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stealth camping for solo woman hikers

see also:

  • I don't sell any of these nor do I receive any remuneration if you buy them, and I have not personally reviewed all of them, they are listed here to give you perspective
    • any prices mentioned are subject to change, and any Aliexpress prices do not include GST
  • This page is mainly for female solo hikers who wish to have the option of being less visible to those who pass by and yet be relatively storm safe carrying light gear
  • camp behind bushes out of line of sight from those passing by
  • ensure your shelter does not have glow in the dark or high vis reflective components
  • most materials, even black ones, will appear light coloured and easily visible to infrared night vision devices
    • exceptions are some black synthetics such as tarp blockout layers and some Oztrail black tents/flooring which will appear dark and harder to see with night vision
    • these devices will easily detect your eyes at night so don't be looking anywhere near their direction if you don't want to be seen!
  • thermal imaging cameras detect heat so will detect you unless you are well behind a tent or tarp fabric which is the same temperature as the environment
    • ie they cannot see you inside a tent behind fabric (the movies are WRONG!) but can detect you if your body heat warms up the fabric they are seeing


  • stealth camping is using low visibility shelters to camp in the bush (or in urban areas) to reduce the risk of being seen by other hikers or other people
  • mostly this is to reduce the already low risk of attacks by bad actors - understandably, this is especially a worry for many solo female hikers although attacks are actually quite rare in rural areas and the far majority of hikers and campers are not there to attack others.
  • obviously you should still do the usual risk management (see links above) such as sharing your itinerary with someone, bringing along a personal radio beacon in case you get lost, fracture your ankle or get bitten by a snake, if there are log books to fill out, you should do this, etc.
    • don't share real time information of your whereabouts on social media

General tips hiking solo

  • bring compass, maps, your smartphone (if listening to music only have one ear phone in so you are aware of surroundings), power bank, and an EPIRB radio beacon
  • bring survival gear such as warm clothes, rain/sun protection, water, food, etc
  • tell someone you trust your plan and when you will be able to contact them
    • but don't tell random people of this (be vague about where you might camp) nor post real time information of your location on social media
  • avoid camping near trailheads (where cars park for start of hikes) or road crossings to reduce chances of road drivers finding someone to rob - make it hard for them to find you!
  • consider camping near others you can seemingly trust - especially grey nomad couples are generally protective rather than predators
  • be aware of the safety issues of the hike such as wildlife (know first aid, etc), people (avoid areas where drug trafficking or growing occurs)
  • set up camp before it gets dark so that you are aware of your surroundings so you can be more comfortable overnight
  • if taking a drone be VERY careful of when and where you use it
    • they are NOT stealth and those in remote areas usually do not appreciate having their activities documented without consent
    • this is particularly the case with those embarking upon illegal activities such as drugs or hunting - they may kill you to get your drone!
  • the advantage of solo hiking is you don't have to stress about others - relax, eat when you want to, see what you want to, camp where you want to, etc.
  • leave no trace

Stealth shelters

  • should be low profile and relatively camouflaged with the surroundings and ideally should be able to be taken down rapidly and hidden

if you want to go extreme stealth, you can use camouflage gear


  • this is perhaps the most stealth shelter and one of the lightest options but does not give much amenity nor insect protection and condensation inside the bivy can be an issue - an ultralight swag with better ventilation may be a better choice
  • they are not great for prolonged rain conditions or setting up in the rain
  • see Wildbeare with additional camouflage net

bug tent with tarp

  • a low profile mesh tent with a tarp may be a great option in warmer conditions
  • a brown or green pyramid tent with an inner mesh tent could be great as it is:
    • relatively light and compact for hiking and generally has excellent wind resistance (if you have a strong pole and it is guyed out)
    • has a relatively low profile with only its peak in the centre rising to about 1.25m which could be hidden quite well behind a bush
    • the single centre trek pole supporting it can easily be taken down while you are inside to go into super stealth mode if needed and then easily restored into position without needing to go outside the tent (of course you will have the fly lying on top of you so you will need to get some air to breathe!)
    • they can however be a bit of a pain to peg out


