The concept of solo hiking really scares a lot of people. Ask most people why they don’t go hiking alone and they’ll probably say it’s because they’re scared of fears like:
- Being alone out on trail or feeling lonely
- Running into sketchy people
- Wildlife encounters
- Getting lost
- Getting injured
- Running out of food or water
- The Unknown
All of which are very valid reasons.
As a woman who has grown to embrace and love solo hiking, I’ve not only have to deal with my own fears of being out on trail by myself but have also had to deal with the fears of friends and family members whenever I tell them I want to go hiking solo.
I’ve lived so much of my life in fear. When I was younger, I’d let my own fear and even other people’s fears hold me back from doing things I wanted to do.
Fear held me back from going to the college I wanted to go to. Fear kept me in relationships that were toxic and unhealthy. Fear kept me working in jobs I hated. Fear kept me from traveling to an international country by myself. Fear of making dreams and goals a reality because I was afraid of failure.
Honestly, my biggest fear was myself and I struggled, big time, to get out of my own way.
When I started hiking a few years ago. I instantly fell in love with it and wanted to go hiking all the time. The more I wanted to go hiking, the harder It was to always find someone else to go hiking with. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but the thought of solo hiking didn’t really cross my mind right away.
Eventually, I found myself getting sick of trying to work around someone else’s schedule and got tired of being canceled on. Why should I have to wait for someone else to be able in order to go hiking? Why couldn’t I just go by myself whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted?
So I did. Since my first solo day hike, I’ve never looked back. My biggest regret was not giving myself permission to go solo hiking sooner.
These days, I actually prefer to be out on trail by myself…for a bunch of different reasons:
It’s the freedom…to go hiking without having to wait for someone else to go with me. If want to go hiking, I can just go by myself, wherever I want, whenever I want for however long I want. No longer am I wasting my time waiting for someone to go with me.
It’s being able to hike at my own pace. Hiking solo means I never have to worry about being the slowest person in the group. I get to set my own pace. I can hike as slow or as fast I want to. I can take as many breaks as I want for however long I want. I can stop for lunch whenever I want. I can checkout landmarks along the way or explore side trails. I can decide how far I want to hike for the day and turnaround whenever I’m ready. I can take all of the pictures I want to. I get to truly hike my own hike without having to take into consideration anyone else other than myself.
Solo hiking is really good for my mental health. For me, solo hiking is like an open-eyed meditation. It’s my most favorite way to enjoy my “me time.” I can sort through all of the thoughts in my head without any distractions, far away from a WiFi connection and a computer screen.
Solo hiking allows me to slow down and truly take in all of the awesome things happening around me outside without worrying about having to keep up with or carry on a conversation with a hiking partner. All of those solo moments of clarity out on trail help give me my really good ideas that I come back home to implement.
Hiking solo is a major confidence booster for me. When I’m out on trail alone, I have to be prepared to be 100% self-reliant…and there’s a LOT of power in that.
Knowing I can handle various challenges along the way that may come up throughout my hike while sometimes even getting the opportunity to overcome some of my fears when I’m hiking solo is proof to me that I really can do anything I put my mind to, not only when I’m out on trail, but also once I come back home.
I can’t help but feel empowered after hiking solo. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. And if I’m being perfectly honest, solo hiking kind of makes me feel like a badass.
Probably my most favorite reason why I love solo hiking is because it’s fun. Seriously! I have a lot of fun when I’m out on trail by myself. Solo hiking is also really addicting. After my first solo hike, I couldn’t stop thinking about the next time I could get out on trail again for another hike by myself.
With the new year comes a fresh, new start. A whole, new list of goals.
This year, some of my hiking and backpacking goals include getting a jump start on my physical training for the upcoming backpacking season.
This means working out with my trainer twice a week, restarting my daily yoga practice and weekly training day hikes throughout the winter, which for where I live, means hiking in the snow. I might even do some snow camping.
Also, this year marks the five-year anniversary of my first thru-hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. So to celebrate the hike that literally changed everything about my life, I plan on doing another thru-hike.
This thru-hike is something I once thought I wasn’t capable of doing because it was so far out of my comfort zone. My hike this year will be all about proving to myself that I am perfectly capable, and I’ll be doing this one all by myself. You’ll have to stick around for more details.
I know that solo hiking might not be for everyone and that’s okay. I’m not here, trying to prove to you why you should ditch your friends and go hiking by yourself, but what if you’re someone who’s:
- Tired of relying on other people to go hiking with you?
- Sick of having to work around someone else’s schedule
- Fed up with friends canceling on you?
Maybe you’ve finally reached the point where you’re ready to start building up the confidence to feel comfortable with hiking solo. If this sounds like you, I have a solution: The Confident Solo Female Backpacker System
The Confident Solo Female Backpacker System is a comprehensive, self-paced, online hiking and backpacking program for women, designed to help you go from feeling scared and intimidated about being out on trail by yourself to feeling comfortable with planning your own backcountry adventures.
Whether you’re a beginner or well-seasoned female hiker or backpacker, this program will walk you through, step-by-step, everything you need to know in order to plan, prepare and build up your confidence to comfortably go out for either your first or next solo hiking or backpacking trip.
- How important is it to you to want to spend more time out on trail this year?
- Need help getting out of your own way?
- Ready to start building up your confidence this year so you feel comfortable getting out on trail by yourself for solo hiking and backpacking trips?
If so, CLICK HERE to schedule a one-on-one Zoom call with me where we’ll talk about your hiking and backpacking goals. If you’re a good fit for the program, you’ll have the opportunity to enroll into The Confident Solo Female Backpacker System during our call.
Click Here to learn more about The Confident Solo Female Backpacker System.
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