Solo Female Traveler


I have been planning my escape into full-time van living for some time now. Next year I will be permanently hitting the road. I would appreciate any advice I can get as a woman traveling alone. Obviously, my main concern is safety. :smile:

Thank you kindly!

Greetings & Welcome!

Safety is relatively easy, just never be anywhere that is isolated, and always keep your doors locked while inside, even while driving.

While I have had break in attempts while in town, as soon as they discovered there was someone inside, they ran the other way.

Boondocking is whole different story. I have been robbed by both gangs and individuals while boondocking. Even 5 of us weren’t enough to hold off a gang of thugs with guns. The more isolated you are, the more vulnerable you are for the bad guys. I will no longer boondock unless it is with a large group of 10 or more, and preferably with some of them carrying guns.

Even in town, I won’t park in deserted industrial areas or empty parking lots. I want other people close by if I get into trouble. As a woman, you are even more vulnerable, and taking unnecessary chances is not a wise choice. If I can’t find a place in town that I feel safe, I will go to an RV park and rent a space. In some towns, the whole place is sketchy. If not tied down by a commitment, I will move on the next day.

I keep a spray bottle of vinegar in my van for cleaning, and another small travel size spray bottle of it in my pocket. Vinegar in the face of a person, a dog, or even a bear will stop them almost immediately. It is legal everywhere, and effective, but not lethal. Other types of legal sprays can work as well.


"Smiles are contagious, pass it on!" ~ Van_Dweller

Wow! That’s terrible. I do have pepper spray and a stun gun, but perhaps I should consider a small hand gun as well. Is parking overnight at a truck stop, or say a 24hr Wal-Mart considered “Boondocking?” I had to google this term and it was a bit unclear. I was planning to stay in these types of places, and also some of the free camp grounds. I am using an app. called “free roam.” The app shows on a map all the free campgrounds throughout the U.S. and gives reviews for each. This includes safety reviews.


Boondocking can have multiple definitions. To some, it simply means camping with no hookups, regardless of your location. By that definition, I am always boondocking, even in the city. To others, boondocking means camping in isolated places with no hookups, like on BLM land in the middle of nowhere. These are places I’ve ran into trouble.

For me, guns are a no-no because the laws in each state vary so widely I just don’t want the hassle, especially since most laws require them to be locked up separate from the ammunition. You’d be dead before you could get to it and get it loaded…


"Proper Planning is preferable to premature failure" ~ DreamLife

Yeah I noticed after researching online that there are many different definitions for “Boondocking.” I don’t plan on parking overnight in isolated places. I will stick to town, or maybe a free campground, but only if when I arrive it feels like a safe place. I will definitely not be sleeping anywhere that people are not near by. Also, I will go with my instincts. If the people seem sketchy I will drive on and find a safer place.

I suppose you are right about the whole gun thing. I don’t want to feel like I am breaking the law every time I cross over a state line, or have to research gun laws for every state I go to. I thank you so very much for all the information. You have been extremely helpful, and given me a lot of food for thought.

Happy and safe travels for us both!


Always glad to help when I can. The help of others greatly improved my life, and passing that knowledge along is always a good thing.


"Proper Planning is preferable to premature failure" ~ DreamLife

Well, it is very much appreciated. I hope to gain knowledge throughout this journey, and pass on my wisdom, as you have.

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