Adventure Travel

Is it possible to adventure alone as a woman?

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beautiful young girl walking in forest standing on log in yoga tree pose

Image: Shutterstock/Twin Sails

To the ladies out there: Have you ever been told not to camp/backpack/hike/insert-other-activity alone because you’re a woman? Maybe you want to get away for a while, and recenter yourself, but everyone warns you not to because it’s “not safe” for your gender. Isn’t that so annoying? Not to mention unfair. No one tells a guy not to go camping alone, but when a woman wants to, all she hears is how dangerous it is. Here’s a secret:

A woman can go on an adventure alone.

(Don’t tell your mother.)

Not only can they go adventuring alone, but they should! Amazing things can happen to you emotionally, physically and spiritually when you’re by yourself on the side of a mountain or kayaking down a river. Here’s a few reasons why women should be encouraged to adventure alone, instead of reprimanded:

  • To build your self-confidence. No one else is there to make decisions for you, and you’re responsible for your own actions.
  • To make you a better person. Your family and friends will benefit from you getting some time alone, because you’ll come back replenished and balanced.
  • To be reminded of your dreams and goals. In the chaos of life, it’s easy for your dreams to get pushed to the back burner in your mind, and you lose sight of what you want. Getting away from the distractions will reignite your passion.
  • To test you physically. Whether you’re climbing Everest or just taking a long walk in a state park, you’ll have to push through the pain or exhaustion to finish. No one will be there to encourage you. You’ll have to dig deep and motivate yourself.
  • To aid in your career. Confidence, self-motivation and vision will spill over into all areas of your life, not just when you’re adventuring. What problems you work through on your own will make you a better employee when you return.
  • To hone your instincts. By being on your own, you’ll have to rely on your own gut feelings. You’ll learn to trust yourself and act on instinct, instead of going with the flow of the people around you.

Now that you know why you should definitely adventure alone, you’ll need some practical advice before actually doing it. Some rules of thumb are as follows:

  • Do your research. Just because you can go anywhere you want, doesn’t mean you should. Look for blogs or talk to other women who have gone to the place on their own and talk to them about their experiences.
  • Take gadgets with you. If it’ll put your mom at ease, bring a taser with you, or pepper spray. Have an alarm device, or a charged cell phone to call for help if necessary. It’s better to be safe.
  • Don’t get paranoid. This is your time to build your confidence, not shrink it. Every snap of a twig isn’t a murderer, every cry of a bird isn’t an omen for evil. Be on your guard, but also just enjoy yourself.
  • Start small. If you’re worried about going off on your first adventure alone, don’t try to backpack through Europe. Work your way up to that point. Try staying the night alone in your state park, or taking a hike by yourself. Each adventure will make you more confident and self-reliant, and then you can do the big stuff.

Before embarking on your grand solo adventure, consider these workout tips to put you in your best physical condition:

  • Be consistent. No exercise routine will give you results unless you fully commit.
  • Set realistic goals. Change won’t happen overnight, or by the end of the week. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
  • Take a friend with you. It’s easier to follow through with a routine when you have someone to hold you accountable. You can encourage one another to achieve your goals.
  • Choose a routine you enjoy. If you don’t like weight-lifting, then don’t do it! Find something you do enjoy: running, biking, yoga, swimming. There’s something out there for everyone, you just have to find it.
  • Chart your progress. It’ll be your motivation to keep going, even when you have come up with every excuse to skip the gym that day.
  • Carbs are not the enemy. You need to fuel your body before you work out. About an hour before you go to the gym, eat some fruit or crackers. Add some cheese for protein if you’ll be working out for an extended period of time.
  • Wear the right gear. You’ll inhibit the workout benefits or even injure yourself if you’re not wearing the proper shoes, clothing or protective gear.

Kaitlyn is a graduate from Lee University and is a staff editor for R.H. Boyd Publishing. She enjoys travel, books and penguins. When she's not working, she dreams of seeing the world.