April 12, 2023
If you’re looking for a way to connect with nature and get some exercise, hiking is a great and accessible option. But, if you’re not used to hiking alone, it can be a scary prospect. It’s natural to feel apprehensive about going out into the wilderness on your own, but with some knowledge and preparation, you can overcome your fears and experience the freedom of enjoying the great outdoors on your own time.
Here are some tips to help you feel confident and safe on your solo hikes:
Tips for Enjoying the Great Outdoors Alone:
START SMALL AND BUILD UP YOUR CONFIDENCE.
It’s always a good idea to start with shorter, easier hikes when you’re just starting out. This will help you get comfortable with being out in nature alone without overwhelming you with a difficult hike. It’s important to build up your confidence slowly over time, so don’t rush into a long, technical hike until you’re ready. If you’re not sure where to start, do some research on beginner-friendly hikes in your area. Many state parks and national forests have trails that are perfect for beginners.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE AND KNOW THE TRAIL.
Before you head out on your hike, take some time to plan your route and familiarize yourself with the trail you plan to hike. Make sure you know the distance, elevation gain, and any potential hazards you might encounter. I really like the FATMAPS app for planning my adventures, and they were so kind to offer a FREE one-month membership for their Explore package, which includes custom maps, topo maps, and custom terrain tools. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast so you can pack appropriate gear and supplies. The most accurate way to check this is with a reliable weather source such as NOAA. In addition, bring plenty of water, snacks, and a map or GPS device such as a Garmin inReach to help you stay on track. And don’t forget emergency supplies like a whistle, flashlight, first-aid kit, and emergency bivy.
If you want more details on the specific hiking gear items I use, I’ve also included that below!
LET SOMEONE KNOW YOUR PLANS.
Always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. This is especially important if you’re hiking alone. Let a friend or family member know the details of your hike, including your planned route, and check in with them when you return. If you don’t check in at the agreed-upon time, they’ll know something might be wrong and can alert the authorities. I like to fill out a hiking itinerary for any big adventures as an extra level of safety.
Hi there! I’m Shelby, a
Colorado hiking guide!
I’m here to inspire you to climb your mountain from the ground UP.
I’m an avid hiker and backpacker, and also love camping, fishing, and anything else I can do outdoors, even if it means going alone! I believe nature is the best teacher of all, and I find joy sharing this knowledge so you can feel empowered on your own adventures!
REMEMBER THAT FEAR IS NORMAL.
Fear is a completely natural response to new or uncertain situations, and it’s purpose is to keep you safe. But don’t let fear hold you back from experiencing the benefits of solo hiking. It’s important to acknowledge your fear and take steps to prepare yourself, but don’t let it stop you from pursuing your goals. The more you get out and break through your comfort zone, the easier and more comfortable you will feel. Before you know it, you’ll be a seasoned solo hiker!
Solo hiking can be an intimidating activity, but it doesn’t have to be. With some preparation and knowledge, you can overcome your fears and enjoy the great outdoors on your own terms. Start small and build up your confidence over time, plan your route and familiarize yourself with the trail, and always let someone know where you’re going. And remember, fear is normal, but don’t let it hold you back from experiencing the benefits of solo hiking. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident and capable solo hiker.
*Please note that some links above are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission on any purchase you make – at no additional cost to you. If you use any of these links, thank you for your support in advance!
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