Hiking is an incredible thing…so incredible, I’m having a very hard time finding another word to describe it. Hiking does something for you that pretty much nothing else in today’s world can do. It can heal you from things, distract you, and even change you into a whole new, better version of yourself.
That being said, there are no rules about hiking. Most people can have a very good experience hiking with a friend, a group, or family. They’ll probably still have that amazing connection to nature, despite being surrounded by others.But, there’s something about hiking solo that is just…different.
If you’ve never hiked solo before, it’s time to start planning your first trek. Here’s why everyone should hike solo at least once.
You Can Hike Whenever or Wherever You Want
Planning hikes with others can be exciting, but it can also be a headache. What happens when you have only one vacation off to hike where you want, but your friend wants to go elsewhere? We would of course tell you to just go your separate ways, but most of the time, someone has to sacrifice.
But, if you’re going into it knowing you already want to hike solo, then you’re completely free. No more having to accommodate others. Go on your own schedule to wherever you want. There’s no need to settle for something you don’t want to do just to appease others. You’re on your own, and it’s amazing.
You Can Go At Your Own Pace
Hiking is not an easy activity. While we’re lucky to be distracted by views and good conversations with others during our hike, it can be hard multitasking. There are moments where you’re trying to speak, and you just can’t because you’re so winded. When you hike solo, you can to walk at your own pace. There’s no need to go out of your comfort zone with walking faster than you’re able to or slower than you’re used to. Take as much or as little time as you damn well please!
It Can Be Easier to Pack
One benefit of hiking with others is that you can split up the weight of the hiking gear and supplies. However, more people generally means more gear. When you hike by yourself, you can bring just enough stuff for YOU. Carry what you need and what you’re comfortable with. Forget about lugging around a heavy piece of gear because you’re buddy didn’t have room left in his or her bag.
It’s a Chance To Do Some Soul Searching
Soul searching can really only be done when you’re alone. Even if you try to sneak some secret moments in when you’re on the trail hiking with others, it’s not quite the same. There are certain things about yourself you won’t discover until you’ve had these moments in nature alone. Hiking solo gives you the opportunity to really learn things about YOU and how you relate to everything around you.
It’s a Terrifying and Beautiful Challenge
Hiking alone is scary. You have no one to count on except for yourself. You’re alone at night surrounded by complete darkness. If you hear a sound, you know that it has to be something else, because there isn’t anyone next to you. You have to deal with obstacles that come your way. You have to be able to get from one point to another on your own. Most of all, you have to accept the fact that you have no one to share the beauty with. It’ll be a crazy challenge, but one that will make you stronger.
You Can Be Your Complete Self
You should always be comfortable in your own skin, no matter who you’re hiking with. But, let’s be honest. There are some things we just wouldn’t do around even the closest of friends or family. That’s why hiking solo is awesome! Sing along to your favorite music while you hike. Whistle. Hum. Dance or skip. Climb to the top of a mountain and shout. No one is here to judge you.
Everyone needs to hike solo at least once in their lives, no matter how hard it may be. Try it one time, and we’re sure it won’t be your last.