Loc: Southern California
Hello, my name is Tina.
I consider myself a casual/recreational hiker. LOVE the outdoors - get out when I can but my schedule is whacky. It's been difficult to plan day hikes with friends - schedules not meshing.
Last backpacking trip was Rae Lakes Loop 2016. Was a tiring but fun trip.
Going to do Half Dome for the first time in September. Kind of prepping for that now (going to do Mt. Baldy a couple times at least for 'training').
Have a bad knee that puts kinduva damper on things but nothing a knee brace won't temporarily cure.
I'm hoping to get some inspiration/tips/stories from people (preferably female solo hikers) here to NOT be afraid to go on day hikes alone. I have some irrational fear about hiking alone.. but I'm DESPERATE to get outdoors! I think the city life has gotten to me. I feel... stuck?
Welcome! Glad to have you join our little group. I have to say that with a sore knee, Half Dome has to be just about the worst hike you could take. If you're interested in other options, let us know. We have lots of ideas and experience here.
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Welcome Tina. If you're looking for posts from very knowledgeable and helpful female solo hikers, I highly recommend following wandering_daisy and oregonmouse. I'm neither female nor solo (yet - to the solo part, not the female part LOL), but I find both of these women inspirational.
Loc: Washington State, King County
Ditto to not being female --- and I won't even pretend I can know just what that feels like in terms of contemplating a solo hike.
But I've done a ton of solo hiking; some of the concerns (even fears) that people have aren't gender based so much as just "what if something stalks and eats me" or "what if I get hurt and no one is around to help". Typically ones parents, friends, significant others will helpfully put such thoughts in your head if they're not already there.
In doing long distance hikes I've run into quite a lot of solo women hikers. When you're hiking one of the long distance trails, and particularly the PCT or the AT, there's a sort of gypsy community feel as you encounter a whole lot of other people doing the same thing. Some women join a group of one or more others, sometimes all female, sometimes mixed. Some continue to hike alone for whatever reason, or do what I do --- hike for a few hundred miles with one or more people until the trail separates you, then hike for a few hundred miles alone. I find both to be great options.
If hiking in a long distance community context, the community sort of looks after its own.
My own feeling is that, with some reasonable amount of experience and wisdom, common sense, the biggest risks are as you get closer to trailheads, closer to other people. Having a sort of radar and trusting your feelings is important. Maybe having a small container of mace that you can spray is a good idea too. But just by myself in the woods --- animals, weather, insects, whatever you might be concerned about --- I feel safer there than in a city, certainly safer than driving on the freeway.
whiteblaze.net has a forum dedicated just to women hikers; I'm sure this question has been asked there, so you might want to have a look.