Solo hiking is one of the most feared adventures by many people for fear of being hurt or even getting lost in the wilderness. Although such scenarios are more likely when you go hiking alone, you can make your solo hiking successful when you plan.
There are many benefits of solo hiking you should look forward to this holiday. It’s like winning a jackpot in an online casino and changing your life forever. When hiking alone, you can move at your own pace, stop to take pictures, sit down, run, and even drink. There is nobody to push you on your way, and that makes it an amazing experience.
If you’re looking forward to hiking alone this holiday, you can make your adventure successful with these tips:
1. Pick a popular trail
When going for a solo hike for the first time, the best you can do is pick a famous trail in your local area. A first-time hike may come with many drawbacks, and you just want to ensure you are safe wherever you go. Choosing a popular trail is the best you can do for the first time adventure.
Such trails are well maintained, meaning you are not likely to slip and injure yourself. You are also likely to meet other solo hikers on your way to help you in case you run into some trouble.
2. Know the area you’ll be hiking
Before taking the first step to hike alone, you must ensure you’re more comfortable with the area you intend to hike. That said, you should first familiarize yourself with the terrain of the area before your actual visit. Have a pre-visit of the area with your friends and know some corners and dangerous sports in the wild.
Apart from visiting the area, you can also check the terrain on Google Maps. Check the map and find out whether the place is mountainous or woodland. This way, you can know what items you need in your backpack. Remember to look at the map’s key and scale when checking the major details of the area.
3. Tell a friend where you’re going
You may be using this solo hike to switch off from technology and screens. However, that doesn’t mean you should not carry your phone with you to check-in with your friends. Since you’re out hiking alone, your family and friends will be worried about your safety.
Before taking your trip, inform at least one person in your family. If you don’t feel like calling, you can just text a friend and let them know where you plan to hike. This way, you can have some peace of mind when hiking alone.
4. What about the weather?
Have you checked the weather forecast today before undertaking a multi-day hike? It’s not easy predicting the weather; that is why you should always hike in dry seasons when it’s not likely to rain. Hiking in the winter is never a good experience, especially if you’re doing it alone.
Check the weather patterns of your area if you don’t trust the weather forecast. This way, you can easily plan for the hike. Don’t get caught by surprise with a sudden storm when you’re hiking alone in the woods. Checking the weather also helps you pack the right clothes for the hike. If you see other hikers wearing some raincoats or heading towards their cars, it means it’s about to get down – the downpour is here.
5. Pack all essential supplies
You don’t know what you’re likely to meet when you’re hiking alone for the first time. The experience may be good or bad but always hope for the best. When hiking alone, you should always carry a thick jacket to keep you warm, drinking water, enough food, a first aid kit, and a map of your hiking area.
Some seasonal items like a waterproof coat and a peaked cap can also help. If guns are legal in your state, you should not hesitate to carry your handgun for protection, especially when you’re hiking an area popular with smugglers.
6. Pass by the ranger station
When you come across a ranger station on your trail, you should not forget to drop by for an introduction. Talk to the rangers and tell them your name and how long you want to hike alone in the wild. You should also let them know that you’ll drop by on your way back for a goodbye.
Doing this is important for your safety in the woods because the rangers will come looking for you when you don’t report back on the said date. This move alone can ensure your safety when you’re injured while hiking alone. Again, rangers will let you know some paths and trails you should avoid at all costs when hiking in the area.
Solo hiking comes with challenges. You can always have a successful hike alone when you prepare in advance. Have all the essential supplies you need for the hike and plan in advance. If you must hike alone, keep one of your family or friends on notice that you’ll be out in the woods, and they don’t have to report a missing person.