Hiking alone and hitting the trail solo can be the most liberating thing ever, particularly after a stressful few days at the office. It is, however, not without risks. This is why.
- Should you get injured and are left immobilized, there is no one to call for help. This can turn a nasty situation in a disaster.
- The same counts for snakebites and heat stroke, which can happen to anyone.
- Particularly in winter, when the weather changes quicker than you can say “Hikers Network”, people tend to lose their way. It is better to get lost with someone than on your own
- Hiking in a group makes you less prone to crime compared to when hiking solo. Criminals look for vulnerable targets and being alone increases your vulnerability.
Should you want to hike solo, then please be aware of the risks and take the following precautions:
- Make sure you know your trail and the area well. Carry a map.
- Check the weather before you depart and keep your eye on changing weather conditions
- Let someone know where and when you will be hiking, and when you will be back. Contact them when you return, so they know you’re back and don’t call for help unnecessarily.
- Stick to your plan. Don’t change the itinerary, trail, or route you left with your friend or family member on a whim.
- Subscribe to SafetyMountain Tracking, our free Whatsapp based tracking service for hikers. This is how you make most of our service.
- Pack enough snacks including emergency rations, warm clothing, and medical kit, a fully charged phone, power bank, and head torch (in case you are running late and have to find your way in the dark).
- Pack ample water, minimum of 2-3 liters depending on your hike and the time of year
- Prepare for the unexpected, so pack a warm top, rain clothing and a wind breaker. These layers will help you keep warm in case you are left stranded and have to spend the night on the mountain. Even in summer, it gets cold at night.
- If you take any medication (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc) please pack them just in case. The same counts for an epi-pen if you are allergic to, for instance, bees.
- Don’t wear headphones and listen to your surroundings. Music can prevent you from hearing things like someone approaching from behind, thunder, or animals.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks, don’t go off the path and stick to conventional routes. Don’t take that extra step towards the edge of a ledge.
- Use common sense and listen to that inner voice. There is no room for egos on the mountain as the mountain will win should you tempt it.
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