Solidarity can help us become better people and allows for time to think and appreciate what is in front of you.
Humans are social creatures by nature, we normally prefer company and sharing our experiences with others. However, if you are someone who likes to experience the world alone solo hiking might be for you.
Outdoor Skills - It is easy to depend on others to find the way, cook, and keep the group safe. Solo hiking relies on your own skills and knowledge to keep you going.
Own Speed - A solo hiker moves as fast as they desire and can alter their pace whenever they want.
Spiritual Health - Solitude allows for more self-examination, relaxation away from society, and a chance to contemplate for long periods of time. If being alone isn't your forte, you will learn to feel comfortable in seclusion with practice.
Flexibility - Hiking in a group can be difficult due to changes that may occur, however trekking solo leaves the option to change pace, location, and rest stops to meet the hikers needs. If there is any changes to the hike, it is important to to inform someone of your new plans.
Challenge - On your own, you can push yourself to hike faster, farther, or longer hours. You can hit hiking goals alone and share the feeling of accomplishment with yourself.
Responsibility - At the end of the hike, you can take full responsibility of the success of the adventure.
Solo Hiking Tips
1. Trust Yourself - You are capable of exploring on your own safely and confidently.
2. Ease Yourself - Start off by hiking shorter trails and transition into taking longer trips.
3. Start off Easy - Go on trails you are familiar with and confident you can navigate.
4. Go Without Music - Take some time away from mindlessly listening, instead listen to where your mind goes.
5. Make it Special - Take a snack you love and eat it on your 5 mile break, or plan for a nice meal at the next town.
6. Use Group Knowledge - Take advice and experience of being in groups and translate it into your own needs.
7. Know the Area - Research weather patterns, trails, geography, and wildlife to help you gain a better understanding of your environment.
8. Be Realistic - Be aware of yours skills, pain threshold, endurance and plan accordingly.
9. Be Your Company - You can share the nature adventures with yourself!
10. Be Patient - Allow for time to grow comfortable with being alone.
11. Inform Someone - Leave a note in your car or tell a friend which trail you’re taking, what time you left, and when you expect to return.
12. Own It - Own your knowledge and experience, you are capable of everything.
It's beneficial to be part of a community while outdoors, but spending some time alone on the trail can make us better friends, partners, and people. Solo hiking is a chance to contemplate and relax away from society, as well as freedom to practice knowledge and skills you know but never depend on alone. Solo hiking provides an opportunity to challenge your skills, fears, and ultimately yourself.Online Resources:
The Hiking Dude: Solo Hiking
REI: The Benefits of Solo Hiking