Advice for Hiking Solo

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” – Dorothy Thompson

It’s heartbreaking when I hear people say they are scared to hike alone. Why let your fears dictate when you can hike and when you can’t?

Although, I get it.

When I first began hiking, I did not trust myself enough to go hiking alone. I had fears of getting lost and being stranded in the desert. I had fears that it would be just my luck and I’d run into a mountain lion and be mauled to death. I had fears that I would accidentally fall and injure myself, with no cell phone reception and I would just slowly die out there.

This is how I imagined myself after hiking alone for the first time

But, when I finally worked up the courage to go hiking alone, it completely transformed the hiking experience for me. In fact, I now hike alone…most of the time!

Reason Why You Should Hike Alone

  • Builds confidence. After completing a few trails by yourself, you’ll realize those fears were irrational and that there really is nothing to be scared of.
  • Learning to understand the trails a lot better. Instead of following the person in front of you, you now will be your own leader and gain a better understanding of the direction you are going.
  • Enjoy the “me” time! Trust me, you’ll feel more one with nature, when hiking alone.

Tips For Hiking Alone

  • Choose a trail you’re familiar with.
  • Hike a popular trail, so that you are not the only person on it.
  • Know Your Limits. As with all hiking, don’t push yourself to the extreme. If you start to get a feeling that you should stop…then stop.
  • Tell someone where you are going.
  • Have enough food and water for yourself so that you stay hydrated and full of energy!

The more you go out a few times by yourself you’ll see that there’s nothing to fear.

Another good strategy is to think about your fears and then figure out how to solve them.

For example, if you’re fearful that you might fall down and injure your ankle , then figure out what to do if you roll an ankle and be prepared in case that happens. That way if it does actually happen, you won’t be as scared because you will already know what to do.

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