Hiking alone offers wonderful opportunities for getting in touch with nature.  At the same time, it’s often wise to take some precautions.

IMG_06581) Hike on trails with at least five cars in the parking lot.  That’s enough folks if you need someone, but not too many to spoil the quiet sounds of nature on the trail.

2) Test cell phone service, in may remote areas, there’s no cell service. There may be at the parking lot, but not on the trails.  So bring a whistle, just in case you might need help.

3) Definitely carry water, especially when hiking in the heat and in mountains, you don’t want to get dehydrated.  When we breathe, we release moisture in our breath.  Given that we breath more in higher altitudes, breathing alone can deplete moisture in our bodies, regardless of whether we are perspiring.

4) Stay on marked trails.  It’s easy to get lost in wooded areas (I’ve done it, trust me, it’s amazing how trees and paths begin to look alike!)

5) Bring a jacket when hiking in the mountains as it gets really chilly in the shade.

6) Bring a small flash light.  Sometimes darkness comes quickly and it’s a good emergency signal.

By Bojinka Bishop

What have I missed?  What are your tips for hiking alone?

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Comment(s) on Tips for Hiking Alone

  1. Laura says:

    Remember that the most dangerous part of your trip by far is the drive to the trail head.

  2. barbara says:

    bring a dog. best hiking companion ever.

  3. Steve Hutchcraft says:

    I am glad that I stumbled across this article. Although I belong to an outdoor club, most of my hiking is solo. I try to include others but when the time comes to meet up that person (or persons) usually cancels. Tomorrow I am giving one of my neighbors a second chance.

    I carry in my day pack the usual twelve hiking essentials plus enough stuff to survive the night if I have to. Additionally I carry self defense items and hiking poles. I have had to defend myself against unleashed dogs on two occasions. Tell a trusted friend or relative where you are going and when you expect to be back. Solo hiking is a blast.