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LOVEAQUABLUE's Photo LOVEAQUABLUE Posts: 1,614
6/22/18 2:15 P

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I like to hike alone to get in touch with nature and mindfulness but I admit I don't go far in alone especially as I get older I am almost 62.

When I was in my mid 30's I had a job that was near Yosemite and bought a yearly pass for my days off and I hiked a lot of the trails to the different falls but tourists were always on the trails so I never felt truly alone. But it was fun to hike with a book to top of Yosemite falls and lay there reading.

Now I have my golden retriever I take on hikes with me and he keeps me safe!

Marla
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CARPROTH's Photo CARPROTH Posts: 19,311
6/13/18 6:36 P

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I do a combination of hiking along and with a group. I'll go alone on a familiar local trail I've done before, but definitely prefer company on a new trail or wilderness area.

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TRAILTRODDER's Photo TRAILTRODDER Posts: 1,727
6/17/17 12:39 A

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GOTALOTAPETS, have you looked on line for hiking clubs or groups in your area. Surely there is someone who would like to share trails with you. It has to be stressful hiking with worry. I hope it gets better for you.

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GOTALOTAPETS's Photo GOTALOTAPETS Posts: 618
6/12/17 6:58 P

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I want to hike alone as I dont have anyone to go with other than my husband who cant go very often. However I've been fearful. I worry about every single thing that could go wrong. Wish I could get over that. Or find some hiking buddies

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TRAILTRODDER's Photo TRAILTRODDER Posts: 1,727
5/19/17 12:27 A

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I've hiked both alone and with others. I don't recommend hiking alone if it's an area you're not familiar with. I travel to wilderness areas all over the country to backpack, but it's always with a group. When my wife and I hike our area together, we do separate and go at our own pace.

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ELONKA1's Photo ELONKA1 Posts: 390
5/15/17 8:54 A

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I've hiked in Glacier, Yosemite, Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Monument Valley, Bryce, Grand Canyon and other national parks in the area of the latter.

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ELONKA1's Photo ELONKA1 Posts: 390
5/15/17 8:52 A

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I usually walk in the neighborhood and at nearby parks alone. Can be boring. Haven't hiked alone.

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DEIN211's Photo DEIN211 Posts: 142
8/8/16 11:53 P

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I actually prefer hiking alone as it allows me to go at my own pace instead of trying to keep up with my much fitter friends. Because of that, I feel much more in tune with the trail, its more relaxing, more enjoyable and I get more out of my hike. Always prepare when you go out alone!

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EDISCSKI's Photo EDISCSKI SparkPoints: (25,585)
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6/14/16 10:37 P

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I agree with you all the way. I love hiking with others, but it is very spiritual & peaceful to hike alone too. As you & others have said, as long as you come prepared & always let someone else know where you will be hiking alone.

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DAWNGW's Photo DAWNGW Posts: 242
6/12/16 8:39 P

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I get a lot out of just being in nature, so hiking alone works great for me. I love it. But I also love hiking with people I enjoy being with (today my husband and I went hiking together), and I've also joined hiking groups in the past. It's great to walk along natural paths and just talk with someone like-minded as you.
There is something special about hiking alone, too. For me, it feels more spiritual. Just bring a small backpack with water, a snack like an apple, extra sunscreen and bandaids, and I always carry my cell phone. I've been hiking alone for years and years, in all kinds of environments. It's a great way to just breathe and take in pretty scenery, and give yourself a nice treat.

"Life has no limitations, except the ones YOU make." -Les Brown


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BETHCONSUGAR's Photo BETHCONSUGAR SparkPoints: (34,929)
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10/20/15 8:47 A

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I think hiking alone is acceptable as long as the hiker understands the risks of hiking alone. I've done it several times, and only in places where I am familiar with my surroundings. I also carry a cell phone and check in with my husband every couple of hours. I think you can accomplish things alone that you can't when someone else is with you. It's a different kind of challenge!

