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  • Hiking alone

    Posted by Christy Bravo on June 19, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    This might be a lame question but are any women doing these hikes alone? I’ve only done shorter hikes on my own and the places I frequent always have others on the trails. I do have pups but both don’t handle heat well and I don’t think they would make these long hikes. I bought the challenge as a gift for my BF and me, but we have since broken up, but I still want to try to start/finish. Adorable puppy photos just ’cause.

    Sowmi replied 9 months, 1 week ago 14 Members · 22 Replies
  • 22 Replies
  • Amanda

    June 20, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    Not a lame question at all! I solo hike a lot – short hikes and longer full-day hikes. I have only done Mt. Wilson so far in the SoCal Six Pack and arrived there solo. But there were plenty of others on the trail also planning to summit Mt. Wilson that day. Met many great people along the trail, at break spots, and at the summit. So it’s definitely possible to do, safe to do – and you can connect with others while on the trail! If you’re doing the SoCal Six Pack and want a hiking buddy – I’d be happy to join!

    • Christy Bravo

      June 21, 2023 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks! I just always worry being out there alone.

      I would love to join you on Sunday but I’m not sure I can make the 5.5 miles or so uphill (bad knee), the way back/down hill, no problem. The last “hard” hike I did was Bell View to the flag pole and the highest peak I’ve done was Little Baldy… but both of those are under 4 miles total… eeek!

      I live over by Peter’s Cyn. What area of OC are you in?

    • Amanda

      June 22, 2023 at 8:16 am

      Of course! And definitely take your time with the knee in deciding whether to hike and if so, what trails are best suited in the meantime! I’m in Glendale up in LA County but I keep hearing about some great OC hikes that I’d like to check out!

    • Laura

      June 30, 2023 at 7:06 am

      I did them all solo last year and will very likely repeat that this year. I text a couple of friends when I start, and I tell them what trails im on, and then I send a pretty picture when I have service. Then I check in when I get back to my car and start it.

  • Natalie

    June 23, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    Hi, I tend to hike alone quite a bit but recently joined a couple women’s hiking groups and have gone twice. But I did Baldy solo last weekend because I couldn’t find anyone who could go that day. I was determined to do it so I did. I would like a hiking buddy for future bigger hikes. I live in Irvine so I’m open to doing some hikes so you can work your way up to harder ones. I have issues with my legs and knees too just have to be careful and go slow if needed.

    • Christy Bravo

      June 25, 2023 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks! I live in Tustin, walking distance from Peter’s Cyn. The last two days I did a little over 4 miles each time with my dogs. The first day I just did the flat trail, but today I did the hills. I don’t mind going there alone because there are so many people on the trails and out in the surrounding neighborhoods. I’m trying to build up my endurance and mileage there. How long did it take you to do Baldy? What time did you start?

    • Natalie

      June 30, 2023 at 10:45 pm

      Baldy was a long day. Whole thing took me 9 hours and that’s including my breaks. 7 hours of actual moving on the trails.

  • Monilove

    June 24, 2023 at 7:55 am

    Hi! I think your question is valid. I hike alone..sort of. I never go without my dog. She’s a mini Aussie, so not big at all, but she knows a bad person when she sees one and has warned me. I love hiking alone and have done sort and long hikes. I even camp alone, and have never had issues. So, stay alert, carry something that makes you feel like you could at least protect yourself (even a Yeti. Lol) and go adventure!

  • Christy Bravo

    June 25, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    Camping alone is probably my next adventure. When I have my camelback I always have my pepper spray and an emergency whistle within reach. That bag has all my goods… first aide kit, doggy bowls, and a separate water bottle for them, plus the oh so necessary poop bags. Lol I got better at keeping it equipped with stuff after my national parks vacation last year (Sequoia, Kings Cyn, Zion, Bryce Cyn, Arches, and Capitol Reef.)

  • Jeff

    June 30, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Check out Adventures of Nik on Instagram:


    Nik solo hikes all the time, and she has an organization that helps women gain confidence and the self-defense tools to do so safely. And she is doing the SoCal Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge, too!

  • Tim

    June 30, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Christy,

    I’m new here but wanted to throw this out there even though your question was asked specifically for women.

    I mainly solo hike and have done lots of hikes both here and in South America.

    I used to just go for it and was fine. But I became a single dad a couple years ago and started being a bit more cautious. There game changer for me was getting a Zoleo (or any type of satellite device). I now can hit the check in button to my daughter when I’m out of cell service and I also have the option for emergency (evacuation) if needed. My daughter loves the peace of mind knowing that I am always making it home.

    Now, if I ever forget the device I almost feel reluctant to venture out. Feeling that is I break an ankle or something semi-minor, I wouldn’t have the ability to get assistance.

    Just a thought. Its definitely a great peace of mind.


    • Christy Bravo

      June 30, 2023 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you! That’s awesome!

    • Jennifer

      July 6, 2023 at 12:20 pm

      Such a great question and topic. I use the Garmin InReach mini. Great response from the community as a whole. I am a solo hiker and have done backcountry hiking in small groups, only one other person. REI has skills classes they teach for compass/Topo maps and other skills you need. I love this solo hiking for me which is an amazing confidence builder but more-so it helps me unwind and enjoy the elements of each hike (peak bagging, birding or wildflower searching). Then of course, there is the community of some of the best people out there! The hiking community is welcoming, attentive and growing at a steady pace. While solo, You aren’t alone out there! I’m doing the Appalachian Peaks in July. I hope to see some fellow hikers on the trail.

