Hiking Alone Might Not Be a Great Idea

We’ve spoken a lot over the years about how great hiking is. It’s a great way to get out into nature and see things. Of course, hiking isn’t for everyone, and we understand that. Not even everyone on our team agrees. One person calls hiking “A nice walk ruined by a hill.” But, a hike can get you a great view and away from it all!

We read a great article this week about preparing for hiking alone. It was written by an avid hiker. It spoke about everything you need, from water to an emergency GPS beacon if you get injured. While it is an excellent read, it gave us pause.

Going out into nature alone can give you a way to breathe and feel a sense of calm. But, you should do a thorough self-evaluation before ever making a move toward a solo hike. Is a hike the best way for you to enjoy nature alone, or should you take a quiet walk by yourself in a park? It’s certainly not for everyone. Hiking by yourself can be risky if you are not experienced. Our social media team has many newsfeeds set up to help gather ideas for our blogs. We see stories about hikers who were severely injured or even died because they were alone and out of their depth. When you are hiking, it’s better to have a partner, no matter how experienced you are.

Another thing to consider when going out into nature is the weather. For many parts of the country, the year has entered “mud season.” Here in southern California, we don’t get that. But, in many places, melting snow and spring rain had created mud that makes trails much less passable than they usually are. Before heading out to the trails, you should always look up local conditions to know what to expect. Parks have websites that can give you a heads up. When you have a hiking buddy, you can plan and know what you want to do.

Many experts urge skipping hiking altogether during mud season. It can be dangerous and the snow melts, streams can be rushing, the ground is very slick. If you injure yourself, rescue workers may have to place themselves in peril to come to get you. And, hiking on those trails when they are muddy can cause them to erode, leaving them in poor shape once the season has passed. So, if you are in a place with a mud season, go for a nice walk rather than a hike. You’re protecting yourself and nature!

Get out into nature and recharge in ways that suit your style, skill level and location. And, when you do go out, be sure to have the right amount of company. If you’re just going for a stroll, solitude can be enjoyable. But rigorous activity with the potential for getting injured is safer with a partner!

Banner image: Andrew Neel via Unsplash

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