I often see women’s pictures in the hiking groups I belong to and the one that I moderate, posting that they went hiking alone. It always scares me to think that something might happen to them, so today I’m sharing tips for women hiking alone, hoping it will help more women be safe.
Tips For Women Hiking Alone
Make sure you check the trail ahead of time on an app like AllTrails or in a group, so that you’re sure it is a trail matching your hiking skills.
Don’t post on social that you’re going or while you’re there, to prevent predators from trying to “meet up”.
Let a friend/family member know where you’re going and at what time. Touch base when you finish the trail.
Pack a few items in your backpack, like a flashlight, a cereal bar, snack, bottle of water and bring your cellphone with a full battery. You can also add an emergency survival kit by SOS Products or similar companies, in order to prepare for the unlikely situation of you losing your way. When it comes to hiking alone, it is best to be prepared for any scenario.
Make sure you have spikes in the winter for icy trails, warm boots, vest, pants and dress accordingly to make you feel comfortable and allow you to move.
Here are some examples of winter hiking gear I shared on a previous post: Winter Hiking.
Always stay alert to your surroundings and greet fellow hikers. This acknowledges that you’ve seen them and lets them know you’re there. You cannot ignore the insects you might encounter at your hike. Natural locations have a lot of them, anyway. You cannot avoid deadly creatures, but you can definitely avoid getting stung or bitten by them. You can check out sites (like this Rilor Wilderness site, for example) to get additional information.
Plan ahead and check the weather before you go.
Hopefully you’ll always check the weather before hiking.
In many states though, the weather can change very quickly! Some states may implement a professional weather station system that can help with monitoring weather changes in an advanced manner so that people can be informed and prepared ahead of time, however, it is always important to be prepared for any weather that has the potential to happen.
I’ve recently started using a weather app called WeatherBug, which gives an incredibly accurate and detailed forecast with up-to-the-minute weather.
Beware of Animals
Before you start your hike, do an internet search on what kind of wildlife you might encounter in that area.
While you’re at it, research the poisonous plants too.
Dangerous animal encounters are extremely rare, but they increase if you’re hiking solo.
This is because you likely won’t have a large group of people making noise on the trail alongside you.
If you take preventative measures though, you should be safe.
Here are some animals you might find among others: venomous snakes, spiders, scorpions, bears, coyotes, foxes, mountain lions, moose, beavers, groundhogs and dear.
I always cover as much as possible, to reduce the risk of being bitten by some of these animals.
It’s always a great idea to bring a hiking pole to make noise if you suspect you’re “not alone”. Animals usually will run from the noise and avoid interaction. But please don’t run or shout.
We saw a bear in the Poconos and it was my first time … I felt paralyzed. He looked at us, we didn’t move, he went on with his walk.
Bring a Tent
If you’re planning a 7+ mile hike, I recommend you bring a small portable tent in your backpack.
It’s always a great idea, especially if it’s a new hiking location, to have a plan B, right?
Research the Trail
Look ahead and google the trail for possible police reports or strange things happening in the area.
I feel most women are safe, at least in our local Jersey trails, but it’s always a good idea to be careful.
Bring a Dog
If you own a dog, especially if it’s a Pitbull, German Shepard, Rotweiller, having a dog on a leash when you hike is always a good choice. You can even bring along energetic dogs like Golden Retrievers (check out this golden retriever dachshund mix), which make excellent hiking and running companions.
It will also discourage strangers from getting too close to you.
Just check the trail ahead of time, some don’t allow dogs and make sure your furry animal is fit enough to do it.
Being prepared is not going to scare you from doing it, it will give you confidence to know you’re prepared to do it!
Have you ever hiked alone?
Can’t wait to hear what you think about my tips for women hiking alone.
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