How to stay safe when hiking alone – Tom’s Guide

If you have ever thought you’d like to pull on pair of sturdy boots and go hiking (check out the best hiking boots here), you absolutely should. Spending time in nature is not only good for your physical health, but has also been proven to boost cognition (opens in new tab) and mood (opens in new tab). And it’s a great way to get away from daily life for a few hours. But what about heading out by yourself? Again, the answer is yes, but you need to be prepared and know how to stay safe because it’s all going to be up to you. Of course, that’s also part of the adventure.

How to stay safe when hiking alone — before you go

Do your route research

  • Know exactly where you are going and what terrain to expect. You can download maps to your phone, meaning you can access them even when you are far from cell phone coverage. Try AllTrails, Gaia GPS, Komoot, or even Google Maps. You can also read comments and look at photos posted by other hikers about your intended route.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be finished. Let them know when you are back.
  • Check out the weather forecast. You do not want to be caught out by rain, cold, heat or decreased visibility. If you have to postpone, do so. The trail will be there tomorrow.
  • Find out if there are there any wild animals in the area you need to be aware of. Do not attempt to approach or feed any of them, even the cute ones.

Get the right kit

  • Backpack: Go for one that is water-resistant, tear-resistant, and has outside pockets for water bottles. Side pockets and hip-belt pockets will make it easy to access snacks and your phone. Try it on for comfort. A 25-30L capacity should suffice.
  • Boots: Spend time choosing your hiking boots. Get the best pair you can afford and break them in before you hit the trails. Check out our guide …….


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