In the perfect world, women could travel and hike alone without having to worry about any types of dangers. Sadly, we don’t live in that type of world. There are potential dangers everywhere we go, especially when we are alone. Before I go hiking by myself, I take some extra safety precautions. In this article, I will list some female solo hiking tips I believe will be beneficial to women and also anyone else hiking alone.
Let someone know where you are going and approx how long the hike will be. I’m very independent and the thought of having to tell people where and what I’m doing drives me crazy. However, on one of my hikes years ago, I thought I was lost and it scared me. I knew if I was lost, I’d be in trouble because I had no cell service, I hadn’t seen any other hikers in a while and I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing that day. If I went missing on a weekend, it may be the following Monday when I don’t show up to work before anyone knew I was in trouble.
After that, I made sure to plan my hikes out better. I always let two people know my plans just to be safe. I let them know the trail I am hiking, how long the trail is and approximately how long it will take me to hike. I also advise them to give me an extra hour before calling for help just in case the hike takes me longer than expected.
I don’t own this yet, but I have the Spot 3 Satellite Messenger on my wishlist! This GPS tracker will send for Emergency help with a click of a button! It also has several other awesome perks! You can click on the link to purchase or to learn more.
Don’t post your hiking details on social media. Before I go hiking, I don’t post any info on what I’m doing or where I’m going. I always wait until after my hike to post pics & status updates of my hike. Maybe I’m just too cautious, but there are so many crazy people that may take advantage of knowing your location! I’m sure there’s a slim chance that someone would follow you to where you are going, but I’m not willing to take that chance. If you just have to post pics as you go, then try to avoid posting any details on the location.
Carry some form of protection. I am a proud gun owner with a carry permit, but in most of the places I hike, guns are banned. As an alternative, I carry pepper spray. Pepper spray or a taser may allow you enough time to run for help. I always carry a whistle around my neck too. If you are hurt or need to get other hikers attention, this is good to have with you.
Be prepared. If I’m hiking in a rural area that I’m not familiar with, I always make sure to fill my gas tank while I’m in a more populated area. I don’t want to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, possibly without cell service. I also like to make sure I have paper directions printed out since I do occasionally lose service and can’t access my gps on my phone.
I may be overly cautious, but I’d rather be on the safe side when it comes to protecting myself. Hiking alone can be a wonderful experience and I don’t want to miss out on anything just because I worry too much. Nothing can fully prepare you for any dangers in life, but following these few precautions makes me feel a little safer and more prepared.
Get out there and enjoy life and if you ever get a chance to go to Grayson Highlands State Park in VA, I highly recommend you take a trip and visit the ponies! This hike has been my favorite one so far!