10 Tips to Hike Safely Alone

5 Jun 2019

Hiking alone can be incredibly relaxing. It also presents more than a few risks. There are things you can do, though, to enhance your safety while offering the solitude and peace that can only be experienced when hiking solo. The 10 tips below will help you hike more safely when hiking alone.

  1. Stay connected. Carry some sort of device, like a two-way radio with extended range or other form of two-way communication tool that allows you to get in touch with others if needed, even if you’re outside of your normal mobile phone range.
  2. Don’t overshare on social media. While it’s tempting to share your route with others via social media, it is important, for your safety, not to do so while you’re in transit. You especially do not want to put the information out there that you’re hiking alone in connection with your location information.
  3. Understand your limits. It is easy to overdo it on the hiking trail. When you’re alone, that places you at greater risks of falls and other injuries or being unable to make it home.
  4. Prepare for the weather. Any weather. All weather. Even if you pay attention to the weather reports before leaving, anything can happen, and you need to be prepared.
  5. Have a plan. Know the route you plan to take, the sites you intend to visit, and the places you expect to go on each leg of your hike. Whether you’re planning an extended event or just hiking for an afternoon, your plan can be your lifeline. Share that plan with a trusted friend.
  6. Check in regularly. One of the most important things to do on extended hikes is to have one point person you check in at pre-determined times. This helps you have someone on the outside who is expecting to hear from you and can create a response if you do not check in at the prescribed times.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings. It’s not just people you have to worry about when hiking. Depending on where you’re hiking, there are a variety of wild animals, snakes, insects, etc. you need to be looking for.
  8. Pack wisely. Careful planning can get you through the expected. But you must plan for a few unexpected things along the way as well. Pack a few extra protein bars and some safety equipment as well, in case the unexpected adds some additional time to your hike.
  9. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Different hikers have different skill levels. Don’t tackle a hike that may be beyond your abilities when hiking alone.
  10.  Bring along a personal GPS tracking device. This can be one of the most important tools you pack for your solo hike. No matter how turned around you become, a personal GPS tracking device can help you find your way home. It can also identify where you are, so that if you need to call for help (for yourself or someone else in distress you encounter along the way) you can lead your rescuers to your precise location.

These 10 tips can be life and sanity saving when you’re on your next solo hike. Use them well to help protect yourself and others you may encounter during your journey.

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