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Hiking Solo, The tips you need to know

Written by Ronald Owens

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Posted on August 27 2019



Hiking through the great outdoors offers a unique sense of peace and solitude that you just cannot get from other outdoor hobbies. The sense of accomplishment you get from hiking is a feeling I love. I put my headphones in, and I’m instantly transported to a peaceful place. I love hiking the trails and the anticipation of what sight I might see next on the trail. Will it be a bird or some other animal? Maybe a beautiful water scape or flower. The possibilities are endless. If you are a photographer, the opportunities are infinite. If you have been inspired to solo hike. There are a few things to keep in mind, which will help keep you safe. Yes, Hiking by yourself has its rewards, you can travel at your own pace and be alone with your thoughts, but it also poses some safety risks. Here are a few tips to follow if you plan to head out and explore alone:

 

  • Tell friends and family about your whereabouts:Always let people know where you will be hiking and when you will be returning home. This ensures that if something goes wrong on the trail, a loved one will know and alert authorities if you have not returned safely. Remember, more often than not, your cell phone will not work out on the hiking trails.
  • Check the weather:If a thunderstorm is on its way, it may not be the best day to explore the trails. It is always a good idea to dress in layers, and a hat and gloves will help keep you warm if it gets chilly, (temperatures can dip quickly when you are out hiking).
  • Pack smart:Hiking trails can be a haven for bugs and pests. Be sure to pack a hat, bug spray, sunscreen and an extra pair of socks. Also, bring plenty of water, maybe some healthy snacks. A raincoat and a few small first aid items. I like to take an emergency blanket, a fire starter and a small Cree LED flashlight.
  • Become friendly with the ranger station:Park rangers are you friends! Before heading out, have a conversation with the park ranger. They will have tips on navigating any rough terrain that you may encounter while on the trail. In addition, PLEASE do not be afraid to tell them if something happened that made you feel uneasy on the trail or if you encountered a safety concern.
  • Carry a trail map:Before you step foot on the trail, become familiar with the trail and the trailheads. Map out where the ranger stations are, where you might have an opportunity to refill your water bottle, and where campsites are located if you plan to stay overnight.
  • Take a popular path:The most-traveled routes are usually marked well, so it will be harder for you to get lost. In addition, if you are injured, other hikers will be there to lend a helping hand.
  • Be alert:Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. Wildlife and unfriendly hikers can pose a risk to your safety. Being aware of who you are on the trail with (critters included!) is key. Trust your instincts, most of the time your gut is right.
  • Know your ability:If you are new to hiking, or have been a couch potato for a while, it may be a good idea to start on a moderate solo hike. Test your hiking and camping skills on a day hike before planning an overnight trip or weeklong adventure. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. So HAVE FUN!

 

P.S. Check back for Solo Hiking Tips for Women.

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