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#154963 - 09/22/11 09:19 AM solo hiking safety
Allison Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 21
Hello! I just wrote a new post about solo hiking and safety. Please take a gander if you or someone you know is planning on hiking alone. I really enjoy solo hiking and want to help others enjoy it safely! Please feel free to share your experience or add advice in the comments section of my blog.

Thanks for looking!

Allison

http://4000-footers.blogspot.com/

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#154968 - 09/22/11 11:26 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Allison]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2751
Loc: California
One thing about "advise" blogs that I do not like is that what you wrote is YOUR opinion and quite site-specific. I do not know your qualifications to be such an "expert". The first thing that strikes me is that the suggestion of 3 liters of water is absurd unless you are in the desert. And Multi-purpose tool? I have been mountaineering and hiking 45 years and never used one or needed one. And under "know your limits", in my opinion, if you have no experience at off-trail travel, perhaps you should not be going solo at all. Trails have a tendency to "go missing" and you may get yourself into a situation where off-trail travel is needed.

Hiking solo adds risk; a small addition in many environments or a big risk added in some environments. Anyone who refuses to accept this is fooling themselves. That is not to say that hiking solo is "dangererous"- it just has a few more added risk factors. Maybe you are young and healthy and have not yet experienced a truely incompasitating illness. There are times when a helping hand will truely save your life.

The most important requirement of hiking solo is experience. Experienced hikers have developed good outdoor judgement so they are able to assess risk and act accordingly. I backpack solo; I DID NOT backpack solo when I was starting out!

Blogs that encourage solo hiking without steering beginners to wait until they get experience, are, in my opinion, irresponsible. Even with my extensive experience, I do not solo hike in a strage environment until I have first done a trip with someone. For example, I have never done hiking in deserts and would not consider soloing until I went in a group first so that I gained some experience in this very different environment than my usual treks into the mountains.

Case in point- last week I met a young gal coming down a trail I was going up. She asked if she could hike with me because she haad just run into a bear and was terrified. We hiked together for a few miles but she wanted to camp farther along so continued when I stopped. Next morning here she comes down the trail again- she ran into another bear and spent the night thinking every little noise was some strange animal. She then told me she had never been backpacking! She had on trail running shoes and a light pack. We talked and she admitted that she needed to go with others until she knew what she was getting into. Her travel plans included 15-mile days with 5,000 feet of elevation gain totally unrealistic. It turned out to be several days of really nasty weather- not "beginner's weather". This was a very popular trail and part of her "plan" was to count on lots of others on the trail to give yer moral support and backup. This is NOT a good idea anytime! Who knows what prompted her to go solo with no experience-- too much glorified solo hiking stuff out there on the internet perhaps.

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#154974 - 09/22/11 01:06 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: wandering_daisy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Nothing about hypothermia or dehydration? Navigation?

What WD said.... Hiking in groups is safer for a list of good reasons, top of the list is altered state of mind - if you are thinking you're lost it's easy to panic and start to make poor decisions. Multiply that tenfold if you also happen to be thirsty or your core temperature has dropped a few degrees.

Hiking solo is how I started - and unlike those blessed with beginner's luck and good weather, I suffered a whole lot for being a noob without a clue. Not recommended for anyone just starting out in hiking. You don't know what you don't know. You don't find out everything just by going - some things you do, some things you need to learn, and groups are a great way to start doing that.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#154976 - 09/22/11 01:28 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Allison]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I can only concur with the opinions expressed by W_D and Lori. I am a solo hiker and backpacker, but I had many, many years of backcountry experience before I ever tried going solo.

Part of planning for any trip should include a risk assessment. Such an assessment in itself requires considerable experience. If the other factors (experience, skill level, weather, terrain, isolation, health, gear, pack weight, etc.) already indicate a higher risk, then that's not the time to take on the additional risk of going solo!

EDIT, later: The only thing I ever counted on from being on a well-populated trail is that if I should get hurt, hopefully someone would come along. Since I acquired a Personal Locator Beacon, I don't worry about that any more, either.



Edited by OregonMouse (09/22/11 01:54 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#154982 - 09/22/11 03:25 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Allison,

Welcome to the forum. I really enjoyed you blog and I thought you brought up some great points. I didn't really expect "A Complete Guide for Solo Hikers." But Googling other sites, yours is very good in comparison.

Personally, I don't consider backpacking danger to be a function of being solo or with someone. I feel it's more a function of staying well within my personal limits and keeping a large margin of safety. This can apply at any skill level and whether solo or with someone.

