Solo hiking sounds scary…..
Solo hiking always sounds intimidating. People think you don’t have friends, that's why you have to do it alone. Outdoor activities should do with friends….
I enjoy hiking alone, but it didn’t come in the beginning — I was worried about what others thought, scared of being lost in the middle of nowhere….. I found the joy only after I accomplish for the first time
How did I take the first step?
It happened in February. The weather was very unstable — cloudy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon, or raining all day. I didn’t want to make hiking plans with my friends with such uncertain weather conditions. Also, due to government restrictions, everything is closed. Hiking becomes my only way to relax and I need the time to be in nature to energize myself.
The weather looked fine that day. It made me want to hike, but I didn’t have any plans with friends. So I thought, why not go alone? And here I am, the first hike alone.
📍Wilson trail section 4 — Tung Yeung Shan
The sun came out right after I reached the top and disappeared again in like 15 mins lol
Why I like hiking alone?
- Time to be with myself. Staying home with my family 24/7 is hard (not saying they are bad, I love them so much😘 ) but I am the kind of person who needs to be alone sometimes. During the hike, I listen to podcasts, or the sound of nature and it smoothes me.
- Walking at my own pace. I don’t take a lot of breaks during hiking. I like to push myself a little further, especially when going uphill, I like to finish in one go as I know once I stop, it will be a long time to continue again😂. I can adjust my own pace, don’t have to worry about waiting for others or catching up
- The vibe of having a solo trip. There is always something unexpected along the hike, like the view, the people…. One time, I end up chatting with another hiker during the hike. And discovering new places just hyped me up! Fun fact, the more I hike, the more irony I think about HK is a small city. There are already many places I haven’t been to in such a small place, it is not small indeed! Or another way round, how big is the world?
- Become more independent. I am the only one accountable for my actions. Prepared beforehand eg check the route, read the map…. is a must so I won’t get lost. I also have to react instantly in case of sudden changes during the hike like weather conditions, not having enough energy to finish the whole hike…
Don’t you hike with friends?
I will say they are different and can’t be compared. Both are great, I enjoy both of them. I like going on difficult hikes with my friends, as it feels easier with friends haha. It is also so great to share the happiness and views together after finishing the hard ones. When I want to go on a hike suddenly, I will just go on my own hahhaa. Hiking alone gives me another way to explore nature.
Some tips for hiking alone
1.Choose popular trails. You feel safer when there are plenty of clear signs. I have been to Wilson trial 4, Maclehose 1–2, Tai Tun Sai Kung, Dragon’s Back, Lions’ Rock.
2. (From a reader) Send the hiking plan to family/friends before hiking and let them know your checkpoints or distance posts & ETA estimated time of arrival. This helps especially when you are trapped somewhere without phone signal coverage, the rescue team knows where to find that one.
3. Learn to read the map. Even with clear signs, there are still branches along the way, the map is your lifesaver so you won’t end up in some unknown trials. When hiking with your friends next time, volunteer to be the one who leads the trial, you can have more practice. I am sure they are willing to volunteer too, as it is tiring especially with unclear signs.
4. Be aware of the surroundings. Ask for help if needed. There are always some other hikers in popular trials, most of them are very nice and helpful.
5. Enjoy the ride. Hiking is a way to relax. My only goal is safety, that is to leave the trail before sunset. I check the map occasionally to ensure I am not in some weird places, other times, I put down my phone and enjoy the view.
Let me know have you tried hiking solo before!