trekking pole tent

  • my tips for best stealth fast set up and take down, storm proof, ultralight yet spacious dual wall tents with front and rear doors on the outer tent for a solo female hiker:
    • NB. front and rear doors on the outer tent allow more ventilation options, ability to reconfigure inner tent door orientation without taking down the outer, and a rear exit if needed.
    • NB. single wall tents are lighter but are less versatile and have much greater issues with condensation making you wet during the night
    • NB. polyester tents are much better than silnylon for trekking pole tents as they do not sag/stretch when wet and do not become heavy to carry when wet (DCF cuben fiber is even better but that is a white fabric and not stealthy)
    • NB. these are NOT freestanding tents and thus require secure pegs into each of the four corners for stability - this can be problematic in rocky areas (may need to use rocks to hold it down) or sand (sand needs sand pegs)
      • freestanding tents are easier to set up, but they are heavier as they require their own poles, and you can't drop the height while you are inside for emergency stealth mode
    • Durston X-Mid 1 mesh or solid
      • ~$AU425, 795-825g excl. pegs, guys
      • the shade of green is not the greatest stealth color though!
      • much more spacious head room than a pyramid tent like the Liteway PyraOmm Duo, only slightly smaller footprint and you get dual doors on the inner tent instead of only one in the 1P version but does require two trek poles so a touch more difficult to set up and the vestibule space is divided into two whereas the Liteway PyraOmm Duo has the “vestibule” all on one side
      • alternatively, the X-Mid 2 is the more popular tent for through hikers needing twice as much space for 2P but it is 25% heavier, 25% more expensive and requires a larger footprint of camp site to set up which can be problematic
      • the X-Mid 1 solid would make a better stealth tent for 1 female hiker but if you value space over weight then the X-Mid 2 is a more versatile tent
      • see bad weather test by WildBeare - survived 65kph winds with ease!
      • see Elli used it for over 100km hike through UK and loved it even without guy lines! - buy strong pegs, pitch it lower in strong winds so the fly touches the ground
      • see Durston X-Mid trek pole tents for more details
    • Liteway PyraOmm Duo rectangular pyramid tarp combined with the 40D floor Chinese 1P inner mesh or full fabric tent
      • see below for details
      • 880g excl pegs, guys and costs ~$AU600
      • the Duo version of this tent allows better rain protection with door open when used with a 1P inner than the Solo version and you get the extra rear door for not much extra weight or expense
      • the 1P inner will keep you further from the door and rain than the 2P inner and give more space for your wet gear but it only has one door but the outer tarp's rear door is still a usable for ventilation and potentially emergency exit or re-orientation of the 1P inner tent if weather direction changes
      • there is a much cheaper Chinese version of this outer tent but the outer tent only has one door, is not a stealth color, and is heavier
      • creating a 2P option for this tent is possible (personally I think the 1P inner and single trek pole is probably the best for a solo hiker)
        • you need a A-pole connector to allow use with two angled trek poles and this can be bought from either:
        • 2P inner tents can be bought from either:
          • Liteway but they are expensive, mesh only option and only have 20D floors but importantly you get 2 doors
          • one door 2P inner tents (only having 1 door is not well not well suited to the PyraOmm Duo but they are much cheaper and have more waterproof floors):

a short list of trekking pole tent options

  • Asta gear Shanju 1-person
    • asymmetric single wall design with non-detachable mesh inner tent
    • 720g excl pegs/rope (extra 150g)
    • outer tent:
      • 2.05×1.05×1.25m; dark khaki 20D 5000mmPU ripstop Silnylon
    • inner tent:
      • large D door; 5000mm PU 40D ripstop nylon floor; 20D mesh;
    • pros:
      • small footprint, reasonably stealthy colour and low profile
      • light, affordable, fast set up
      • uses any trek pole as only needs to be 125cm
    • cons:
      • single wall design so risk of condensation
      • limited space, no awning space when its raining



  • Thous Winds Capricorns 2 Tent
    • 790g (887g incl 8 pegs and ropes)
    • outer tent:
      • brown/green/black 2000mm 15D 420T Ripstop Nylon dual sil coated with new waterproofing tech of seams; 8 guy outs; can create side awnings with doors and two trek poles;
      • 2.5*2.5*1.35m
    • non-removable inner 1-2P tent:
      • floor: 2000mm 15D 420T Ripstop Nylon dual sil coated with new waterproofing tech of seams
      • 15D Nylon mesh; 200*115*108cm;
    • pros:
      • good stealth colour options and fast set up, spacious but light
    • cons:
      • single wall design so risk of condensation
      • expensive, large footprint
      • requires larger trek pole so may not suit women


  • Durston X-Mid 1
    • as for the X-Mid 2 below but:
      • 795-825g excl pegs, guys
      • 230x81cm floor = 1.85 sqm; 117cm peak height;
      • small footprint of a more manageable 254x170cm;
      • packs to 30c13cm;
  • Durston X-Mid 2
    • 20D Silpoly 3500mm WH
    • assymetric design with floor being a parallelogram rather than rectangular
    • unlike most of the above tents, it can be erected just with 4 pegs and 2 inverted trekking poles and only needing guy lines for windy weather
    • this model is rated “storm-proof”
    • YKK zippers; vestibules 1.1 sq m x 2; fly footprint 210 x 254 cm
    • 2.34×1.32m floor with 3.1sqm area and 122cm height
    • packs to 30x15cm; weight excl. footprint 1085g
    • optional X-Mid Stargazer Kit allows inner tent set up only - great if you have the mesh inner
    • optional Z-Flick Tent Pole if you don't have 2 hike poles
    • only comes with 2 guy ropes and no pegs - you need to BUY these separate (it can use 6 extra guy ropes and you may wish to get something to help peg down the sides)
    • you can buy extra inner tent separately so you can have both a mesh and solid inner tent depending upon weather
      • full fabric version but has upper 2/3rds of each door as mesh
      • also gains buckles at the base of the fly zippers, premium low-stretch guylines, and additional reinforcement at some optional stake points around the base.
      • - setting it up without reading intructions
    • pros:
      • available in either mesh or fabric inner
      • very spacious and storm proof
      • has front and rear doors for much better ventilation, less condensation and better access
      • dark green is a reasonable colour for stealth
      • extremely popular and well tested on trails
    • cons:
      • more difficult to set up and requires two trek poles (not as easy to go into emergency stealth mode and collapse both poles while inside)
      • large footprint may make finding a good site to set up more difficult
      • heavier than the above pyramid models but you have much more amenity
      • relatively expensive and needs to be imported from US


Durston X-Mid 2


Durston X-mid 2 solid inner tent

australia/camping_stealth.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/27 22:53 by gary1

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