_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#154983 - 09/22/11 03:51 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: OregonMouse]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 862
Loc: Michigan
I have read in the past that solo hikers are less likely to get in trouble because they are more aware of risks. When you are with others you feel that you have a back up but solo it is just you. I am not sure if that is true and I do not remember where I read it.

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#154984 - 09/22/11 04:10 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: GrumpyGord]
Allison Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 21
Thanks for all the feedback! As some of you mentioned, it is certainly not a complete guide. I don't expect inexperienced hikers to read my blog, toss a pack on, and hit the trail. That being said, I will add in a little more about experience. I don't want to make it look like I'm encouraging anyone and everyone to go solo. I am 22 and have been a hiker my whole life. I enjoy hiking solo, with friends, and just joined a meetup group. I will make some edits to that post. I agree 100% that you should be experienced and not hike outside your element. I have done group hikes in Israel in the desert and would not do so on my own. I have experience being off trail and needing to get back on, but have never bushwhacked up a mountain and wouldn't for the heck of it.

This is my personal advice (I am a teacher, I don't work for a company and I'm not an expert), but this is what I take with me. You don't need to take a multi-tool for example, but I take one in case I am stranded, or just need to cut some duct tape to fix something.

Thanks for the advice. Keep it coming! smile

Allison

http://4000-footers.blogspot.com/

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#154985 - 09/22/11 04:31 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Allison]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Welcome to the forums Allison!

W_D, Lori, and OM all make important points, but I don't think the take away should be that they discourage solo hiking, or even writing about it.

I read your blog post and I think you did a fair job of explaining the benefits you experience, but you really do just skim the surface of safety and preparedness. It's a blog post, which are really not supposed to be in depth, but that is a subject for a book written by an expert.

But we certainly discuss it here. Take a look at some of the discussions we've had:

solo BPing the reality

Solo hikers - any personal fears?

W_D's story about meeting the woman that met the bears on her trip really brings into view the realities of heading out alone with little or no experience and probably a sort of best case scenario at that. That's not something most in the community here would advise.

As opposed to writing about being "prepared" when going solo, I'd offer that you focus on your experiences going solo. Chronicle what you learn, what you enjoy and love, what you fear and worry about, what worked and what didn't, mistakes made and lessons learned.

You're young, you have opportunity to share those things in bits and pieces as they are new to you, as blogs are intended to do, and that will provide the encouragement you seek to provide.

Take some time to read some of the other threads here that might interest you, and take the time to share your trips and experiences here with us, and jump into the rumpus! grin

_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#154988 - 09/22/11 04:46 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: billstephenson]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
As well-meaning as Allison may be , saying you are "22 and have been hiking all your life" does not necessarily instill confidence in your range of experience. Most of my gear is older than you are. This is not to say you don't have some experience or that I have more, I may not, but as OM and WD pointed out, going solo safely is very dependent on where you are and under what conditions.

I don't encourage anyone to go solo unless they have some experience hiking with others. I used to teach scuba diving. I dealt with tourists who were too scared to get off the boat because of a little wind chop and supposedly they were certified divers. My point is that conditions and experience are everything. I solo winter camp in mild conditions, but my first trip was with an experienced winter camper. That trip helped me a lot. After that I could figure out the rest.

As the saying goes, "in theory, theory and practise are the same, in practise, they are not."


Edited by TomD (09/23/11 02:31 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#154989 - 09/22/11 04:52 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: billstephenson]
Allison Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 21
Thanks! I've made some edits and added a few warnings about being experienced before jumping into doing a solo hike. The purpose of my blog is to manly write trip reports. I will be adding a few "articles" like recipes I like for trail bars/other food, and gear reviews. As you mentioned, I didn't go into much detail about things like what to do in an emergency situations when you are alone or other issues when solo hiking, but that is something I expect people to get a book about or learn from an expert. I do want to post some of my favorite resources. I have a large collection of books on hiking, trails, camping, safety that I would love to recommend people to pick up to become more knowledgeable in the subject!

I'll be hiking the Kinsmans Oct 1st and am looking forward to writing about my experience

Allison

http://4000-footers.blogspot.com/

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#154992 - 09/22/11 05:16 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: OregonMouse]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Originally Posted By OregonMouse

Part of planning for any trip should include a risk assessment. Such an assessment in itself requires considerable experience. If the other factors (experience, skill level, weather, terrain, isolation, health, gear, pack weight, etc.) already indicate a higher risk, then that's not the time to take on the additional risk of going solo!



Risk assessment is the key. Experience is a major factor in risk assessment. Stunts performed by a professional - don't try this at home.

