Although the buddy system is most optimal when tackling the outdoors, sometimes hiking alone is the best choice to revive one’s spirit and to stay within the moment. Hiking is an enjoyable experience, but planning for your safety and comfort can help you avoid sticky and dangerous situations. Furthermore, planning for safety is the first step to going hiking, and should not be avoided. Your hiking experience will be a lot more enjoyable when you prepare yourself with the following tips for people who hike alone:
Check the Weather on Your Phone
Most hiking advisors will tell you to check the weather before leaving your home, and this is an important tip to follow. However, if you live more than one or two hours away from your hiking destination, you should also check the weather on your phone just before starting your hiking trip. This is especially important if you live in an area where it has been known for sudden weather changes. In this way, you won’t be surprised by any last-minute weather changes. Conversely, you must still watch the sky while hiking for impending weather changes.
Give a Copy of Your Hiking Path to a Friend
Make every effort to get a copy of your hiking path. This will be easy if you are hiking a well-known area. Usually, well-known hiking trails are listed with semi-detailed maps on the park’s internet site. Print two copies of the map. Ensure that a copy of the address of the park is located on each map. If the hiking path you will take has a special name, circle it on the map and give this to your friend. Furthermore, tell your friend what time and date you will be leaving, and then call them on that day to remind them. Once you have made it safely back to your car, call your friend to tell them you are heading home.
Discuss your Hiking Trip with the Ranger
Once you arrive at your hiking destination, head to the park ranger’s office to discuss your trip with the ranger. At this time, tell the ranger you will be hiking alone, and then ask for information about your designated trail. Before starting your trip, it might be a good idea to ask for the office number where the ranger can be reached. When you are done with your hiking trip, contact the park ranger again to let them know that you are leaving. If you cannot contact the park ranger, call the office and leave a message discussing your trip.
Make a Checklist for All of the Essentials
Although making a checklist may seem trivial, including all of the right items in your backpack may save your life. One item you will need is appropriate sleeping gear. Bring sleeping gear even if you are doing a day trip. Darkness can come sooner than you expect. For this reason pack a flashlight. Although getting lost is avoidable if you stay on the beaten path, having a compass handy will also help you find your way back to your car. You should also pack a brand-new first aid kit and mini sewing kit. A lighter, matches, and utility knife is also essential. Judge how much water you need for your hiking trip based on the amount you drank on previous hiking trips with friends.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Even
Keeping up with your blood sugar when hiking, is not just a concern for diabetics. You should pack appropriate dry food for your hiking trip, and remember to stop and refresh yourself every two hours or so. You can lose good time if you fail to eat while hiking, because you won’t have the energy to finish the trail. Trail mix, granola, dried fruit and beef jerky are great choices for hiking destination.
Don’t Deviate from the Area or Your Plan
On your way through your hiking trip, you may come across some interesting areas that may tempt you to move off the beaten path. It is best to take pictures of these areas from afar. However, you should not deviate from the main path. Doing so may prove extremely dangerous. Changing paths may also be dangerous, so plan to stick with your designated trail. If something dangerous does occur, the authorities, the ranger, and your friend are likely to find you much easier.