Those who have never hiked alone may be intimidated by the fact that there are numerous risks such as unexpected wildlife encounters, trail injuries, or getting lost. However, nowadays there are more people, especially women that are traveling solo than ever before, and that includes hiking, which allows them to experience the benefits of natural environments both at home and abroad while ensuring their own safety.
In fact, solo women hikers often experience criticism from friends and family whose fear is provoked by the thought that a woman might be traveling into the wilderness alone. It is already 2022 and gender should not be a hindrance for any person to do what he or she wants, that is why here are some of the tips that will surely help women in their solo backpacking journey.
10 Despite Hiking Alone, Remember To Let Some Friends Or Family Know The Entire Plan
Prior to embarking on a hiking expedition alone, a woman hiker should consider putting in place a variety of security measures. This entails informing trusted friends and family members of crucial information such as the routes they are taking during the hike. If new to hiking alone, it is better to make a plan to call members of family or friends within a set timeframe after finishing a hike. Keep them informed and update them about the current status of the hike.
9 Bring A GPS Tracker
As a female hiker, it is better to make sure that there are other alternatives or Plan B. So, despite letting other people know about the hiking plans, it is also recommended to carry a GPS tracker. When using a GPS device, it will have a relatively certain ability to locate oneself on a map and to navigate back to the trail's endpoint or starting point. Perfect for women who will try to solo hike.
8 Plan The Whole Journey Well
Planning is important in everything, that is why before going on a hike, it is better for a hiker to plan her routes, think of possible alternative routes, directions she has to take, and be ready in case there will be any emergencies along the way. It is good to do some research on the hiking location ahead of time to make sure that everything will go smoothly and manageably. Also, it is critical to be well informed about any potential local concerns, such as transportation, currency, bank access, or overnight accommodations along the trip. Aside from that, if there is an available guidebook on the chosen location, it is better to use it for better navigation of the area.
7 Bring The Essentials Before Going On A Hike
Despite going either on short or long hikes, it is important to pack the essentials for hiking such as:
- Map and Compass
- Comfortable extra clothes
- First aid kit
- Repair Tools
- Fire making equipment
- Emergency shelter (tent)
6 Wear Proper Clothes
Make sure to pack warm and waterproof clothing in order to stay warm and dry on the trek. In general, it's best to stay away from textiles like cotton, which may absorb a lot of perspiration and moisture, and instead choose something more breathable like wool. The moisture-wicking properties of wool make it an excellent choice for long solo walks since it keeps the body continually dry. In fact, women's tops made with wool are also a natural sun blocker and an easy-to-wash, odor-resistant material, allowing them to last on the trail for days at a time without a wash.
5 Do Not Go Overboard, Just Stick To Trails
When going on a solo hike, it is better to make sure to stay on established paths rather than venturing into the remote wilderness. A topographical map and a compass are also useful skills to learn since they will allow hikers to navigate their way back to their starting point if they accidentally stray off track. As an additional suggestion, it is also recommended to stick to more popular trails as well, where hikers will be more likely to come across other hikers.
4 Know Your Limits As A Hiker
If starting something new, it's crucial to take small steps because when it comes to solo hiking, the ideal approach to start out is to go trekking near to home on beginner routes and build up the confidence from there. In fact, as a starting point, take small hikes at a nearby state park to increase endurance and strength in preparation for a longer hike. For a beginner, keeping near to home also provides a sense of security knowing that a hiker could return to the safety and comfort of their own house any time they want.
3 Be Prepared And Self-Sufficient
In engaging on regular hikes, it is best to learn to be self-sufficient, especially if planning to hike alone. Things a hiker should be aware of when planning a solo hiking trip include calculating how much food and water she needs on a hike, the possible alternatives she can make use of, and a mode of communication she can use in case of an emergency. Also, it's beneficial to be prepared for emergencies and to know how to deal with an injury. Preparation can also take the shape of packing the right gear and getting in some trail training beforehand.
2 Be Equipped And Get Gears Designed For Women
While it is obvious to check for women's hiking footwear, there is a plethora of extra gear available that is specifically made for female hikers. For example, hikers should always try on a backpack to make sure that it fits comfortably and securely across their torso and chest before purchasing it. Chafing or tightness in delicate areas is the last thing that they want to happen to their skin. Furthermore, women have a distinct weight distribution on their backs, which makes a significant difference. To be sure, it is best to put on and test a couple of different outfits to find the best fit before going on a hike.
1 Being Alone Is Good But If Possible, Bring A Companion
Even if not interested in hiking with others, a dog can actually provide companionship in a variety of situations. Another benefit of having a dog is that it may serve as a watchful eye, nose, and ears for any other creatures that a hiker may come across. In addition, they provide a small amount of additional warmth to the tent. Just keep in mind that on hiking, there is a need to prepare appropriate equipment and food for them as well, such as a collapsible water bowl and even a little towel to wipe them down once they have been outside.