Every year, hundreds of people go missing while hiking in the wilderness. And while many of these cases are due to poor preparation or bad luck, solitary hikers are at a higher risk for accidents and emergencies. And while there are definitely some benefits to hiking alone, there are also some risks. In this blog post, we’ll explore 6 reasons why hiking solo is not always the best idea—and why you might want to consider finding a hiking buddy instead.
The benefits of hiking
When most people think of hiking, they picture long walks in the woods carrying a heavy pack. And while hiking can definitely be strenuous, it doesn’t have to be. Hiking is simply walking in nature, and countless benefits come along with it. Here are a few reasons why you should lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails today.
Hiking Boosts Your Physical Health
We all know that physical activity is good for our health, but sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to get moving. Hiking is a great way to get some exercise because it’s so enjoyable. You’ll be so focused on taking in the scenic views that you won’t even realize you’re getting a workout.
Hiking Improves Your Mental Health
In addition to boosting your physical health, hiking also wonders for your mental well-being. Studies have shown that time spent in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Being in nature has also been linked to increased feelings of happiness and vitality.
Hiking Connects You With Nature
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget about the natural world around us. Hiking is a great way to reconnect with nature and appreciate all the beauty it has to offer. When you spend time in nature, you can’t help but feel more connected to the world around you.
Reasons not to hike alone
Despite the apparent benefits of hiking, some risks come along with it. And while hiking with a group can help mitigate some of these dangers, walking alone can be downright dangerous. Here are eight reasons you should think twice before heading out on a solo hike.
You’re at a Higher Risk for Injury
Hiking alone means you have no one to help you if you’re injured on the trail. If you twist your ankle or take a tumble, you’ll have to rely on your own strength and resources to get back to safety. Unfortunately, severe injuries can lead to disabilities, affecting your quality of life. If this happens, you can consult a reputable disability lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. But remember, it’s always better to prevent an injury in the first place.
You’re More Likely to Get Lost
Hiking with a group means there are more eyes to help spot the trail markers. And if someone does wander off the trail, there’s a greater chance that they’ll be found quickly. But if you’re hiking alone and take a wrong turn, it could be hours or even days before you’re found.
You’re at a Higher Risk for Crime
Although crime rates are relatively low in most hiking areas, it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings. If you’re hiking alone, you’re an easy target for criminals. There have been reports of hikers being mugged, assaulted, and even kidnapped.
You Might Not Be Able to Get Help
If you run into trouble on the trail, you’ll need some help to get back to safety. But if you’re hiking alone, you might not be able to get the assistance you need. Cell phone reception is often spotty in remote areas, and there might not be anyone around to hear you if you scream for help.
You Could Die
Although it’s unlikely, hikers can die while out on the trail. Whether it’s from a fall, dehydration, or exposure to the elements, solo hikers are at a greater risk for fatalities. According to the National Park Service, over half of all hiking deaths are due to falls. And of those falls, 70% were from heights of less than six feet.
You Might Not Be Prepared
If you’re used to hiking with a group, you might not be as prepared when you go alone. When you hike with others, someone is always there to back you up if you forget something. But when you’re by yourself, you must be extra careful to bring everything you need.
Hiking solo definitely has its perks—but there are also some serious downsides you should consider before heading out onto the trails alone. From getting lost to encountering dangerous animals, there are a lot of things that could go wrong when you’re hiking by yourself. So, next time you’re planning a hike, see if you can find a friend or two to come along—it’ll make the experience that much better (and safer).