I haven't hiked alone in a really long time. My hubby is joining on my weekly jaunts. I will take solo hikes around here before I set out on the AT. The most important thing that you can do is be observant of your surroundings and if something doesn't feel right it more than likely isn't.
The AT is covered in hikers during the year especially when thru season starts in March. I will be picking up the trail probably around the time the thru hikers make it to NC. More than likely the ones that started in early/mid April and will reach NC in early May. Right now we are hoping for May maybe late April as it will be warmer in the GSMNP and before it gets ungodly hot. I can do cold a whole lot better than hot.
I am a little scared to be out there on my own, I will admit. I am actually more afraid of the environment than people. I have a rating
1. Bears (Been a lot of activity in GSM this year)
2. Rattle headed Cobra Moccasins (Snakes)
3. Lightning (What am I to do if it decides to storm and I am top of a mountain)
4. Injuring myself ( I broke my leg, Im alone, Now what??)
5. Freezing to death (Hypothermia is really dangerous)
6. Other people (There are stupid and mean people everywhere)
See people rank really low for me. If all else fails I will beat them to death with my trekking pole or spray them with the bear mace lol.
I have been reading posts at whiteblaze.net about hiking alone and safety and such. Yeah there are some scary things out there, but for the most part the AT is safe and the hikers tend to look out for one another. Most of the problems are not caused by the hikers from what I have read and occur near roads. There are a lot of veteran thru and section hikers on there that can give tons of advice.
I am also reading (and living vicariously through them) trail journals at trailjournals.com. There are some really great journals on there. I highly suggest Trainwreck, Mouse, Certain and Persistent. All women. Trainwreck and Mouse were lone hikers and seemed to make some wonderful friends on the trail.
And I must say I have never met an unfriendly hiker, previously or currently. We actually stopped and had conversations with 3 different ones today. And hikers are chatty too lol!
If you feel safe hiking alone, then there is no reason why you shouldn't do it. I know friends and family worry and that is only because they care. My husband will be worried but I have his blessing to hit the trail solo. I will make sure that I check in as often as cell service allows it to let him know I am ok and give him my location so if for some reason he doesn't hear from me in days he has a place to start looking, just as he will do next week hiking alone while I am out of town for work. Maybe if you offer to do something like that it will ease a bit of the worry.
“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
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