My first solo hike was in the fall a few years back. I hit the trail early to beat the crowds and enjoy some much-coveted early morning glow. I was a bit nervous, as I tackled a tough, 10-mile trail. Along the way, I stopped in my tracks as coyotes howled into the morning. My dog’s hackles stood straight on end. We were both nervous. But encounters with wildlife are a part of nature. Since then I’ve gone on countless solo hikes as a female and here are a few helpful tips for the solo female hiker.
Safety Tips for Solo Female Hikers on the Trail
As a female, you are always hyper-aware of your safety. However, the outdoors is not nearly as scary as wandering down a dark alley at night. In order to stay safe from both people and wildlife, stay vigilant. Don’t hike with earbuds in and keep an eye out for wildlife. Make a lot of noise to deter the unsuspecting bear or moose. Sing to yourself or shout out loud.
When it comes to people, go with your gut. If something feels wrong, then leave. Never tell a stranger where you are from or where you plan to go. If you’re extra nervous, bring your adventure pup along for the ride, or borrow a friend’s pup. Having a dog gives an added sense of security and helps keep wildlife at bay.
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Tell a Trusted Friend Where You’re Going
Always be sure to tell someone where you are going, what you are wearing and when you plan on being home. It also helps to give them a vehicle description and a plan of action in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to check in with your buddy when you get back!
Going on a burly hike or overnight solo? Prepare a trip plan, learn how here.
Enjoy Being You
Everyone’s experience alone in the world is different. I often times feel strongly connected to what’s around me. So much so I can see outside of myself. Like a bird’s eye view of myself in the world. It’s freeing. Let go of an agenda and just enjoy being you. The greatest part about solo hiking is that you don’t have to wait for anyone or keep others in mind. You simply get to go out and hike.
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Face a Fear Head On
I like to push my boundaries when I’m out by myself. I am not reckless (usually), but I try to do one thing that makes me nervous or scares me. Facing your fears alone teaches you what you’re made of. Whether it be scrambling some rocks, or hitching a ride on the back of a motorcycle across airport terminals in Jakarta I always come back a little braver.
Adventuring solo doesn’t always have to be a deep, meaningful experience. Simply get outside and enjoy being in your own company. With these tips for solo female hikers, you’ll be ready to hit the trails and discover the joys of hiking solo.