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ERINLINDSAY83's Photo ERINLINDSAY83 Posts: 14,408
9/28/15 4:36 P

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I hike alone all the time. Love it for the same reasons! As others have stated, as long as you have a gps enabled phone and aren't out ion some remote wilderness, I can't see it being a major problem. (I do always bring my camelbak with a few "supplies" in it, even if I'm only planning on being out for a few hours....

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Cor 5:17


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BONNIEMCC488's Photo BONNIEMCC488 Posts: 6,800
8/11/15 11:02 P

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I know this post is a few months old, but this is something I have been concerned about. My family either has too many commitments or is physically incapable of hiking and I've recently wanted to start hiking. I think I should be fine hiking by myself in local places that are well populated, and I would probably feel at least somewhat comfortable as long as I have the necessary items with me and know I can fend for myself for the most part. However, my dream is to hike in national parks. I sure hope I can meet some friends to go with me on those types of things, ones I felt comfortable hiking with of course lol. Thanks for posting the question!

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HIKKERMAN Posts: 11
3/10/15 11:51 A

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I love hiking alone. Most of my backpacking has been done alone, although in the last ten years or so I have only backpacked with a group. Both have their good points. I want to start backpacking again this summer and want to do some solo trips. I also agree with those who have said you feel safer alone in the woods than in a city. I did a cross country bike trip years ago and did not always feel safe when I had to camp alone near civilization.

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1/11/15 9:14 A

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I hike alone a lot also. I always carry my cell phone. Always let someone know where I am going and always tell them when I expect to be out of the woods and call them when I get back to my car. Outside of that I have a whistle, try to stay on the trail, where something brightly colored and have plenty of food and water.
I also usually have an idea of where I am and try to be familiar with the area even it if it is from research on the internet. Map of the area if at all possible is a must! (I came across two foreign men one day that I could just tell did not know where they were. They were actually lost and they had no map and did not speak English. I showed them a map and tried to find out where they came from, they had no idea. I directed them to the nearest parking area in hopes that it was where they had parked.) Point is be prepared.

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FIFTEEZNFIT's Photo FIFTEEZNFIT SparkPoints: (5,335)
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1/5/15 6:25 P

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growing up in the country, I often ran/walked along country roads/trails...living in a large metropolitan area, I hiked local trails near my home-5 & 8 mile loops mostly...love being out early, before many hikers hit the trail, but I hear what you say about 'luck running out'..one day, it was around 6:30 a.m. when I came across a CAR about a mile down a footpath trail not meant for cars-then this guy wearing overalls appears coming from the woods...I was really bothered, but tried not to let on & 'owned' the trail...let the guy know it wasn't a 'dirt raceway'...then I called my daughter to let her know to let the authorities know-not sure why I didn't call myself, other than I was flustered...hiked the last 4 miles fast-didn't feel I could double back without running into the guy...was a long time before I hiked alone!

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HOBBESIS49's Photo HOBBESIS49 Posts: 1,227
11/2/14 7:33 P

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When I was younger I hiked solo often.. but for several reasons I feel differently now. Perhaps it's my age and the fact that I could more easily get hurt and not be able to hike out. Other rational comes to mind when I think of my family (my son in particular 'who's still in high school). I have a guardian angel I think but I'm choosing now to find my adventures with others and enjoy their company. I had a LOT of me time when I was younger and less vulnerable. I always come the most prepared of anyone on day hikes as I've experienced things over the years that have made me realize how nature can turn. Clouds roll in, thunder and lightening & RAIN. People get sick, ankles get twisted, bee stings and I'm more comfortable if I have what it takes to be prepared in any situation.

