Team Talent Blog
Solo hikes as a woman
A personal perspective as a woman solo hiking and venturing through the United States.
Here is a little information about myself, my personal experiences and advice in hopes to help all women who are interested in solo hiking or just curious to read. Enjoy!
Well hello there....
I grew up with my sisters and my single mother always taking adventure in the great outdoors from camping, white water rafting, kayaking, skiing.... it was a blessing! As a young adult now living by Chicago, I found it became hard to always schedule hikes with others due to the busy everyday life and some people by the city just don't care too much about hiking. I now hike almost every week solo and take a few larger trips throughout the year. I am excited to share with you my experiences and advice to keep you exploring and wandering no matter what.
The Myth - You are not safe walking alone.
To this day I still get many people, including strangers, tell me I should never be hiking alone. I get statements like it is unsafe to be walking alone as a women (especially one in her late 20's), people are being hurt every day, other people are crazy, watch out.... the list really does go on and on. I think it is important to be safe, carry pepper spray and/or bear spray, watch out for your surroundings which is sometime the reality of women who don't ever hike. This can cause some anxiety thinking of future possible occurrences but worrying that much to cause anxiety is just another headache. Be safe but don't be afraid to go outside! Do your research, plan, prep and maybe train so you are prepared for anything. If some tragedy were to arise due to hiking solo... it is probably the same probability of a tragedy happening in your car while driving to work. I say, keep exploring, checking off your bucket lists, enjoying yourself, following your passions and being moved by your heart. There is a beautiful world waiting to be explored so don't let others dull your visions!
That being said... Be Smart!
I always carry pepper spray with me so I know I am able to protect myself when needed. I feel great knowing I have this little harmful spray that will be there when I need, which I hope is never (knock on wood). Being safe, smart and prepared is a great way to help you enjoy your solo hikes without the worrying!
Hike Local. Hike Small.
We don't have to always climb the largest mountain or wildest terrain to enjoy a wonderful hike! There are some incredible hidden gems in local communities that have truly blown my mind with their beauty. The greatest thing about this, these local hiking areas are WAY less crowded.
Do You and Only You.
One of my favorite things about solo hiking is being able to be with only myself. I love the feeling of now having to talk and just being in the present moment while strolling at my own pace. Being able to experience whatever my heart desires and I take time in nature alone. Solo hikes have been one of my greatest therapies and I hope you have or will have these experiences too!
So get outside and keep exploring!
May you have a wonderful solo hike, wherever that may be in the world.
By Shelby Koutas
May 18th 2020