Today is the first day of fall. I was lucky to say goodbye to summer and welcome the fall while on a one night backpacking adventure close to home. And that also marks my 4th Solo backpacking trip, three of them were done this summer. I got to thinking about going solo last year because my work schedule doesn’t always match my husband’s work schedule. I was always aching to go, but I didn’t have someone to join me. Various friends would indicate an interest, but no one really seemed to want to make solid plans. Not to mention it is a bit of an investment to get the gear. And let’s face it, not everyone keeps themselves fit enough to to participate in this kind of activity. So after thinking about it for a while, I went out a day ahead of my hubby and jumped right into Solo backpacking. Some people think it’s dangerous or wonder why anyone would want to be alone in the wilderness, especially a woman. So here goes….
It is very empowering. You are relying on yourself. There is no one else to take care of you but you.
It gives you freedom. You choose what time, where, how fast you hike, when you stop, when you wake up, how fast you pack up and come home. If you want to stop for an extra long lunch break then you do. It’s all up to you. Yesterday I decided at 10:30 am to go out overnight and was hiking by 2 pm. No way I could have made those plans with anyone I know.
It helps you overcome your fears. Spending a night in the wilderness alone can awaken some fears in anyone. Was that noise a bear outside my tent? Some of these fears are based on reality, but if you stick well within your ability and choose the areas where you camp wisely, you are safer than walking a city street in my opinion.
You get to know yourself. If you want to do something in this life and get out and enjoy it you can’t always sit around waiting for someone else to do it with you. When you get out and do something alone, it increases your comfort with your own company. Being alone and not lonely is a great skill to master.
I am looking forward to more and longer Solo backpacking trips in the coming years. I have found that each time I go, there is an increase in my comfort and enjoyment. So for anyone out there thinking about going solo, my advice is just make the jump and do it!