Gear is specific to the trip and your style. My father always carried a pocket knife and used it for everything, but I carry a pair of sewing scissors and a Buck 350. The appropriate light also depends on your style. I use a red photon light to go to the bathroom, a LED headlamp to cook, a red light that clips on my belt for night hiking and a halogen adjustable beam headlamp for night orienteering.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#154998 - 09/22/11 07:19 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: ringtail]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
If you're hiking rather than backpacking, some of this makes a lot of sense based on my experience in Hawaii.

Hawaii has summer conditions, all the time. I considered folks that carried only 3 liters of water on a hike (not backpacking) of over 5 miles to be unprepared. You needed a gallon of water (minimum) to stay out all day. I've run out when I carried less on Aiea Ridge (a 12+ mile ridge hike with scrabbling). If you aren't carrying a filter or tablets, you have to carry more water to compensate for that lack in technology.

Also, weight constraints matter a lot less when I am dayhiking. In that situation, the multitool isn't a major impediment from a weight perspective. My regular sized swiss army knife (with saw and corkscrew!) has the things Allison is recommending. Heck, without a stove, tent, several days worth of food, and a sleeping bag taking a set of 7x50 binoculars wasn't a big deal if there was something I wanted to look at from on top of a ridge.

This gets back to the numerous points made earlier on: YMMV, depending on conditons, activity, acclimitization, and experience.

Allison, welcome to the free for all.



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#155000 - 09/22/11 07:58 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: wandering_daisy]
twinmike Offline
member

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Holbrook, AZ.
I live at 6300 feet and regularly ski over 9500 feet in winter months, In summer I sometimes spend couple of days up to to a week hiking. And I consider myself a puppy to some folks I meet. If I could carry more food, that would be great. In all my time of enjoying the mountains I have never had the need of a multi purpose tool or a tent. My Mora knife, which is carbon steel and not stainless is by far my best friend. Don't solo until you are really knowledgable about what you are getting into. To preach solo is not a smart thing to do.
_________________________
Many reach for distant shores only to run to the safest harbor.

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#155001 - 09/22/11 08:16 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: twinmike]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Allison,

I noticed you recommended buying topo maps. I'd suggest getting the online version of Topo!Explorer at www.topo.com .

Each superquad costs $1.00, but you only buy the ones you need. Once you buy one, it's yours forever. I think the program comes with credit for 25 quads.

It's a little difficult to use, but it's like having a huge map on a table and you just print the little part you need. And they are never out of maps the week you want to go someplace.

The maps can give elevation profiles, download GPS waypoints to your GPS and a lot of other neat things. You can also see satellite pictures of the terrain.

For those who hike in one state, it's cheaper to buy the CD version for your state.



Edited by Gershon (09/22/11 08:18 PM)
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#155005 - 09/22/11 08:48 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Gershon]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
The caveat with that software is that the trails you want are not always on them. Here in California I rely a lot on Tom Harrison's maps, because he/the company update the maps on an ongoing basis - some of the parks less than 50 years old have newer trail systems that just don't exist on those old topo maps.

For example, Topo!Explorer is useless for the trail system at Henry Coe State Park, one of my group's primary winter backpacking locales. The best map for Henry Coe is the one at the visitor center - aren't any other ones I'm aware of with all the trails and springs on it.

The other software I use is the National Geographic Sierra Nevada specific software - that's updated more regularly than the cheap quads available for a buck through Topo!Explorer.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#155008 - 09/22/11 09:29 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Allison]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
It is worth noting that hiking in a group is not, per se, any indicator of increased safety. Again, what counts is experience, either collective or individual, and with a group, someone who will provide leadership and direction when necessary.

In my SAR experience, the factor in common for nearly all of our victims was inexperience. Wandering Daisy is, as usual, absolutely right about experience in specific conditions being necessary. I might even add that recent experience is what really counts. I am an old desert rat who moved to California about twenty-five years ago. When I do return to the desert, I will start out cautiously. California's balmy climate has sucked away all my desert conditioning, as well as my desert mindset (leaving only my dry humor).

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#155012 - 09/22/11 10:10 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Allison]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1730
Loc: Napa, CA
I have one other thought....after agreeing with what others have posted here. Dang, you people are good!

When you want to post something like this, why not copy it and post the whole thing here. You can still reference your website, but this way the people on this board can all read it and comment without having to refer to something that is not visible here.

