Hiking is a great adventurous activity that many people enjoy. Every hiker wants to get the best out of the event, as it is all done for leisure. However, you will encounter many shortcomings in the process that may affect your morale. This may be because of lack of enough preparations or downplaying some important factors.
If you want to go hiking or have encountered some heartbreaking challenges, do not hesitate. Here are some tips for hiking alone that you should consider carefully. Do check out our earlier piece on the magic of night hiking to give you more ideas.
Consider the place where you want to hike
There are many possible hiking places, but when hiking alone, there are some specific destinations that you can choose. As you know, there are some areas where you can’t go alone due to the potential dangers that one may face.
You should know the place where you want to hike and this is possible by getting the right information. Know more about the place and obtain relevant information from seasoned hikers. Know about the climate of the place, terrain, environment and accessibility. These factors will give you a brief outline of the area.
With all this, you will get to know what is expected of you. Many people tend to ignore the relevant information about the areas that they are going to travel to. This is a costly mistake and might ruin your hiking adventure as well. If you want to go hiking alone, make sure you put this to consideration.
Let people know about your whereabouts
Having other people informed about your whereabouts is necessary and removes any worry or problems that they might encounter in your absence. Let your friends and family know about where you are heading and the possible duration of stay. For lots of tips on hiking safety, don’t forget to read our earlier piece to give you more insight.
Give the necessary information and stick to it. Many things might happen such as you getting lost, and people will use that information to trace you. Many people encounter danger when hiking, and this information might be helpful in acquiring help. Make sure that the information provided is accurate as possible.
Contact the Security Personnel Around
When hiking alone, make sure you inform the security personnel as a safety mechanism. Many hiking places may not be as safe as many people might think, and getting in touch with the security team assures you some protection and safety as well.
Check whether there is a ranger station in the area and inform them about your activities. Let them know that you are hiking alone and have their contact information in case something unexpected happens. They will be respond to your call faster if you have informed them earlier as compared to when you did not.
Familiarize Yourself with the Weather Conditions
Weather changes are inevitable, and when hiking alone, you should ensure that you have the weather forecast at your fingertips. Many people encounter weather difficulties and end up having a bad time. Normally, weather has some patterns and knowing about them will definitely make your hike a success.
It’s not that far-fetched to leave home on a sunny day only to be surprised that it is raining in the afternoon and you are in the middle of nowhere. This might be something you will not appreciate but don’t let it hinder your success. Know the patterns clearly and work towards them.
A Busy Trail is Ideal
You may not like this, but it is definitely safer than a lone trail. Areas that have traffic are more preferable than where you are alone. Don’t worry about getting interrupted by noises from other people, since after all your safety is important.
When dubious things happen, it might be easier to get help than when hiking on a secluded place. You also have a chance of socializing with people and making friends, and this contributes to the fun as well.
Check Your Resources and Plan Accordingly
When planning a hike, check what you have and what is available. This gives a clear outline of how you will conduct your hike and use your resources. It also gives you an overview plan and a general outline of what to expect when hiking.
Many hiking places do not have adequate supplies and you might suffer in case you don’t plan well. To avoid this, plan accordingly and know your priorities. Many people have nasty experiences because of failing to plan their activities well.
Stick To Your Plans
As much as you like to plan, failing to stick to your plans might be another huge mistake. It is the same as not having a plan in the first place. Don’t change your route or destination as you might find more problems that you are not prepared for.
Changing destination might get you lost or make you vulnerable to dangers. Don’t be carried away with the hype of visiting unprepared destinations in the name of fun. Areas might be different from the other and this will cause you problems. A strange environment can lead to unexpected problems that can ruin your hike.
Prepare for a lonely Encounter
When going out for a solo hike, take time to prepare psychologically on how to spend time alone. Don’t get out there just to feel lonely that you want to get back home again. This might make you disregard hiking, and should not be the case.
There are many things to do to break the monotony and you should consider them. This include reading novels, magazines and journals. You can have a camera to take pictures that you can look at when bored. Involve yourself in sports such as playing football, rope jumping etc. They gives you a chance to get busy and take your mind off of things.
Listen To Your Gut Feeling
Consider carefully what your instincts tell you. Many people tend to avoid this but is inevitable and you can’t change it. What do you think about the hike? Are you afraid of something? Is there something you think it’s not right?
Consider your inner voices and work towards them. If you’re in doubt, don’t do it.
Carry an Emergency Kit
Never leave this behind when hiking alone. There are many likely dangers in the outdoor world that you should be wary of. A medical kit is probably the only source of first aid that you could have. It should include items such as bandages, pain killers and dressings.
These items gives you the ability to treat certain light ailments and injuries. You could encounter bruises, snake and insect bites, falls, attacks by wild animals and more, and without these items, your situation could easily turn the turn for the worse.
Do not take unnecessary risks
Many people tend to get tempted by fun, risky activities while outdoors, and this might be a bad idea. Don’t take unfamiliar shortcuts, get into caves, climb high mountains or rocks, move across wildlife prone areas, trespass in restricted locations or go to danger marked areas such as gorges.
