Hiking is one of the most popular activities you can do outside other than walking or running. Not only is it a really healthy activity to do, but it can also be quite challenging as you cross difficult and tough terrain.

Did you know there were over 57.8 million hikers in the US in 2020 and that trend is set to continue as more and more of us want to get out into the great outdoors and explore nature.

Statistic: Number of participants in hiking in the United States from 2006 to 2020 (in millions) | Statista
Statista

We have broken down this article into two sections. Safety and Practicality. These are the two reasons that explain why you shouldn’t hike alone.

Over 57.8 million hikers in the US in 2020

Safety

Safety is the number one reason why you should always go hiking with someone else or as a group. You never know what sort of challenges you are likely to face while hiking. It is important to have safety measures in place. The last thing you want while out on a hike is being injured or having an accident where there are no other people around to help you.

Since it is becoming so popular, the most common question is…

1. Is It Dangerous to Hike Alone?

Yes, it is dangerous to hike alone. Especially if you are hiking in a remote area with very little cellphone signal and no one to call or look for help if you get into trouble or injure yourself.

2. You may injure yourself and have no signal to call for help

Believe it or not, this happens more frequently than you think. So many lone hikers have injured themselves and have no one around to help them.

3. You may get lost and unable to navigate home

If you get lost hiking in the mountains, this is a serious problem. The lack cell coverage comes up again since you won’t even be able to navigate using Google maps nor will you be able to call for help and assistance.

4. You may get attacked by animals (like bears and wolf)

Bear and wolf attacks are quite rare. However, that doesn’t mean you are not at risk when you go hiking. If you had someone else with you, they could call for help or even distract the animal if you were in danger.

5. You may get attacked by humans

You wouldn’t walk down a dark alley on your own, but oftentimes people hike on their own. In essence, the risks are very similar. If you had someone with you, they would likely help to deter an attacker since there is always safety in numbers, right?

Practicality

The other reason why we don’t advise going hiking alone is the fact it is not that practical. There are so many things that are easier when there are two or a group of you.

Here’s a list of reasons why going on your own is not so practical…

6. There’s no one to take pictures of you at the scenic spots

While you are walking in the countryside, how cool would it be to get some photos and even video to document your trip? This is really difficult to do if you are hiking alone.

7. You have to carry all the weight by yourself

If you are going camping and you need to hike to your camping spot, it can be really difficult to carry all of the gear you will need on your own. If you had someone with you, they could help carry things and everyone can enjoy the walk to the campsite.

8. You have no one to talk to on the trip

Unless you prefer your own company, going hiking alone can be pretty lonely. You also have no one else to share this experience both during and after the trip. That’s why it is so much more fun going hiking with someone else or even a group of you.

9. You only have yourself for motivation

If the track or trail you are is quite difficult, it’s so nice to have company to give each other some moral support. You can motivate each other to keep going or just socialize and have a laugh.

10. Cheaper to travel in a group

Whether we are talking about sharing the travel costs like fuel or the price of a guide, you will save quite a lot of money if you are in a group rather than on your own. This way you can share the costs and have good company.

FAQs

How do you protect yourself when hiking alone?

Always let someone know exactly where you are going hiking, the time you are leaving and for how long you will be hiking for. That way, if they haven’t seen or heard from you in a while, they can call for help.

Is it safe to go to national parks alone?

Yes, absolutely. The vast majority of United States national parks as well as parks in other countries are great places to travel alone. This is because there are normally plenty of other hikers on the same trail or path and the parks are normally well-fenced and secure.

What precautions should I take when going hiking?

Ensure you have:

  • Backpack – So you can carry all of your gear safely.

  • Spare hiking clothes – Just in case you get wet or damage the clothes you are wearing.

  • Portable Charger – It is unlikely you will have anywhere to charge your phone. A portable charger will come in handy if you run out of juice.

  • Sunscreen – To protect you from the sun’s rays.

  • Insect Repellent – Depending on where you hiking, there will likely be a lot of bugs.

  • Torch – If you do get lost and it is getting late, a torch will be handy if you need to navigate to safety in the dark.

  • Duct Tape – Always comes in handy if you rip anything or need to tie things together.

  • Emergency Blanket – Just in case you are hiking quite late and you get cold. This blanket will be a lifesaver in more ways than one.

Wrapping Up

There are many reasons why you should never hike alone. The safety reasons alone mean that there is always safety in numbers when hiking.

Be smart about your hike and make sure to take someone else along with you!

a backpacker looking into the distance in a forest.
10 Reasons You Should Never Hike Alone
About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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