Which is what I do...and here is OUR website:

_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#155039 - 09/24/11 12:33 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: balzaccom]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Allison, I just want to say thank you very much for generating an excellent discussion here! We need more of these!
awesome

Welcome to the site!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#155041 - 09/24/11 06:55 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I'm off on a solo hike today. Unfortunately, I can't spend the night, but I'm packing as if I will have to just in case. As a result of a thread on this forum, I have a much better itinerary prepared. A map which I'll stick to. As well as a picture of myself in the gear I'll be wearing. I have a different pack, so that's a little important. As well as a picture of the bottom of my boots. And a picture of my tarp and hammock. I send this by email to a friend so it can be forwarded easily if needed. I have a SPOT programmed to send messages to a friend's cell phone in case I have difficulty. He is more familiar in dealing with emergency services than my son. Lori has an excellent article on leaving an itinerary on her website which you can find in her signature.

Something I haven't seen in many safety articles is "Check the weather." Yahoo is the best source around here. www.wunderground.com is a good source for radar maps and weather to the west of us which is the direction our weather usually comes from. It's always prudent to prepare for afternoon thunderstorms here.

Bill, you suggested Allison write about her experiences rather than the safety issues. In my opinion, this may bring about what people don't want. A person going solo without considering the safety issues sufficiently. It looks easy and fun in pictures when other people do it.

When anyone writes a blog on safety and puts it out for comments there is a chance to learn from others and for others to learn from them. Would we want a person to leave gaps in their knowledge because they were fearful of posting their knowledge? It's like not raising your hand in class to ask a really dumb question when you first have it. It just keeps getting worse as time goes on. The things a person leaves out are probably an indication of what others don't know, too.

I've learned a lot from those of you who have told me what I don't know. Thanks.
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#155043 - 09/24/11 08:34 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Gershon]
Paulo Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 158
Loc: Normally Pacific Northwest
Lots of good feedback and lots of good points. It doesn't change the facts about soloing, just brings up the importance of preparation and experience. At least that's what I took away from it.

I've been reading through the SAS handbook and if nothing else I like the introduction. Wiseman starts with a pyramid:


Kit
/ \
/ Knowledge \
/ \
/ Will to Live \


Will to live or confidence is described as the foundation. Most of the people referenced in the stories here are people that had no confidence.

Knowledge is what dispels fear.

Kit is what helps us accomplish survival.

Anyway. It's been on my mind and I think the lack of knowledge and will to live account for the vast majority of people who get in trouble or even killed.

Just recently with the story of the man who literally crawled out of the same area that aron ralston lost his arm in shows how important those factors are. Yes he got himself hurt, but it was his will to live that got him out.


Edited by Paulo (09/24/11 08:37 AM)
_________________________
Without a doubt, the hardest thing of all in a survival situation is to cook without the benefit of seasonings and flavourings. - Ray Mears

http://theoutdooradventure.net

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#155044 - 09/24/11 08:51 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: billstephenson]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I agree with Bill that writing about her experiences would be beneficial IF she is willing to be honest and share her "doh" moments and "lessons learned" along with the fun moments. People can always learn from other's mistakes, but only if those mistakes are shared. Happy stories that leave out the "dirty little details" only encourage others to believe that nothing bad (even remotely) ever happens. I keep being reminded of the 6-day search in Denali that was conducted for two young women a few years ago: even after they were 6 days overdue they never actually believed they were lost. Never mind that they ended up going 30 miles in the wrong direction and a massive search involving search teams from the lower 48 pursued them... in their mind, and at the end, "they weren't lost." This attitude probably saved their lives, but as far as I know, once they were located and returned home, the whole things was just a big adventure for them... not presented as a "don't make the mistakes we made" opportunity. I may be wrong, but if they posted anything about it I've never heard about it.

Anyway, point being, we all do little things that we get away with once or twice even when we know they are wrong. Ignoring those little mistakes, or not acknowledging them as mistakes to be avoided, only creates a situation where deviation from "safe practices" becomes the norm, people become LESS aware of potential pitfalls, then the next thing you know... that little mistake that others got away with ends up being a big mistake that causes injury or death. So, honestly analyzing one's experiences becomes very very important. If you want to encourage people to try something new, you have to give them an honest picture of what they can expect.

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#155048 - 09/24/11 01:18 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Allison]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi Allison
Nice blog. I liked the introduction - thought it showed forethought and of course it had the disclaimers. goodjob

Welcome. It appears to me that you are having a good time and writing a fun blog - good for you. grin It obviously was not meant to be a complete informative training session - which is impossible considering the time we spend argueing every point. Some people will argue just because thats the way they interact with the world, don't let them get you down. The fact that you brought your creation here for us to critique shows that you do not consider it a "complete" piece.

Solo hiking covers a lot of space - its hard to define and any specific advice has to be in context of where you are going. Is this a solo hike in a forested level spot - etc etc, but you mentioned 48 "peaks" so this sounds like "solo easy peak bagging".

