Becoming one with nature and indulging in the serene tranquility it has to offer are dreams most people dream of becoming true. It is an experience that is sure to provide the heart with a thrilling and satisfying feeling. An activity capable of providing you with that same enthralling sensation is none other than hiking. Hiking through mountainous and rough terrain, all while spectating on the beautiful and abundant flora and fauna nature has to offer, is an exceptional experience. But never hike alone!
And suppose you are to go on this adventurous activity with only the presence of yourself. In that case, you are sure to get all those serene treats reserved for you alone. But it goes without saying that traveling alone always has that risk factor involved.
How to Stay Safe on Solo Hiking:
Solo hiking may be extremely fun and exciting, but it also has the potential to lead you astray towards danger. So it is of utmost importance that you prepare yourself for an solo hiking trip to stay safe on the trail. Here are some safety tips to get you going.
Being Properly Prepared:
Always be prepared. It is the best thing anyone can do to ensure safety. Preparation is the basis of any safety procedure you will find in this piece of writing. Preparation means becoming knowledgeable about everything relating to your hike.
This includes how the weather is going to be, the condition of the terrain, the wildlife and vegetation, and how difficult the hike will be. Knowing what to expect gives you an over the activity and reduces your chances of getting into trouble. Take appropriate actions to gather the necessary knowledge. Lookup a map for the place you are hiking in and take it with you.
Know about the wildlife and poisonous plants that may exist there and educate you on how to defend against them. Learn how to fight against altitude sickness and do the appropriate exercises before the hike. Check the weather forecasting resources for the place you are going to hike. This is especially important for places at high altitudes as thunderstorms are much frequent there. Never be underprepared.
Inform Family and Friends:
Another way to stay prepared for danger is to notify your friends and family about your hike. In this modern age of technology, it should be very easy to notify anyone about your hiking plans. Keep at least a family member, a friend informed of details of your hike, such as where you are going and the routes you are taking. This is crucial that you do it beforehand, as you may not get any cell service where you are going to hike.
Also, keep that person informed about when they will hear from you and between what period you are going to be back. To take this safety precaution to the next level, you could also inform the local ranger station about your plans and where you are going. Talking with other hikers and exchanging plans is also not a bad idea.
This might come in handy if authorities come for questioning if something happens. As a very last measure of precaution, you could keep a slip of paper in your car when you depart from it. In the paper write down all your plans and the destinations you are going to. This would be one additional step towards speeding up any rescue procedures.
Take Proper Hiking Gadgets:
Now it is time to talk about gadgets. Keeping with you, the right gear might mean saving you from life or death situations. Technology plays a great part in hiking solo. There is now a vast resource of GPS trackers, offline maps, communication devices, apps, etc. Having these devices, you will feel like you are not hiking alone. So, without devices, never hike alone!
Some noteworthy ones are “AllTrails”, “National Parks Trail Guide,” and “GPS Tracks”. All of which have GPS tracking, offline capabilities, and the capability to send your location and notifications in an emergency. You could also make use of satellite messaging devices and personal locator beacons.
These devices are meant to use in emergencies only and could potentially save your life. The “Garmin In-Reach” and “SPOT” are good and recommended devices. Never hike alone would become a myth to you, if you have all these devices!
First-Aid and other small hiking equipment:
Apart from these technologically advanced aids, you should never forget to take with you the basic equipment. Buy a compass and learn how it is used. You could also invest in a whistle, as this would help to fend off certain wildlife, it could also help you call for help if you are immobilized and your voice isn’t enough. So, don’t forget to bring a first aid box and other small hiking equipment.
Then there are the essentials such as your pack, sleeping bag, tent, boots, clothing, etc., depending on the type of your hike. Also, carefully choose the type of clothes you bring on your hike. Wear bright and reflective clothes when your hike. Wear synthetic materials that are self-drying in the summer, and wear wool and fleece in the winter for warmth. As a basic rule, always avoid cotton as it can chafe does not dry quickly.
Carrying enough resources:
As a method of greatly ensuring your safety, you should always be over-prepared. Never go on a hike on assumptions, and take low resources only to find out that your assumptions were wrong. Always take more than you need.
Even if you are going on a hike for a few hours, bring hiking equipment. Take more water and food than you need. You could also take with you a water filtration system so that you can drink water from any water resource. Take gear to secure a shelter if needed, bring clothes for any weather, and take a first aid kit. You should also bring with you a backup battery to charge any device that may be able to secure help or track your location.
Lastly, the most important tip is to know yourself and be realistic. You should know your abilities and do not do things that are more than what you can handle. If it’s a big hike, remember to do strength training and the necessary exercises ahead of time.
You should first practice on short trails and then slowly move on to larger ones. Master hiking on familiar trails and then take on unfamiliar ones. Respect what your body can do, and do not try to eat more than you can chew. Finally, trust your senses and do what you think is the most reasonable thing to do. We recommend never hike alone though it is adventurous!
That concludes this short piece of writing on how to stay safe when hiking solo. We hope that the tips mentioned above would come in quite handy for you and overcome the never hike alone myth. We wish you safe and happy hiking!