Imagine the flexibility you would have to go your own pace, or change routes if need be. You would be able to challenge yourself to learn new outdoor skills you may not ever have the opportunity to learn otherwise, if hiking in a group. And best of all, the solitude and quietness found in nature while solo hiking cannot easily be obtained in a group setting.
Does the thought of solo hiking spark an interest in you? Remember to keep these 7 important tips in mind before hitting the trails.
Finding a trail with a lot of foot traffic will help keep you safe and protected if any unforeseen danger were to occur. Also, if something harmful were to happen to you, you would likely be able to get help from a friendly hiker nearby. If you can't see anyone, chances are good someone will hear your holler for help, if it is a busy trail.
If you live near where you will be hiking, scout out the area ahead of time. If you are hiking out of town, find out from friends or in hiking groups about the area. What kinds of wild animals live there? What poisonous vegetation should you watch out for? Know what to expect.
Whether it be a friend or family member, it is really important that you tell another person exactly where you will be hiking, and when you plan on returning. If anything were to happen to you, you will want someone to know to look for you or send help.
If you have never hiked a seven-mile hike before, it is probably a good idea to avoid a long hike on your first solo trip. Try a two or three mile hike instead. Know your own limitations, and you can work your way up as you gain more experience and physical strength.
Knowing beforehand what type of weather you will be hiking in will help you plan accordingly. Not wearing waterproof shoes on a rainy, wet, and muddy hike is the perfect recipe for a miserable time. However, a mishap like this can be avoided by checking the weather and being prepared for all weather conditions, as much as possible.
All hikers should carry the top 10 hiking essentials, whether solo hiking or not. But it is especially critical for those who are hiking alone to pack the proper essentials specifically for their trip. For some great ideas on important supplies to include in your backpack, check out The Ultimate Packing List for Female Solo Hikers.
Since you will be hiking alone, make sure to bring your camera so you can document the experience.
Letting the park rangers know your name and your trail route is always a really good idea. Tell them you will be hiking alone, and give them an estimate on when you plan to return. Remember to check back in with them when you complete your adventure.
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