Hiking solo can be a truly rewarding experience. When by yourself you can experience the stillness of the desert and get in tune not only with nature but with yourself as well. Although, it seems a number of hikers are fearful when it comes to hiking solo. There is no reason to fear hiking alone, especially here in Phoenix. You just have to plan ahead and think before hitting the trails.
Below are 5 basic tips every hiker should follow when hiking solo.
Tell Someone Where You Are
Remember that movie, 127 Hours? Always let someone know what trail you will be on. Even if it’s your friend who lives in another state, it safer to let someone know. If you have phone reception while on the trail, you may want to text when you arrive and then again when you are leaving the trail.
Pack Along Bear Mace
The biggest reason people fear hiking alone is the thought of being attacked (either from an animal or human). The actual chances of this happening are very slim. But, to help you feel safer, pack some bear mace in you pack and put it in a spot where you can easily reach it. This way in the slight chance you do get attacked you have protection.
Have a Map or Be Familiar With the Trail
The last thing you want to do is be lost in the desert by yourself. So before you hike either be familiar with the trail or study the trail map before going. This way you will know what to expect and what direction you need to be heading.
If you do get lost, follow these tips for our What to Do if You Get Lost Hiking article.
Pack Extra Water and Snacks
Just having extra water and food will make you feel more comfortable while on the trail. You likely won’t even need it, but it’s there as back up. I feel it’s more of a mental security.
Know Your Limits
Don’t let your hiking ego get the best of you. If your intuition is telling you not to go further, then don’t go further. Trying to reach the end of trail is not worth putting your body in harm’s way. This is actually the best rule for any hiker to follow.
As long as you follow these tips there is no reason to fear hiking alone. Most Phoenix trails are well maintained and for the most part, well-marked. So go solo hiking and experience the joy that hiking alone can bring you.