A friend shared an article with me titled, “Stop Telling Women Not to Go Into the Backcountry Alone.” The title does a great job describing what the article is about as the author talked about how frustrating it is as a woman to be told not to travel solo in a wilderness area.
I’ve been warned about the dangers of backpacking and canoe camping alone as well. “What if something were to happen?” “Aren’t you afraid?” Just like the author I’m way more comfortable by myself in the middle of nowhere than I am in a campground surrounded by other campers. I remember how vulnerable I felt in my tent while other folks wandered by or laughed at a nearby campfire. I was so relieved when morning finally came and I could get back onto the Superior Hiking Trail and camp by myself again.
The author hit it right on the nose when she said, “And there’s nothing scarier for a woman who likes to do stuff alone than other people.” I’m not afraid of animals or weather or even about breaking a bone but like a wild animal you never know what a person is going to do. You can’t control what people might do and that is scary.
Is it scary enough to prevent me from taking a solo trip? No, I get so much out of a solo expedition the risk is worth it. And if my daughter wants to take a solo trip I’ll encourage her to do it in the BWCA or other wilderness area over using a campground as a base camp for day trips. The woods feel much safer to me.