How to Get the Most Out of a Solo Hike
Hiking solo opens the door to all kinds of experiences that you just can't have when you're with a group. While it's important to take safety precautions and ensure that you're properly-equipped for the conditions that you will encounter, there are incredible rewards that await when you head out. Let's take a look at some things that you can do in order to get the most out of spending some alone time on the trail.
Go Your Own Speed
Sometimes we need to hike faster or slower than we would prefer when we're traveling with others. On solo hikes, you get to choose your own pace. You can also take spontaneous rest-stops, explore things that interest you or make slight detours if the occasion presents itself. In other words, you have more freedom and opportunities to choose your own way at your own speed.
Enjoy the Scenery
Sometimes we just want to be alone so we can hear nothing but our breathing and the sounds of nature. Hiking solo gives you plenty of opportunities to unwind, clear your head and enjoy silence. This allows you to soak in the scenery, reflect on your surroundings and interact with nature on a more-personal level.
You have an opportunity to step out of you comfort zone, discover some of your strengths and put your skills to the test. This doesn't mean that you should take on an extreme-challenge just to prove something, but being alone forces us to push ourselves a little bit. However, there's a fine-line between being reckless and trying to stretch boundaries, and it's important to try and avoid taking unnecessary risks along the way.
How to Minimize Risk
Good planning is essential, along with being properly-equipped before you hit the trail. You should factor in the conditions, the weather, your provisions as well as what you will do if you get into unexpected trouble. It's also important to make sure that you tell someone what route you will be taking, where you will finish and when you will be checking in.
Finally, consider bringing some kind of defensive weapon with you. You are much-more vulnerable to threats from animals as well as humans, and you want to have some form of protection on hand, just in case. You may also want to consider choosing routes that are known to be less-risky just to err on the side of caution.
Hiking solo can be a very rewarding experience, and don't think twice about trying it for yourself. You can give yourself an unforgettable experience with a little bit of planning and preparation, and getting off on the right foot is a lot easier than most people think.