat an injury knowing an ambulance can reach you in 10 minutes is different to how you would treat an injury if the ambulance was 2 hours away.
A wilderness first aid course will teach you how to use your first aid kit and how to be creative with your surroundings to get the maximum benefit. It will teach you the items that are first aid essentials, so you can pack smarter.
Furthermore, a first aid course will teach you how to deal with the various venomous snakes and spiders you may encounter on your solo camping trip in Australia. Some bites can make you seriously ill or cause fatality, knowing how to treat them is essential.
10. Embrace the experience
If you are considering solo camping in Australia, you definitely won’t regret it. You are sure to come back with a refreshed state of mind and a newfound inner peace.
Will something go wrong? probably. Minor hiccups are inevitable however that is all part of the solo camping experience. Don’t be afraid to ask strangers for help, you most likely won’t be the only solo camper on the site and Australians are generally friendly and happy to help.