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by Isa "Dora" Fines
(New York, New York)

After reading this site a few times, I finally went out and did it, I went on my first solo hike and it was amazing.
I have been obsessed with the Appalachian Trail but was always scared because when you are a women, you naturally fear for your security. Usually hikers are looking for the same thing you are, to be in solitude and as long as you trust your gut on people just like you do everyday when you encounter someone on the street you should be fine.

My suggestions would be at least carry your all around knife and some mace. It gives you peace of mind, but please don't go spraying everyone that approaches you!!

I met some amazing people, One guy name Tony and his dog Slayer. I was taking a break and they walked up on me. He put down his gear a little away from me and started small talk. I actually enjoyed the brief company and his dog was awesome. You look at each others gear and the best part is the sharing.
I was up there for only a day hike and he had been on the trail for about 60 miles. He asked if I had some food he could buy off me.....are you kidding....no charge here man. I gave him some of my food that I wasn't going to eat, some charge for his phone, some water. He was grateful for every bit and it made me happy that I could help someone.
So don't be scared to hike alone....go for it, just use your common sense, be prepared, know how to use a compass and a map (I got lost a little in the beginning) and let someone know where you are going that's actually reliable. Test them to make sure!!!
If I have another Hiking sister in the New York area that would love to hike email me: isaurafines@gmail.com

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