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Why Hike Solo As A Female Hiker?

By Diane Spicer

Solo female hikers are motivated by many different reasons. Find your why on this list of 12 great reasons to solo hike, from Hiking For Her. #solohiker #solohiking #solofemalehiker #hikingforher

You might have asked yourself  this question:

Why hike solo as a female hiker?

The answer is not a straightforward one.

Bear with me as we explore the question a bit.

It depends!

There are many variables hidden within successful solo hiking trips for a woman who wonders "Why hike solo?"

Ask yourself:

Who am I?

  • Age, physical condition, trail skills and mental attitude are important.

Where am I?

Your location may determine your access to solo hiking - unless you're willing and able to travel.

What type of hiker am I?

That question includes:

... all of this matters when you plan a solo hiking vacation.

Twelve reasons to hike solo

To help you sort through all of those factors, I've developed a list of answers to the question many women ask themselves:

"Why hike solo?"

For whatever reason, all of the reasons I've come up with start with the letter S.

I hope that doesn't bug you or remind you of a hissy snake.... both of which are trail buddies you might encounter as a solo hiker.

OK, in no particular order, here are answers I give to a question I get asked all the time:

Why hike solo?

We begin with the reason at the top of my own list.

Solitude for solo hikers

Do any of the following statements resonate with you?

  • I crave “me” time, quietness and space to think my own thoughts.
  •  I want to leave behind all of my electronic devices, all of my "to do" lists, the entire stack of books I need to read which sit right next to the stack I want to read.
  • I long for some time when I'm not obligated to anyone for anything.
  • Nobody's thoughts except my own, rumbling around in my skull, sounds magical to me.

Ah.... There's nothing like a strong shot of solitude to reconnect with self. And being in charge of a solo hike itinerary is a great way to achieve it.

Self exploration

  • If I give myself a reason to be alone with myself, I can check in with myself about who I really am.
  • Not to get all existential on you, but do you know why you're on this planet?
  • Do you realize how much you've changed over the past few years?

Nothing like a little alone time to give yourself room to roam over physical AND mental landscapes.

  • Be sure to bring your trail journal, and capture all your insights.

Strength and stamina
on a solo trail

  • Can I carry what I need? (testing physical strength)
  • Can I be in charge of a hiking trip and trust myself to make good decisions day after day? (assessing mental toughness and stamina)
  • Can I stand up to whatever Mother Nature dishes out? (stability in the face of change)

Soul searching for solo hikers

  • I need to reach a decision about something big, and a solo hike gives me time for some deep thinking.
  • Getting into a monotonous trail rhythm with no one else to distract me, my mind focuses on the question I need to answer:

            *Take the job offer (or accept the marriage proposal)?

            *Buy that car? or house?

            *Move to a new location?

            *End the relationship?

            *Adopt a child? puppy?

Carving out time and space to dwell, uninterrupted, on a big decision is what a solo hiking experience can give you.

Savor the serenity of a solo hike

  • I want to clear my head of all the distractions of daily life.
  • By myself, I can focus my energy on finding a peaceful place within myself.
  • Or maybe it's just as simple as needing to sit on a high spot and gaze over a serene landscape to rest my weary bones.
  • If you meditate or practice yoga, a solo hike gives you plenty of time to indulge in serenity.

The sweet taste of solo hiking success

Is this how you talk to yourself?

  • I want to set a goal and conquer it!
  • I like challenging myself.
  • What's next? I need a big project as a hiker.

If you've never challenged yourself beyond your comfort zone, now might be the time.

I find this is true for young women in their twenties, and post menopausal women, especially.

Twelve great reasons to hike solo as a female hiker #solohike #solofemalehiker #hiking #solohiking #solobackpacking #hikesolo #femalehikers

Solo hikers can shed unwanted stuff

  • Shed some pounds.
  • Shed some gear by going ultralight and fast.
  • Shed old beliefs about yourself.
  • Shed tears as you purge and holler and wail - and no one is there to judge you!

Snakes shed skin when they have to grow bigger. What can you shed to enhance and expand your self?

Scrutinize your surroundings
on a solo hiking trail

What do you want to focus on in the great outdoors that you never seem to have time for when you're hiking in a group?

Slow down and enjoy the sights along the trail like this beautiful green foliage and star shaped flowers

Make a little room for some surprises

  • Get off the ant trail of every day life and follow a trail into mystery and who knows what adventures.
  • Be open to surprise! It is a wise teacher and may hold up a mirror to yourself when you're alone on the trail.
  • Surprise yourself with how strong and smart you really are as you handle trail issues and changing conditions.

Solo hiking skill building opportunities

  • Get better at off trail navigation, wild crafting, backcountry cooking, survival skills.... what's on your list?
  • By being alone, you put a little more pressure on yourself to get it just right.
  • And there are no distractions pulling you away when you're immersed in a subject and the hours are just flowing by.

Solo hiking as a spiritual quest

There is a time honored tradition of turning to Nature to find one's path through life by connecting with a higher power. Call it what you will. 

  • Think of your time alone as hiking on unseen "within" trails as your feet fall upon the trails clearly visible on your map.
  • Or a good dose of Nature Therapy!
Woman hiker in mountain meadow of purple astersWhen hiking solo, you can plop down along among the flowers and think your own thoughts. A great answer to the question Why Hike Solo?

The simple satisfaction of solo hiking

  • Because, just because.

Perhaps the best reason of all!

If solo hiking is tickling the back of your mind, maybe it's time to scratch that itch.

Which brings us right back to where we started.

Why hike solo?

Maybe a better question is "Why not hike solo?"

For some visual confirmation of  the benefits of hiking solitude, visit this HFH Pinterest page.

I sincerely hope that my list of answers gets you close to your own personal answer for the question "Why hike solo"?

I want you to have the fantastic experience of hiking solo.

It's a rite of passage right up there with other milestones for female hikers.

And in fact, you can solo hike as a form of celebration:

  • your first period (or your daughter's)
  • your last period
  • getting your driver's license 
  • your first "real" job 
  • buying your first house or car
  • adopting a pet
  • your wedding 
  • pregnancy and childbirth
  • watching your youngest child march across the stage to grasp a diploma
  • publishing a book, getting that degree, harvesting your first garden's bounty...

If you think I'm kidding, we need to talk!!

Drop me a line here to add your thoughts and questions to the topic of "why hike solo?"

And if you already hike solo, please share some tips with the rest of us!

You might like to read these next

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    Solo hiking fears: real or imagined? It may be time to think about specific fears around hiking by yourself, and maybe conquer them using Hiking For Her trustworthy trail tips.

  • Solo Hiking Confidence: How To Get It

    Solo hiking confidence allows a woman to hike alone without being overshadowed by doubt, fear, or anxiety. Find out how to get confident about hiking alone at Hiking For Her.

  • Solo Hiking Trip Planning: Tips For Female Hikers

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  • Solo Hiking Concerns: Female Hikers Take Note

    Solo hiking concerns: any woman on the trail alone has them. But what to do about them? Great question! Lots of answers for solo female hikers (or those who want to be) here at Hiking For Her.

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Why Hike Solo