How To Hike Alone And Turn It Into A Fascinating Experience
Would you agree that hiking is a delightful pastime that comes with a variety of benefits mentally, emotionally, and physically?
This is why so many people all around the world love doing it. Learning how to hike alone is a great thing to do if you want to spend a peaceful time immersing in the serenity of nature. Truth is, everyone has different preferences when they go hiking.
Sometimes these preferences can take a little while to figure out, but the more you hike, the more you learn about the things YOU like to do. It might sound intimidating to go on a hike alone at first, but you might just find how much you love it!
While hiking can be a really fun thing to do with friends or family, there is something very special about going on a solo hike. It’s a great way to learn about what you prefer in your hikes since you won’t depend on catering to anyone else’s preferences.
Shockingly, you might even learn that the one important thing you prefer when hiking is being with friends. That’s completely fine. This is an excellent way to get to know yourself and get a little portion of your time spent outside.
We have compiled this easy-to-use guide that will teach you all the things you need to know about hitting the trails alone!
Let’s begin with the first rule of safety.
Tell Someone About Your Plans
No matter how bad you need to unplug from the reality of everyday life, I personally believe in safety first. One important consideration you need to make when you go on a hike all by yourself is your personal safety.
Nature is a beautiful and peaceful place that you can enjoy exploring, but the truth is there are certain dangers out there you will want to consider.
I am far from saying it isn’t safe to travel or to hike alone. Thousands of people go on solo hikes every day and many find it to be a comforting experience.
Nothing and nobody won’t stop you from going on an adventure alone, but you always want to make sure you take the time to let someone close to you know where you are going and when you will be back.
We all know nature can be unpredictable. There is always the possibility that you might get hurt or lost, and since you will be alone, it’s a good idea to let someone know about your whereabouts in the event something unexpected happens.
It is also helpful to make sure your phone is fully charged in case you need to call a friend or a family member.
Consider Preparing The Perfect Playlist
Though many people enjoy listening to the sounds of nature when they go on a hike, sometimes taking the right music with you can bring something exceptionally special to your experience.
When you go hiking with someone, listening to music can be a bit problematic because you’ll likely be talking and enjoying each other’s company.
However, when you go alone, you can easily pack some of your favorite songs and place yourself in your very own movie while you’re surrounded by scenic sites.
This is particularly effective if you want to turn your hike into a kickass workout because you can use music to set your walking pace.
Plus, we all know music can be a great energy booster. Sure enough, there are benefits but also drawbacks to listening to music while hiking.
While it can be an exciting experience and help to lift your spirits as you traverse the trails, listening to music would mean you will be knocking out one of your primary senses out in nature.
If you do this, be sure to be aware of the world around you. Look out for animals, bikers, and falling rocks.
Walking and enjoying your best-loved music is a great way to separate yourself from the world and have a cool time, but always be wary about your decisions.
Turn It Into An Intimate Scenic Experience
One huge benefit of going on a hike by yourself is the fact you get to control the pace at which you enjoy your hike. Few of us realize just how much time we spend pacing other people when we hike.
Going with another person has a tendency to cause us to either speed up or slow down, and the speed at which we walk can be impacted by the person around us and how much we end up talking with them. Conversation has a unique way of setting the pace when you go on a hike.
When you go solo, you get to choose the exact speed that you move at. It is a thrilling kind of freedom that comes with hiking alone, and you’ll take some time adjusting to find your own pace.
Fortunately, that you are alone means you can easily turn your hiking into a scenic journey that you’ll absolutely love.
When you go on a hike by yourself, it is the perfect opportunity to just wander through and explore nature on a personal level.
Take time to look at the things that attract you and walk past the areas you’re not as interested in.
You will be amazed how much more time you have for taking photos and looking around at the breathtaking surroundings. You’ll notice things that you would normally never notice. It is a freeing experience.
Pack For A Very Personal Experience
The majority of us have a quick checklist of things we take with us when we venture out on a hike with friends. But your solo hiking adventure is going to be unique to you in terms of gear too.