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DOINGNOTTRYING's Photo DOINGNOTTRYING Posts: 102
9/28/14 12:00 P

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I consistently hike alone. Don't know many people and I like it, although it does get old....I need to mix in some social hiking. I carry bear spray and basic emerg items and could stay out overnight if necessary. I live with my sister and this is a point of contention...she insists on a call for help time. That is all good but u rarely get cell service in the Uintas and was late one time, she called for help and my txt came through when she was talking to them at the trailhead. Since then I get stressed if I am taking too long when I would otherwise enjoy. I like to go for all day and that does not leave enough buffer time. Might have to switch to overnights just to have enough time.

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GFNOMAD's Photo GFNOMAD Posts: 1,956
9/28/14 11:09 A

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I hike alone too, mostly when I am on a road trip, camping and exploring but it is always in places with marked trails and where I would encounter other people. The time alone was especially important when I was working in a demanding and stressful work environment.
Now, I find arthritis limits my hikes to a couple of miles.

I have the famous KVR Trail (especially for bicyclists) within 10 min. At the city end, it is more like a country walk. www.kettlevalleyrailtrail.com/

When I lived in Phoenix (4 yrs), I always went out alone in my explorations of AZ, New Mexico and Utah. I didn't know many people except those at work and I didn't socialize much with them. I was driven to exploring the Southwest. I loved it although I think it is a much more scary place than it was 15 years ago unless I was in the 'tourist bubble' of ignorance.

Edited by: GFNOMAD at: 11/2/2014 (20:04)
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LINDAKAY228's Photo LINDAKAY228 Posts: 19,570
9/23/14 5:46 P

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Same with me no one to hike with.

Linda

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WILDHUNTRESS's Photo WILDHUNTRESS SparkPoints: (23,572)
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9/22/14 2:54 P

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Honestly I don't have anyone to hike with me so I would likely go alone myself.

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HELMTGRL's Photo HELMTGRL Posts: 1,247
8/25/14 12:16 A

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I am a research scientist, 62, and among other things I use remote sensing to map declining tree species at high elevations. This work needs both training data (actual points collected on the ground) and accuracy assessments (are the maps right?) I have devised all sorts of rationales, much like those I read here, to keep me feeling okay about hiking alone. I am in Montana, where the threats from bears, especially at high elevations, are as real as the threats from people, although the greatest dangers I face are probably falling trees, being trapped by fire, and lightning. I find that I am less and less comfortable being alone, and that as some level I feel like after 40 years of taking risks, someday my luck will run out. But I will say that I am less uncomfortable hiking alone than I am driving alone on four wheel drive roads, where a vehicle gives me the ability to get really, really far away from civilization and into all sorts of risky situations. We don't even have cell phone reception at my house, let alone in the places where I work. So I carry a good first aid kit, some very serious painkillers, a "panic button" --which would send a satellite signal to the search and rescue folks if I ever activated it-- an emergency blanket, and lots of warm clothes. I have had a lot of unplanned overnights in the backcountry, including several days in a snowstorm, so I know I am prepared for most emergencies. But I agree with some of the others: I still feel like I am less likely to be harmed hiking alone in the woods than walking alone in the city.

Edited by: HELMTGRL at: 8/25/2014 (00:17)
Linda
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LINDAKAY228's Photo LINDAKAY228 Posts: 19,570
8/24/14 6:48 P

