Face Your Fears: Common Concerns With Solo Backpacking as a Woman (and how to deal with them!)

Have you always wanted to go backpacking and experience nature and all that it has to offer? A lot of women would love to go on a backpacking experience but have this fear about it that just won’t allow them to do it, especially by themselves. But why do you think women have this fear about going backpacking by themselves?

In this article we’ll take a look at some of the common concerns women have with traveling or backpacking solo, and some ways to deal with them.

Photo by  Josiah Weiss  on  Unsplash

Could Society Play a Role in Things?

Maybe it’s because society has told women to be afraid to do things alone. Women shouldn’t raise a child alone, women shouldn’t go out at night alone, and women definitely shouldn’t travel alone… women traveling alone is the “most dangerous” thing ever, apparently… But is it really the most dangerous thing ever? Absolutely not, and this idea of fear definitely shouldn’t keep you from going on a backpacking journey just because you’re a woman and want to do it by yourself.

How many times have you noticed the double standards between males and females? Almost ALL the time in lots of situations and scenarios. From the time you were a child on into adulthood. For example, the guys would always have a later curfew than girls… why? Because it seemed safer for girls to be home at an earlier time.

The same notion still goes with backpacking. For female backpackers, people tend to tell women “alright, you be safe out there!” For men who go on solo backpacking journeys, they often get a jolly “you have fun man!” Again… it’s comments and things like that, that add fuel to the fire of fear for women to enjoy solo backpacking.

Photo by  Jack Antal  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jack Antal on Unsplash

What you need to know

As a woman backpacking solo, there are definitely some things you should be aware of. For instance, being prepared to deal with your period while traveling and packing the right hygiene products (hello Diva Cup!) for that. Being able to take care of yourself is one of the big things you need to know when it comes to solo backpacking as a woman. It’s understandable to be nervous or afraid if you’ve never gone backpacking before but these fears are actually very unnecessary.

In fact, Psychology Today states that you actually shouldn’t be afraid of doing things solo. It goes on to say that people usually don’t like doing things by themselves because they’re afraid they won’t like it but research has shown that those people actually end up liking solo activities more than having company.

So that just goes to show you that the things you think you’re most afraid of might actually be one of the things you enjoy the most… but you’ll never know until you let go of that fear and try things out for yourself. Let’s take a look at some of the most common fears women have about solo backpacking and how you can overcome them.

Fear #1: Not Having Enough Money

One of the worst things a woman (or anyone) could face while backpacking is not traveling with enough money, especially when your backpacking journey is going to be an extended trip. Luckily, this travel faux pas is a very preventable one. The key to this is to properly plan ahead. It’s always a good idea to plan your trip out a year in advance just to give yourself ample time to save up enough money.

The way to ensure you don’t go on your backpacking journey without enough money is to generate extra money. Here are some common ways people make extra money before their backpacking journey.

Work a Second Job - A lot of people will either work a part-time job on the weekends or pick up a few shifts during the week. Now, if you work a full-time job already and are looking to work a second job, it can get exhausting so, when you’re picking a second job, make sure it’s a job that sparks your interest or offers some type of benefit like a discount of some sort.

Work for Yourself - People will also opt to open up their own e-commerce store and work for themselves as a better job alternative to regular part-time gigs. When you work for yourself, you’re able to work at your own pace and you’re able to work as often or as little as you want. This is a better option for people whose full-time job is very demanding and you want to work smart, not necessarily hard.

Fear #2: Overall Safety

Safety is definitely a valid concern to have but should it overwhelm you to a point that makes you not want to go backpacking at all? Again, absolutely not! Safety should be a concern for anyone, whether you’re traveling in your own country or abroad.

Think about it, New York has a high crime rate and parts of California has heavy gang activity… even in knowing that, do you think that stops people from visiting these locations? Of course not! People are still going to travel to New York to see the Statue of Liberty and people will still relocate to Los Angeles in the hopes of becoming the next Hollywood star!

You should have the same point of view as backpacking solo. Do you have the potential to run into crazy people? Yes. Might you run into wild animals? Possibly. But you have those potentials anywhere. In this scenario, it would be helpful to learn the language of the location you’re visiting, learn the social and cultural “norms” of what is considered polite and what is considered offensive, and be very aware of your surroundings.

Photo by  Pete Garnett  on  Unsplash

Fear #3: Getting Lost

When it comes to backpacking, isn’t getting lost part of the adventure? For some people it is, but if it’s your first time going on a backpacking journey getting lost can be scary and overwhelming. To help prevent that from happening, here are some good tips to follow:

  • Bring a map and compass

  • Make sure you pack enough water

  • Pack a flare

  • Carry a whistle with you

  • Be sure to stick to your trail

Are You Going to Face Your Fears?

When it comes to backpacking, it can be scary... but you also have to look at is as being an exciting adventure too. The world of travel is a great experience for your mind and body, and solo travel is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself to go on the journey of self-discovery. So don’t let the fear of backpacking alone, as a woman, scare you out of enjoying a memorable experience. Put that fear aside and start living your dreams!

This article was produced in collaboration with Clarissa Caouette.

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Have you always wanted to go backpacking and experience nature and all that it has to offer? In this article we’ll take a look at some of the common concerns women have with traveling or backpacking solo, and some helpful ways to deal with them.