At 22 your experience is simply limited and as you have more failures and bad experiences, the value of your advice will increase until you become 62 like me and have had so many bad experiences based on poor judgement, that everyone assumes that you have learned better, or you would not have survived that long. We have a lot of very serious and experienced outdoorspeople here, and we can never agree on anything. There are about 7 correct ways to do anything and about a million wrong ways. You pick what works for you. Other 22 year old hikers may read your blog and go no further because after all - its just about taking a walk in the woods right? What can go wrong? go wrong? go wrong?

My main comment is that this was perhaps mislabeled and in my own opinion, it has nothing to do with solo hiking safety as a generic activity, but simply describes your own experience and opinioons based on your own experience. (read my signature line). People jumped on you because it is not really a discussion of safety while solo hiking.
Jim grin
P.S. I almost always hike, backpack and mountain climb solo - I consider it safer to not have another person (liability) along. Risk assesment, weather, etc etc, all go into planning a solo trip into dangerous country. There are people here who have gone places that you would never consider going, and returned with their own advice.
Again thanks and we hope you will become a regular and learn and contribute. Midnightsun surely knows how hard it is to pop up here and start giving advice without first proving herself. When you have joined in on many threads and shown your thoughtful consideration - your credability will increase.


Edited by Jimshaw (09/24/11 01:27 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#155052 - 09/24/11 11:34 PM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Jimshaw]
OttoStover Offline
member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Norway
Well there are solo hiking areas and there are solo hiking areas. Meaning: it is one thing to go solo where you hike, and another matter for others like me or MNS03 when she gets back to Alaska.

Last winter I went for a hike four days alone midweek. After about a mile from the trailhead the cellphone coverage was out (but I know of a spot where one might get to call smile ). During the four days I did not even see another person, even from a distance. And this is a popular area. Probably would have seen someone if I had hiked in the weekend, maybee even met them.

Allison I read the blog and I noticed you met several hikers on the way. That is about as solo as a walk downtown for me. Probably had phone coverage too, and then there is no fear of anything going to happen that YOU must face alone. It is when you know you are absolutely alone and noone may assist you that the challenge comes.

Our hiking association DNT has made some rules called the mountain code to increase awarenes of hiking in the mountains. http://www.turistforeningen.no/english/article.php?ar_id=7090&fo_id=3622 One of the points there is not to walk alone, but the meaning is that only people that have extensive experience should consider this.

But IMHO the real fear of danger is a combination of going solo plus being moderately experienced and in addition going ultra light. Then you have no extra of anything, and the vulnerability is high. We have had alredy several people rescued for getting too cold in the mountains, and we are not in winter yet. Only some flour on the highest peaks.


Edited by OttoStover (09/24/11 11:34 PM)

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#155074 - 09/26/11 02:38 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: OttoStover]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Otto makes an excellent point (as usual). When I have been "solo" in Yosemite, that just means I was camping alone, not that there weren't other people about in the area at least during the day. On the other hand, I was solo hiking and bike touring in NZ years ago and for some of that time I was truly alone, so that had I gotten hurt or sick and was immobized, the likelihood of someone finding me was very remote. Not only that, but no one would have realized I was "missing" for a long time and even if they did, they would have had no idea where I was. Big difference.
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#155126 - 09/27/11 10:44 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: billstephenson]
Claus Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 56
Loc: Central Iowa
Originally Posted By billstephenson

As opposed to writing about being "prepared" when going solo, I'd offer that you focus on your experiences going solo. Chronicle what you learn, what you enjoy and love, what you fear and worry about, what worked and what didn't, mistakes made and lessons learned.


I like experience blogs much more as well that how-to blogs. Hiking isn't something where you just read a how-to and can do it. Instead it's something you learn as you are doing it.

In my opinion there are to many MUSTs in the blog post. There are always exceptions to everything and not allowing for flexibility can cause dire consequences sometimes as well. That's why how-tos stink and why your experiences, other people experiences, and discussions about them are so valuable. Which also means to digest all that information in your brain and adapt it to your situation.

I also don't see anything wrong with someone starting off with solo hiking. The key is to gradually advance and not to do a huge and difficult hike right away.
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#156826 - 11/05/11 11:32 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Jimshaw]
Allison Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 21
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.

Allison

http://4000-footers.blogspot.com/

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#156828 - 11/05/11 11:45 AM Re: solo hiking safety [Re: Allison]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1730
Loc: Napa, CA
Allison, with that kind of attitude your blog will just keep getting better!

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check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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