I'm glad I was able to stir up some interesting discussion! I don't mind the criticism and have learned from it. Many people ask me about hiking solo and I never make it sound like a walk in the park. As some mentioned, "hiking solo" has different meaning depending on where you hike. When I did Willey, Field, and Tom on Sept. 11 I saw someone what seemed like every 30 feet. When I hiked the Tripyramids at 7 am I didn't see one person. I'm not an ultralight backpacker or thru hiker (maybe someday) and I can only hope that with some explaining and reliability of the common sense of others, I can help introduce/entertain/stir up a little conversation with others without people thinking they can grab their school backpack and a bottle of water for an overnight hike. I know I don't have nearly as much experience as many of you, but I'm writing from the perspective of a young woman and some "advice" based on my experience might be included. I welcome the comments and advice. I have learned so much from others.