It is a great chance to enjoy your most customized experience yet. Instead of packing generalized essentials, you can pack the things that actually matter to you. Bring along your favorite snacks and focus on taking only enough for you.
By the way take some time and watch the short video below. It's very useful and explains the 10 essentials you should always bring when you hike.
This is a great way to lighten your backpack and maximize your experience by focusing on making it all about you.
Selfishness might be a dangerous quality when you hike in a company. Most of us don’t get to be selfish when we share nature with our comrades but when you go alone, it’s your show.
You get to decide what drinks and snacks to bring. You get to pack your favorite SPF of sunblock and choose the music for the car ride out to the trail.
This is an experience that allows you to completely customize it to what your own preferences are.
I have a confession to make. I love hiking alone because I don’t have to worry about sharing my delicious meals with anyone else. If you I want, I can eat an entire bag of beef jerky on the hike. It’s all mine!
In addition, don't forget a hiking flashlight. You don't want to stay in the dark, do you?
Choose Your Dream Trail And Just Go
When you are planning a hike, a huge part of the process is deciding which trail you want to visit. There are so many factors that go into this. You want to find a trail that has the kind of features you are interested in.
You’ll want to look for one that is a distance that you are willing to travel to visit. Finding something like the right length or difficulty must be factored in as well. Hiking with multiple people means finding a hiking trail that meets everybody’s preferences and whims.
Since everyone has their own perceptions when it comes to these things, it can make finding the right hiking trail pretty difficult. In fact, you might just find that you often end up frequenting the closest trails simply because it is easy for everyone else.
When you decide to hike alone, all of this goes out the window. You are completely free to take the time to decide what you want out of your hiking experience. If you’re dying to see a waterfall or want to visit that one trail when the leaves change, no one can stop you.
All you have to do is decide which one YOU want to do and head out the door. This is a great way to conquer that trail you have been dreaming of but never had the chance of exploring until now.
Use This Intimate Time For A Mindful Walk
Going on a hike is an excellent way to give yourself time to reflect. While going with someone on a hike is generally more of a social experience, going on a hike alone gives you the chance to be more social with yourself.
This is an awesome chance to do some introspection or even just mull over some problems or ideas in life.
That’s a major benefit to going on a hike by yourself. It is the perfect opportunity to check in or even just work through that one conundrum at work that you have been having.
While there is plenty of merit to going on a hike and being present in the moment while you are surrounded by nature, there is something really special about going on your own and taking time to sort through your thoughts. In fact, that’s called mindful walking, and it hides a plethora of benefits.
Being outside and active in the fresh air is a great way to get the most out of your time spent outdoors.
You’ll get your blood flowing through your body and all endorphins will flood your system. This will automatically put you in a good mood, and before long, you’ll realize just how much easier it is to work through things while you are out there.
It’s a truly great way to pause and reflect how things are going. You’ll find that nature has a genuine way of bringing a new perspective to old thoughts.
For some, going on a solo hike might seem like an intimidating decision. Moreover, many folks consider the idea of going out alone can weird or just plain awkward. In reality, going on a hike all by yourself is a great way to learn more about what YOU appreciate in a hike.
It is a chance for you to take complete control of your experience and find new ways to enjoy your time spent outdoors. Whether you’re looking for an exciting way to enjoy exercising or you want some time alone with nature, taking a hike by yourself can bring so many fun and unexpected benefits.
You’ll always want to make sure you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety, but at the end of the day, this is something that can do you so much good.
Don’t worry about being out there all alone. Nature makes a truly amazing companion. Do you agree?
What do you prefer – hitting the trails alone or in a company? Leave a comment below!
Founder of this website, Asen is a passionate hiker and writer who is also a gear nerd. He’s been featured on many established hiking websites where he gives hiking advice & tips. When he is not trekking with his family or friends, he is writing articles and product reviews. Asen spends most of his time in Bulgaria but he constantly travels the world in seek of more unforgettable experiences. Read more about Asen here.