Pros and Cons of Hiking Alone

The past year and a half I have fallen in love with the peace and serenity of hiking alone. Some days I do enjoy hiking with friends and family because it offers a chance to connect and converse with limited distractions, but I do spend most of my time of the trails alone and I have experienced so many adventures by myself.

 My first hiking selfie, with the cows, in April 2017 and my most recent, September 2018.

My first hiking selfie, with the cows, in April 2017 and my most recent, September 2018.

 On average, I hike 20 miles a week up and down these hills

On average, I hike 20 miles a week up and down these hills

Hiking alone can offer amazing memories and be an extremely meditative opportunity to connect with nature, but just like anything in life, it has some perks and disadvantages. Every situation has its fair share of pros and cons. If you plan on hiking alone, it is no different. In this post I will share some of the pros and cons, so you can be prepared.

When you are out alone in the wild, you should be ready to face the worst. As I have shared in my blog, I was alone on the trail when my beloved dog Odin was bit by a rattlesnake. But, it isn’t all bad; you will get to enjoy some perks as well. So, let’s dive into the pros and cons of hiking alone.

Pros

Hike on Your Schedule: When you are out hiking alone, this is perhaps the biggest perk. You need not compromise and work with someone else’s schedule. You can set it according to your own will and time. If you want, you can start hiking as early as you want, or as late as you wish (this does not mean you go hiking in the dark). No one will dictate the schedule of the hike; you are your own master!

Set a Pace that Suits You: A hike is supposed to be exhilarating and peaceful. You need to take in the sights and sounds on the trail. On top of that, you must have a pace at which you feel comfortable. So, you do not need to compromise your pace with anybody else, when hiking alone. No worries about falling behind, or rush to catch up. Take things at your own pace and enjoy a lovely hike.

Improved Chances of Seeing Wildlife: Wild animals want to stay hidden and away from humans as much as possible. If you are in a group or talking with a friend, chances of wildlife sighting are really slim. Instead, go at it alone. When you are alone, there is much less disturbance in the surroundings, and wild animals might venture close enough for an amazing sighting. Below are a couple videos and pictures of animals I have seen recently on the trails.

Cons

Safety: Hiking alone is great, but that also means that you have no one to help you. Some perpetrator might be lying in wait for lone hikers. So, keep yourself safe by carrying a knife and hiking sticks (I love hiking sticks for multiple reasons, safety among them). I use York Nordic hiking sticks because they are high quality and a fair price. Note: if you decide to buy York Nordic hiking sticks use discount code Hope for 5% off and to support this blog.

Potential of Getting Lost: These days I know the trails like the back of my hand, but there were a few times in my early days of hiking where I got lost and it was a scary experience. Be sure to have an accurate, updated map or GPS with you, and stay on the trail! Admittedly, the times I found myself lost it was mostly because of my own mistake of exploring unmarked territory.

Are you ready to experience hiking? Go with an open heart and open mind so you can fully enjoy all the sights and sounds Mother Nature has to offer. Remember to bring a knife and your hiking sticks (and use discount code Hope)

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