7 Helpful Tips Every First Time Solo Hiker Should Know

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7 helpful tips ever first time solo hiker should know. Visit idhikethat.com to learn more.

Have you ever considered solo hiking?  There are so many awesome benefits.

Hiking is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed both in groups, as well as alone.

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. 

1.  Choose a well-traveled trail.

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.

2.  Know the area.

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.

3.  Tell someone where you will be hiking.

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.

4.  Know your own physical capabilities.

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.

5.  Check the weather forecast before you go.

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.  

6.  Prepare a good packing list of essentials.  

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.

7. Check in at the ranger station.

 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.

So next time you find yourself with an itch to get outdoors and go for a hike, but nobody is available to go with you, keep these 7 tips in mind.  Solo hiking can be fun and is done by many people.  Just make sure you know how to prepare for your trip.

Are you a fan of solo hiking?  What advice would you share with first-timers?  We would love to hear your tips! 

2 Responses


April 29, 2018

before you leave your car, write the general route/trail that you’re taking in a post-it with date and time and stick it somewhere in the dashboard or somewhere in the car.

Will Fleming
Will Fleming

April 29, 2018

As I read this my amazing wife Julie is on day 6 of her first solo section hike down 120 miles of the California coast trail. She prepared for weeks, prepared her meals and equipment, faced her fears, and is now out there doing something that she has wanted to do for decades. There have been sections of her route closed due to slides and the plastic paddle for her inflatable kayak broke as she was crossing the klamath river but with her courage and the unexpected kindness of strangers she has pressed on. She is learning about herself, encouraging others and teaching our daughter that she can do anything she sets her mind to. This week my wife is my hero.

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