Mature man with backpack standing on mountain against sky during wonderful sunrise
12 Tips To Help You Feel Safer While Hiking Alone
Start with doing a self-evaluation of how experienced you are as a hiker. You’ll need that assessment when using tools such as All Trails or Modern Hiker to plan appropriate hikes — not only to prevent overdoing it as a novice, but to avoid disappointment by choosing routes that are too short or easy for experienced hikers as well.
If you're hiking solo, it may be a good idea to stick to popular trails, so if you run into trouble, there's a better chance of encountering someone who can help. Also, if you're hiking in an area where wildlife is of concern, a more frequented path means more noise that will keep away bears, cougars, and other animals.
Popular Trails
When selecting a hike, distance is significant — you don't want to go on a 10-mile journey only to realize halfway through that you won't make it back before dark — and elevation gain is equally important. You'll want to know average temperatures, the weather on the day of the hike, and when the sun rises and sets.
Note the Numbers
When in a group, you'll be talking to each other and making more walking sounds with multiple sets of boots on the trail — noises that indicate to animals that humans are nearby and to stay back. If you're alone, talk to yourself, strap bear bells onto your backpack, and make an effort to step a bit louder.
This is good advice for any type of solo travel — include friends or family in your plans so if they don't hear from you after a planned hike, they'll be able to contact someone for help. It's also a good idea to turn on location-sharing capabilities on your phone, even if you might be out of service for a lot of the day.
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