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I have almost always hiked alone. Right now I am a 59 1/2 year old female. I carried my cell phone and had reception almost any place I went. For years I lived in Silver City, New Mexico, on the edge of the Gila National Forest. I first started hiking alone because I didn't know anyone to hike with, but found how much I liked it. I didn't go into the wilderness area and although the areas I hiked weren't heavily populated, I would almost always run into a few more people at times (they were separate people, not together). I also ran into other women, younger and older, hiking alone. I used caution and stayed to well marked trails or forest service roads and other things like that. Carried plenty of water and my hiking stick and a couple of snacks. I had some things in my day pack like a disposable poncho in case it rained, small mirror if needed to signal for help, first aid, etc. My mother, when she was alive, was super nervous about anything and everything. We did not live together but sometimes I mentioned hiking, although not often because of her worries. I also told her, and I meant it, that I was more in danger of getting hurt by someone climbing in my window or something at home than out in nature. Or getting hit by a car on the city streets. And so on. Then on Halloween this past year I had a stroke with a brain bleed, while at home with my two grown daughters and went through 3 hospitals in 3 states and 5 weeks. Rehab, etc. I now live in Arlington TX where it's too hot to hike right now but I will again when the weather cools and I did in April and early May before I left for a friends house in CA for 6 weeks. I have my own place in Arlington. I can't hike like I used to, and 2 or 3 miles is the most I can do and I have to sit. There are some birding trails and nature preserves around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which I'm a part of, that have trails I can use. I have to use hiking poles now because my balance isn't too good and my stramina isn't either, in spite of lots of exercise. But I have to have my doses of nature in the quiet. The trails I've used before are not heavily populated but somewhat populated and I won't be along for long if something happened I still miss my forest but several reasons I'm not going back there unrelated to my hiking. Some also have a gift shop where you sign in and out at. Just want to let you know how important my time out there is to me and my sanity. I really do believe that regardless of which city I'm in, the true chances of something happening are greater in the town than outside it. Just like my chances of dying in a car crash are greater than a plane crash. But a plane crash gets more publicity because they are larger and more people than a car at one time. But the people in plane crashes still doesn't anywhere come near those in car crashes. Just to explain my take on getting hurt on the trail. Of course reasonable precautions need to always be taken, but it I live my life in fear all the time of the things I love I won't have a life. (Just like all the times I've driven halfway across country alone). So use your common sense and have fun!

Linda

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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,467
8/23/14 9:54 P

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I regularly hike solo, as I don't know all that many people who are willing to tackle the kind of hikes I find interesting.

Modern technology has dramatically decreased the risks of hiking alone, and I think that the old rule of "don't hike alone" no longer necessary applies.

The cell phone is an essential in populated areas. In backcountry areas where I am unlikely to get a signal, I carry a Spot Messenger (basically a satellite beacon). It is also worth protecting your phone from moisture - a ziplock baggie is all that is required.

The GPS functionality in a smartphone is also a useful backup for navigation.

And a small first aid kit is also essential - doesn't have to be big - you are not performing open heart surgery in the field, all you are doing is stopping the bleeding, keeping a limb immobile until the paramedics arrive.

And "let someone know before you go".

While the imagination can run riot with all kinds of imagined risks (and I try to plan for them), I honestly believe that the biggest risk I face is tripping over and injuring a leg. And that has absolutely nothing to do with hiking solo or in a group.

On the plus side, I can go at my own pace - fast and hard when I want to, slow and enjoy nature when I want that too.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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CHRISGETTINGFIT's Photo CHRISGETTINGFIT Posts: 273
8/23/14 12:24 P

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I love hiking alone, though I usually only do it when and where I know there will be others on the trail (just in case I break a leg or something). If I come across "iffy" people, I usually act like I'm just with a larger group that's coming along any time. I'm into nature (bio major!) so I see a lot more when I'm alone.

TIFFFIT's Photo TIFFFIT Posts: 1,765
8/23/14 12:18 P

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I'm new to the forum and a fledgling hiker. This spring (at 260+ lbs) I started hiking the trails around Phoenix (but it quickly became too hot for me to continue). The thing is, I REALLY like hiking alone. I know one's "not supposed to" go out alone, but how do you all feel about it?
I should mention that I'm hiking trails that are close to park roads, modestly populated and have decent cell signal so the risk of not being able to get help is very, very low. My bigger fear although it's never been an issue is the possibility of unsavory characters in the park.
I really find that hiking alone gives me time to relax, reflect and decompress but it's not worth the risk--if the risk is real--of an untoward event.
Your thoughts?

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[ ] Someday/bucket list goal: hike to Havasupai Falls (and out again...)


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