- Stay on populated routes and do your research
- Tell people where you are going, but wait to share on social media!
- Be ready for self-defense if needed
- Pack essentials while hiking alone as a woman
- Use common sense and stay aware
Hiking alone can be empowering for women and a quiet time for reflection away from a busy life. For females on the trail, hiking alone can feel intimidating and put us in a more vulnerable position. It can be challenging for women to embark on a solo hike, but taking the time to prepare and bringing the hype can ease anxieties that may arise. Although there are few inherent risks to hiking alone as a woman, it’s great to be prepared for all scenarios and to build confidence on the trail. These safety tips for solo female hikers will set you up for success for many hikes to come and keep you happy, safe and prepared on the trail.
Stay on populated routes and do your research
One of the best safety tips for solo female hikers is to stay on populated routes while you are hiking alone. Most people don’t want to hike on crowded trails, but staying on a well-known trail where you will regularly see other hikers is a good idea. It’s also important as a solo female hiker to do your research ahead of time and know your limits. Use websites such as AllTrails to find out how challenging a hike will be and what the mileage is. Make sure to not extend the hike length and elevation change beyond your limits and that you are comfortable embarking on the hike alone. It’s always great to go on a challenging hike, but make sure it’s in your capacity and that you have plenty of daylight to complete the hike.
Tell people where you are going, but wait to share on social media!
It’s always smart as a solo female hiker to let your friends and family know where you will be hiking. Let them know where you will park, what your route is and the date and approximate time you will be gone. This is an important safety tip for women on the trail so your loved ones know where you will be and when to expect you back home. On a side note, it’s important to not tell everyone where you are hiking. It’s recommended to wait a few days before you share about solo hiking trips on social media. It’s smart to keep your location protected from the public and share about your hiking trip on a future date when you are no longer alone in that location.
Be ready for self-defense if needed
One of the most important safety tips for solo female hikers is being ready for self-defense, since we are perceived to be more vulnerable. Whether it is an aggressive hiker or a wild animal, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and have easy access to self-defense tools in your pack. Having bear spray is helpful for predators, whether they are animals or a dangerous person. Having a whistle attached to the side of your pack is another excellent way to alert others to danger on the trail. Additional tips for safety on the trail as a solo female hiker are to bring a dog on your hike and to never tell people you are alone. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, mentioning that you are waiting for someone or pretending to call out to a friend on a trail are two more ways you can ensure your safety and safeguard your peace of mind. If you want to learn more tips on outdoor self-defense, verbal boundaries on the trail and how to navigate real life scenarios, check out Nicole Snell for a variety of resources.
Pack essentials while hiking alone as a woman
Packing the essentials for a solo hike is important, so you can be prepared for anything. These are the basics you will need to stay safe, be comfortable and have a fun time as a woman hiking alone on the trail. Use your best judgment based on your hike length, but this is the bare minimum to have for an intensive long day hike:
- Plenty of food and water
- Iodine tablets and a water filter (or other filtering mechanism)
- Lighter/matches for starting a fire
- Women’s hiking boots
- Merino wool ToughCutie Socks
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- Knife and whistle for safety
- Map and compass for navigation
- Extra layers to stay dry and warm
- Emergency blanket for warmth and shelter
- First aid kit for injuries
Use common sense and stay aware
Lace up your boots and grab the best women’s hiking socks around, ToughCutie wool socks. Do your research ahead of time, pack all the essential items, and arrive at the trailhead with confidence. With these safety tips, you will be prepared for all situations as a solo female hiker. Having confidence and being well prepared is important, but make sure to not completely let your guard down. It’s important as a woman hiking alone to pay attention to your surroundings and keep an eye and ear open for everything going on around you. No need to be nervous or anxious - this is about having fun and enjoying nature after all! Simply trust your gut and use your common sense!
If you feel self-reliant on trails close to home, consider taking a solo hiking vacation at one of many national parks with easy hikes and stunning views. Explore a new place and ease into solo female hiking in a new destination!
Written by: Lydia Schuldt