  • RNLorileeO

    July 3, 2023 at 6:39 am

    Hey 🙂

    I usually hike alone too but wanted to find new places to hike at so I decided to join MeetUp where I was able to find and join hiking groups. I would see them maybe once a month or so and that’s where I would gather info about hikes I wanted to do. I also recommend looking at AllTrails and reading the experiences people had about their hikes (sort comments to “newest”) and figure out if it’s safe for me to do by myself.

    Hope this helps!

    • Yogi-Girl

      July 20, 2023 at 9:57 pm

      Sometimes I hiked alone, because it feels better to just have my quite time. Always stay on the trail and be cautious with your surrounding. Always bring your hiking stick so you don’t feel helpless in case something happened or in case you get hurt.

  • TiffanySarah

    July 21, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    I’ve never done any of the longer hikes alone but I plan to this year (alone with my two dogs). I’m enjoying reading the replies to your post!

  • pmashnik

    August 18, 2023 at 6:39 am

    I love that so many of us hike solo but accompanied by our dogs. I hike with my Aussie. But what about hikes where dogs are not allowed? How do you deal with the threat of mountain lions? I am about to start my San Francisco Bay Area challenge and have friends to do five of my six peaks. But for the fist one (Mount Umunhum) I have no one and no dogs are allowed.

  • Christy Bravo

    August 19, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    So far the two I’ve done, I’ve had to leave the dogs at home due to the heat. Both mornings I started at 5a and there were people in the parking lots starting at the same time. I haven’t felt unsafe so far. That being said, I do hike with pepper spray, an emergency whistle and I knife all within reach. Good luck on the trails!

    • Trish

      August 28, 2023 at 7:22 am

      Not a crazy question of hiking alone. I’ve been solo hiking and backpacking for years. It it all about your comfort level, building confidence, and being completely fine with turning around if your gut tells you too! Like others have said, I usually email or text a designated group of people where I’ll be and how to call the local rangers if I don’t return. On big trips I carry an inReach.

      Most trails on this list are pretty busy and you will definitely see people along the way and most are willing to help a hiker in need.

      I’m still looking at hiking Jacinto or Bernardino. If those interests you we can coordinate.

    • pmashnik

      August 30, 2023 at 11:53 am

      What whistles do you use? I’ve tried a couple but both tend to jam and sound pathetic 50% of the time. Also, how do you keep some many items on the ready while hiking?

  • Christy Bravo

    August 30, 2023 at 6:44 pm

    @Paulina These are the ones I have. My camelback pack has loops on the shoulder straps so I have the items hooked there. The knife I hook on my pocket.

  • Sowmi

    September 15, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Hi all, though this question was specifically to women hiking along and challenges faced are a quite different, I will share my experience and tips as someone who has been solo hiker for many years and the reasons why I am changing my views on it now. Hope it helps some here. I have always been a solo hiker and love it. I find it therapeutic to be alone and away from the humanity that surrounds us every minute of every day. To that effect I not only hike solo but I choose hikes where I am least likely to encounter people. As other mentioned here, though it is highly rewarding, it is not without its risks. I always carry with me hiking poles (regardless of the hike needs it or not), a knife (defensive weapon), a whistle (for Bears), Bear spray (even in areas where there are no Bears, it is a defensive weapon), and my trusted Garmin InReach for remote hikes. The one suggestion or tip, I always tell people is to carry all these including the Garmin InReach on person, rather than inside or clipped to the backpack. I have heard of cases where people were separated from their pack during a fall and were unable to reach their GPS device. So I always carry them securely clamped to my clothing and try my best to ensure it won’t come off in a fall.

    In most hikes the most common risk I face is twist of an ankle on the steep downhill sections. There have been several instances where I have come close to twisting/breaking my ankle. If there is no one else on that trail, help is several hours away. When you are solo hiking on a remote trail, the best safety measure you can take is to go slow (esp. in the downhill sections and not rush it hoping get back sooner) and take pay attention to every step (where and how you place it).

    Having said that, I am slowly changing my mind about hiking solo and starting to hike with one or two ppl for various safety reason. Couple of recent incidents where a marathon runner went missing on a hot day here in the Easy Bay (Pleasanton Ridge) and was found nearly a week later only a few hundred feet from the trail and most likely died of heat stroke. It was a rude awakening to think that a seasoned runner could die on such a well-used trail and certainly the outcome would have been very different if he had a running partner.

    I agree it is a challenge to find the right hiking/running partners especially if you have been doing it solo for years. They need to be of the same mindset, pacing, tolerance for pain etc etc. and most important of all one needs to be comfortable hiking together in silence. Hiking is a long activity and you cannot expect to fill every minute of 8 – 12 hrs with conversation just because you are hiking with someone or feel the pressure to do so. I still find it challenging and it is the biggest hurdle in my mind to switch from Solo hiking to hiking with someone (BTW I will avoid large groups as it becomes more about socializing than hiking). I have not had any success using meetups for that reason.

    Safe and happy trails

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