There are so many fantastic destinations around the world that are just begging to be traversed on foot and whether you have gone hiking before or are hoping to plan your next holiday around a stunning natural landscape, going alone as a woman can be daunting.
The responsibility of your safety and how well you enjoy the experiences you have will fall squarely on your shoulders, so preparation will be your best friend. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top hiking tips for solo female travellers right here.
A word about research
It may seem like a misnomer, but it is absolutely imperative that you do your research. Whether you’re planning to take a well-beaten track that consists of mainly flat land in a popular destination or you are planning to scale more mountainous terrain in the middle of nowhere, it is important to know everything you can about the location before you set off.
Always consider the length of the trail, the type of terrain, road access and parking facilities, whether the tail falls in the sun, has shade, provides water facilities, and more. Always check the weather in advance and before you go, and stop by the relevant portals online for potential trail closures (here, you’ll likely be able to see if the location is staffed in any capacity. Keep in mind that what you need to pack will be determined by your destination and revise your itinerary accordingly.
Top 6 hiking tips for women travelling alone
1. Make the right hiking decisions
Be sure to only take trails that fall within your comfort zone and align with your ability level and skill set. Never travel alone if you aren’t sure of the trail or your ability to safely traverse it. The chances are that if you’re not familiar with a particular terrain, for example rocky, you won’t be able to properly prepare for your journey and could potentially put yourself in danger. It can be a good idea to take your camera along and video difficult areas or unexpected situations and go over the footage once you’re home to help you to learn and improve your decision making skills. Video editing platform CapCut has a video editor for YouTube that can upscale any video footage, help you to cut it and anything in between, all at the click of a button, so why not take a look?
2. Practice makes perfect
When choosing a more difficult trail than you’re used to, it can be important to determine whether you are challenging yourself or just putting yourself at risk. With the right research, planning and practice a little difficulty can feel rewarding. A good tip is to try out similar trails that are designed for those with little experience, before branching out to more complicated locations.
3. Write a plan of action and share it
This doesn’t have to be extensive but can help you to set out your trip, create some markers to help with real-time navigation and more. For example, you should take note of the starting and end points, expected duration and any landmarks that will tell you that you’re on track for time and in place as you’d expected. Sharing it with someone close to you will help them to keep a cursory eye on your progress and will have something tangible to pass on to authorities should anything unfortunate happen. While it may not seem like it, accidents can happen at any time and could potentially save your life.
4. Always take a map and set up a GPS
GPS apps can be downloaded either on or offline and are a fantastic way to ensure that you keep on the right trail when hiking. It is a top tip to check cell service/availability for the area you’ll be going to, but it’s also no secret that electronic devices won’t always play ball. Not only can they glitch for almost any reason, but of course batteries can die and you could be left with no way to navigate. This is why you should always take a physical map along on your journeys. These don’t take up too much space but could end up being an imperative tool in your backpack, so never rely on devices alone and carry them as part of a backup plan.
5. Learn some basic self defense
When it comes to travelling alone as a woman, you should not only be aware that you could run into potentially dangerous people on your trail but also wildlife. This means that it can be a worthwhile idea to at least learn some basic self-defense in case you find yourself in a confrontational situation. A lot of trials around the world are in the middle of the wild so it won’t be uncommon to come across snakes and often bears and mountain lions, and while making yourself look big, not running away and making a lot of noise, you should ensure that you can take care of yourself.
6. Add emergency items to your backpack
While you will want to ensure that you pack for the terrain and the weather that you are likely to be hiking in, it can be a great idea to add some emergency items to your backpack in case things change. Weather forecasts and even the trails themselves can be subject to a whole host of factors that could see you in unexpected conditions, so always be sure to carry a lighter, a first aid kit, battery backup, electrolyte powders, a multi tool, a signal mirror, an emergency blanket, water purification tablets, a whistle and extra layers of clothing such as rain jackets or those that are built for warmth.
While you are likely to want to be in the moment while hiking, it can be a great idea to take some footage that you can enjoy when you get home. Plenty of people love sharing their experiences on social media, and as video footage can get quite shaky, a video stabilizer can take even the wildest footage and make it look professionally shot. When you are properly prepared, you’ll never miss out on fantastic hiking opportunities ever again – and revitalizing your footage with CapCut will ensure that you’ll never forget.