Absolutely not! I have hiked more than a thousand kilometers alone. You can as well do this in as much you have prepared well irrespective of the kind of hiking; solo or group. You will be safe on a trail of moderate to low hazards. I do not embark on some hiking alone, most particularly areas of challenging topography that is beyond my capability or with adverse weather conditions.
What You Stand To Gain When Hiking Alone
Boosting Self-Esteem By Having To Rely On Your Self
If you are hiking alone solely for the purpose of trying to make your own decisions. Make sure you study the map of the area and also ensure if it clearly answer your choice of right or left. Also, have you planned ahead and brought a waterproof jacket or should you retrace your steps half a mile to that cafe you passed where you can seek shelter; if you eat now will you be able to make it all the way without feeling hungry again?
By carrying the responsibility of being the only person who can take some final decisions will begin to boost your personal sense of independence and respect. However, you have the opportunity to make decisions and set the perfect course for yourself.
Immersing Yourself In Nature
As we are all aware that walking in a natural environment assist in restoring our sense of well-being, staying outdoor where there is fresh air, viewing flowers, forest, avian and other wildlife, optimistically some magnificent scenery and if you also found yourself around shoreline, you will see some stunning seas. You will have the opportunity to enjoy these without anybody distracting you. It is however possible to immerse yourself in nature and be astonished at everything it can offer.
The more you indulge yourself in this activity, the quicker you become relaxed and study your environments. Majority of us are always surprise at the sound of an owl or woodpecker, carefully slow down anytime they sight an antelope grazing at the other side of the field. You tend to learn more when you hike alone as you will not be carried away with any conversation and concentrating on your discussion.
Let Your Thoughts Wonder
We all have some times in our lives that we really need to think through things that might be bothering us. For instance, we might be having issue with our relationships, an issue at our place of work that we really need to think through, it might even be a life changing decisions. In this condition, you will need to go out and provide enough time needed for your mind to think through all the different situations and alternatives.
When you indulge in solo hiking, you can make judicious use of this time to ponder over your options and come up with a lasting solutions to your challenges. Set in motion and relax yourself first, and after covering a mile or so, you can then allow your mind to begin tackling your problems.
Setting Your Own Pace
Most times when hiking in a group; even if the group just consist of two persons. Two things occurred, either your being held back or being subjected to be in haste. Hiking alone gives you the opportunity to set your own pace safe in the understanding that you only have your own pan to suit.
Sometimes, you can wish to plan a full day for walking and as such you can deliberately slow down if needed, take a break and seat on available roadside bench or dead tree. This will allow you to take in the scenery and the nature around you.
However, you can also stop for some time if you see some antelope and really want to snap pictures. You simply do this by setting up a tripod, get comfortable and hunker down while you take the best shot ever.
Why You Should Not Go Hiking Alone
If you are actually considering safety, you would not want to go hiking alone. Although, I am not trying you scare anyone, it is highly significant to carefully look at the safety part of trekking alone.
First and foremost, what will happen if you fall and hurt yourself? It is very easy for you to trip over and twist your ankle. Is it going to be possible for you to move on or you might be needing medical help? Since you are hiking alone, there will definitely be no one to assist you in carrying your backpack, so it will be difficult for you to find somewhere safe.
There is also a high possibility you encounter wild animals that are not use to seeing human. As a result of this, the animals might get scared and decide to attack you for its defense. You might have unknowingly intruded into the environment they live which can make them sense you are trying to attack their offspring. Naturally, their instinct is prepared to protect their family, same as humans.
Getting lost during hiking is a bad experience you will always want to avoid, but sometime you can inappropriately read instruction, as this this has occurred to me in the past. However, if you are trekking alone, there will be nobody to deliberate such situation with, also no one to make perfect resolution as to go forward.
Getting lost at times during hiking can be inevitable but we can always deliberate on the instructions as a group, discover wherever we are at moment and agree on the perfect way forward. So, if you indulge in solo hiking that means you are on your own to make decisions for your trip.
Loneliness And Motivation
Lonesomeness is highly possible if you are walking alone, particularly if you are taking a path that is not busy. For instance, if you are walking along the South Downs; you will definitely meet large population of people to say hi to, but if you are walking along a rural area, you might cover many miles before you can see people.
It is actually obvious that quite large number of people will be fine with this but if you sense it will be challenging for you, I will advise you to select a path that popular a bit.
How To Protect Yourself On Hiking Trails
Let Someone Know Your Plans
Irrespective of the type of hiking you are involving yourself; solo or group. It will be very wise of you to inform someone else wherever you are going and the time you plan to return home.
Carry Trail Maps And Know How To Use Them
Look for an updated hard copy map and take it along with you. Carefully study the map and make a plan for where intend going. Always ensure you learn and study hoe to orient yourself before you leave for hiking.
Be Wary Of Strangers
Try to be friendly but be careful as well. Unquestionably trust your instinct, particularly when you are with nobody (solo hiking). Do not be too concern about being impolite or hurting someone’s feelings.
Also, try as much as possible to avoid individuals that are tipsy, act doubtfully or you are not comfortable with.
Be Extra Cautious If You’re Alone
When you hike alone, you will definitely be susceptible to unwelcomed contact. If you are hiking alone, keep in all we have discussed above and be extra careful. Anytime you come across strangers, make use of the pronoun “we” and not “I” when having conversation with people and make sure you do not tall others by mistake that you are alone.
Don’t Camp Or Linger Near Roads Or Trailheads
Places where individual meets like roads, shelters and campsites have a very high tendency of greater risks of unwelcome communications. Try as much as possible to make yourself inconspicuous by camping far distance from roads and look for a location that is not really visible from a path.
And On The Subject Of Phones
Signals or network are unavailable in many areas. Do not depend solely on your phone to serve as a map, an illumination source, or counted as a survival kit.
Also, if you must take a selfie, stay within paths and walkways. If you are taking photos of animals, put a zoom lens to use.
In conclusion, is it actually weird to hike alone? Of course not, but not everybody can hike alone. It is known fact that most individuals would be glad to go for a short solo walk, but as the walk get longer, it will test your endurance.
The major strategy to hiking is preparation most especially if you are hiking alone. If you take your time to reason well and plan correctly, there will be no reason for not hiking alone in as much you have taken necessary precautions.