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Perhaps start a female friendly forum/area?

Original Post
Tina Sh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Not just exclusively for women (men can discuss as well for their wives, girlfriends, daughters) but I think I might feel a little more comfortable discussing subjects like feminine hygiene in the backcountry? Solo hikes? Safety? etc. with fellow female outdoor enthusiasts.

Apologies if this subject as been brought up, I'm new to this forum/hiking project.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5,804

Hello again Tina! 

This is a very relevant topic, and I'm glad that you brought it up! I don't think that we've had a dedicated forum for female posters "take off" in the past, and I hope to see more ladies coming together to ask questions, share thoughts, and generally help each other to get outside more! If there are any questions that you have for your friendly admin, please let me know! 


Tina Sh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

I'll ask here, in case this ends up being the only thread ;)

I've been itching to get out on hikes but I have this irrational fear(?) of hiking on my own.  Was wondering if there's any motivational books, stories or links that I might be able to read up on? I know it'd be rare for a human to human attack in nature but living in the city has taught you to keep your defense up 24/7.. ESPECIALLY for a female. So I wanted to know if there are any solo female hikers who have some tips/advise for some who love the outdoors and enjoy doing it on their own.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5,804

Hi Tina, 

Dang, that is a tricky one! I can really relate to this one, as solo hiking (especially overnight!) is something that many of my male and female friends have really enjoyed. I think that there are incredible benefits, but you're right; getting started is really difficult! I was able to find This Link, which describes some ways to gain confidence over time. I think that a good way to start is to tackle progressively longer and longer day hikes, and then progress to an overnight. 

Even though it can be seen as a popular piece, Cheryl Strayed's book Wild talks a lot about developing that hiking resilience. 

I would love to see more resources too! 

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5,804

Also! I didn't mean to overlook our own resource! If you're looking for a little motivation, this is a great nudge! https://www.hikingproject.com/blog/4398/benefits-hiking-alone

Jackie D · · Powell, OH · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

A few things I do to help me feel safer:  (1) I 'share my location' from my phone with a friend and tell them my plan and when to expect to hear from me again.  Ahead of time you should have a conversation about this process with the friend - truly, what to do if you don't hear from me.  Also, remember to share your location before you lose service.  (2) I take pepper spray sometimes and KEEP IT IN MY HAND.  It does no good if packed away.  I have one that has a band around it so it stays secure in the palm of my hand.    (3) Simply always be looking around and aware of your surroundings.  These things only go so far, I know.  I have yet to camp on my own, but would probably "pack" if I did which would really damage the peace and relaxation part of camping!  

Just Katie . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

This interests me as well.  Solo hiking fills my soul but it can be hard to shake the trepidation of being alone, potentially vulnerable. 

A great read, aside from the obvious "Cheryl Strayed", is "Grandma Gatewood's Walk".  Granted, she hiked the Appalachian Trail alone decades ago, but one might still be inspired.

California Girl · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

Find a girlfriend who solo hikes. Ask her to take you hiking and talk about how she stays comfortable with herself alone in the woods. My friends at home were scared for me before my hike, during my hike and now that I am home and share my bear and snake pictures with them they are still scared.  They wouldn't join me though, so I hiked alone.  I was not scared.  I was never really alone, as there were lots of other hikers on the trail. As you hike farther from the trailhead, the people are nicer, even when they are dirty and look weird.

A dog can help you feel less alone, but she might draw unwanted wildlife to you. A gun is most likely to be taken from you and used against you, should you pull it out. It is also a lot of extra weight in your pack, and lots of nice places to hike don't allow them anyway. 

Use the same common sense you use in the city: know your limits, be aware of your surroundings, know where you are and where you are going, let someone know when to expect to hear from you and who to call if they don't.  Don't be afraid to ask other hikers for help or directions.  We would rather help you now than come looking for a lost hiker later.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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