Remember you are alone and there might be no other person nearby to help you in case something happens. You might get injured which exposes you to further dangers. Have the ability to control yourself.
Do not ignore weather changes while hiking alone. Don’t wait to get caught up by a downpour while crossing a river or valley where you might get swept away by water. Try to find shade as fast as possible and don’t wait to get soaked in the rain or .
Carry the Necessary Gear
There are those vital requirements that need to be carried when hiking alone. These items include:
- Nutrition: You need to have food that will keep you nourished for the duration of your hike, in case you are at a place without constant food supply.
- Repair Kit and Tools: This are important if you have a car or a bicycle.
- Navigation: It is necessary for giving directions when in an unfamiliar place.
- Fire: You need to have a means of lighting fire such as a lighter or matchbox. Fire gives you warmth, and may be ideal in scaring away dangerous wild animals.
- Sun Protection: This might be an item such as an umbrella that gives you adequate protection from direct sunlight or rain. Do remember to check out our review of the best hiking hat to protect your from the heat.
- Hydration: This is a means for quenching your thirst such as water. If you don’t have the capacity to carry enough water, you can decide to have a portable water filter.
- Emergency Shelter: Carry with you a tent where you can protect yourself from any dubious circumstance while hiking.
- Illumination: You definitely need to have a reliable source of light with you to light your way during the dark.
Each of these tools is important in its own way. These tools will give you the better chances for a smooth hike. You should be completely prepared and knowing what you need is vital.
Benefits of Hiking Alone
Hiking alone gives you a chance to enjoy nature in your solitude which is out of the question if you’re traveling in a group. While hiking alone, you get to be the leader and you have all the flexibility in the world.
Ability to choose your own adventure
When hiking alone, you have complete control over your adventure. You can choose an interesting trail or any road that’s less traveled. Hatching a plan and working towards it will lead to a successful hike.
If you are the person who wants to see things happen their way, solo hiking is the way to go. It gives you a chance to have fun by yourself without the distraction of other people.
Being on a hike alone builds your confidence and your ability of doing things alone as well. It is an opportunity for you to learn how to do things on your own. It gives you the chance to deal with your personal fears as well.
After completing a successful solo hike, you should feel like you can take on the world. It might also positively affect your personal life as you gain confidence to pursue your dreams and following your inner voice.
Many people who don’t trust their instincts have this perfect opportunity to build their personal confidence on a lone hike.
Have you been encountering some overwhelming situations that tax your mind and body? Do you want to take your mind off the things that stress you the most? Hiking alone is the best chance for finding solace and letting go of these overwhelming situations.
Going out and hiking alone can do wonders for your mind. After facing many overwhelming challenges, you can go out for a hike and focus on the beauty of nature. You will find more thrilling moments and this is the perfect activity that will put away all your worries.
Offers a good personal challenge
You will be able to stretch your personal limits and know what you are capable of achieving by hiking alone. Succeeding in a challenging situation as well as realizing your personal abilities are just some of the benefits of hiking alone.
Many people end up knowing their abilities, strengths and weaknesses. In a lone secluded place, you are able to know your strengths and weaknesses.
Improves your spiritual well-being
It gives believers a chance of building their personal awareness. Many people consider hiking a fun activity but this is not always the case. It is a perfect place to pray and fast and seek blessings from your God.
Out there, there is not much disturbance or temptations and it is a perfect worship place. Regardless of your religion, hiking in the woods in your lonesome gives you a perfect chance of building your spiritual well-being.
Perfect chance to experience nature
Hiking alone will give you a clear overview of nature and the things that happen in it. Sometimes, it’s just nice to be alone with nature. You might not get this opportunity to be one with nature if you’re traveling with other people. By hiking alone, you control your own schedule and have enough flexibility to deal with things.
Hiking improves your overall body fitness
Lone hiking gives your brain a good workout as much as it does your body. Walking helps to burn excess calories in the body, and this is amplified by the backpacking weight that you are carrying. Many solo hikers have reported that it is a perfect body exercise. It gives your body a sensational workout that is not found in most conventional exercises.
If you want to cut weight, a well-planned lone hike will give you the needed exercise for removing excess body fats. Reducing body cholesterol helps in lowering the risks of blood pressure, diabetes, avoiding strokes and heart attack among other health conditions. Alternating between high and low attitude areas are the best in maintaining personal health and body fitness.
Read our article on the many benefits of hiking to keep you motivated and focused.
With the above tips, you should be well on your way to successfully pull off a lone hike. It comes with numerous benefits and it is undoubtedly one of the best outdoor activities that you should consider.
Make sure you follow these guidelines in order to avoid any unnecessary challenges that may put you off hiking forever. If you follow these tips, you will definitely make the most out of your solo hike. Have fun camping!
Are you ready to go solo hiking now? Or maybe, you have tried solo hiking before? Please do share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.