Going Solo as a Hiker
Going Solo as a Hiker
There are plenty of hikers who prefer to go solo at times. You might need the space to clear your head and focus on your life direction, or to sort out your thoughts. It's also more convenient at times because it means you can leave whenever you feel the necessity. Whatever your reasons are, here are some essential tips before deciding to head out on your solo adventure.
1. Inform Someone Where and When You're Leaving
No matter how solitary you might be, you must tell someone where you're going and when you intend to be back. If you don't show up for work on Monday, you're going to create concern, and that defeats the entire purpose of your pursuit of inner peace.
2. Plan Out Your Journey
Knowing your level of skill as a hiker means taking on an expedition that you can manage. Into the Wild is an excellent cinematic expression of why it's best to operate on what you know, but there are plenty of other documentary films on the subject. Even the most ambitious hikers can find themselves out a little too late. When your environment begins to darken around you, it becomes difficult to traverse inclines and avoid predators.
We don't recommend camping out alone, but if you're adamant on that path, spend enough time planning how to avoid obvious dangers. That might mean learning wilderness first aid, having the skills necessary to start a fire, and learning how to ward off bears or wolves. If you're going to climb to high altitudes, make sure you have extra warm clothes, including some emergency layers, hats, and gloves.
3. Take Mace and a First Aid Kit
If something doesn't feel right, always fall back on personal safety. Prevention is the best cure. Before you find yourself in danger, make sure you know the basics of first aid and take a canister of mace if you encounter danger in human form.
4. Carry a Cellphone
Make sure you have a cellphone on hand, even if it's just for emergencies. Take a power bank and make sure the phone and power bank are both fully charged. Keeping your phone on airplane mode until you need it will keep the power from draining too quickly.
5. Don't Leave Without Snacks and Water
There are plenty of smart ways to keep your body recharged. Don't leave home without your favorite electrolyte-laden chews, water bottles, protein bars, and a stock of energy drinks. Keep food well stashed at the bottom of your backpack. Wild animals -including bears - are often drawn to open packages of food.
A Final Word of Advice
Heading out alone is a trend that's unlikely to disappear. All we ask is that you take the necessary precautions if you're about to do this. Sojourning can be a spiritual way of connecting with nature when you feel out of sync with life in general, but it may not suitable for everyone and does require proper preparations.
- GrivetOutdoors.com _