I am a 53 yr old female who love to be outdoors and hike alone on
familiar territory but am always getting hassled by those who feel I
am not safe walking alone. I hike in the country and have my cell
phone on me and leave a note to my husband a general area where I am
hiking. I rarely even see a person when I walk, only deer. I refuse to
stay indoors and be afraid. It’s not that I don’t like company, I am
spontaneous and other women work when I’d like to hike.
What are your thoughts about women hiking alone?
Great question, Joyce! Leaving a plan of where you are going with your expected time of return, and taking along your cellphone are great precautionary measures.
This is a controversial subject, and I’m glad you emailed about it. My short answer is that it is preferable to hike with at least one other person, especially on trails where no one else would be around to help you if you twisted an ankle or got lost. Yet I am also in agreement with you that staying indoors and being afraid is not an option! You go girl!
Hiking Lady’s Tips for Hiking Solo
- Leave a detailed plan of where you are going, your expected route, and expected time of return. Sounds like you already do this!
- Take your cellphone with a fully charged battery, but do not rely on it as a crutch. Batteries die and reception can be spotty.
- Never use an iPod. You need to be very aware of what is going on around you…so you can be alert to the sounds of other other hikers and animals.
- Don’t hike in complete silence. Tiptoeing along the trail means that no one will hear you…and you don’t want to startle a deer or a bear (not sure if you live in bear country or not, Joyce). The same holds true for snakes. They do not want to see you either…so let them know you’re coming. Hum, sing a song, talk to yourself… 🙂
- Be alert, but have fun! Don’t let yourself get overly panicked or scared. That will take all of the fun out of the hike.
Personally I feel more comfortable hiking with at least one other person…and I know it is sometimes hard to find other people who are available to hike with when you want to go! Ways to meet other people who enjoy hiking are through the Sierra Club, Meetup groups, and if you have a local REI store, attend some of the lectures and events…there are sure to be other like minded hikers who may want to go take a hike!
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