7 Life Changing Benefits of Hiking Solo

There are so many benefits of hiking alone that will change your life and the way you view the world!

Does the thought of hiking alone scare the shit out of you? Not to worry, you aren’t alone in feeling that way. There are definitely ways to over-come this feeling and once you feel confident you will find that there are many benefits to hiking solo.

For many years I missed out on the benefits that hiking has to offer as I didn’t have a hiking buddy to go with me. I eventually bit the bullet and decided that enough was enough and I hit the trails on my own.

I had been travelling solo for over a decade, so I figured that hiking solo couldn’t be all that different. And it isn’t, however, when travelling solo you usually have the benefit of being surrounded by people even though they’re strangers. When hiking solo, you are completely on your own and that can be both scary and exhilarating.

Safety When Hiking Alone

Obviously, safety is always a number one concern when hiking alone, but preparation can help to limit your chances of running into trouble when on a trail by yourself. The following are just a few things to think about before hitting the trails. For more detailed safety tips for hiking by yourself you might want to read Safety Tips for the Solo Hiker.

  • choose a trail that’s well within your physical capabilities and preferably one that you are somewhat familiar with
  • study the trail and download a map of the trail
  • let a trusted friend or family member know where you will be and your expected time of return
  • pack everything you need in case you get lost. I recommend packing at least 24 hours worth of supplies (food and water)
  • plan your hike so that you return prior to night fall
  • dress appropriately

Just One Tip: For a more in-depth look at the essentials to have packed for a day hike, click here.

Packing For A Solo Hike

As mentioned, it is more important than ever to pack all of the day hike essentials when hiking solo. Even if your hike should only take a couple of hours, it is always possible that you might get lost so you should always be prepared for the unexpected and have an abundance of supplies packed….just in case.

  • water and snacks
  • compass and maps (you won’t always have cell service when on a trail)
  • blanket and garbage bags to keep dry and warm
  • appropriate clothing for the time of year
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Benefits of Hiking Solo That Will Change Your LIfe

Once you have drummed up the courage to hit the trails alone, it won’t take you long to realize the many benefits of hiking solo. The following are just a few of the benefits that I’ve taken away from my many solo hikes:

Self-Sufficiency and Independence

When hiking by yourself, you can only rely on yourself for your own safety. It is up to you to be self-sufficient and completely dependent on your own skills and decisions. You will rely on these skills right from the planning stage through to the completion of your hike. This alone will help you to realize that you are enough and you can do it on your own.

Safety is a primary concern when hiking solo

Time Alone to Take in the Beauty of Nature

Let’s face it, most of us love nature, otherwise we wouldn’t be out in the woods or on a trail. When hiking alone, there is more opportunity and less distractions which enable you to take in the beauty of the nature surrounding you. You will find yourself more in the moment and trust me when I tell you that even if you’ve hiked a trail a million times, you will notice things that you’ve never noticed when hiking with a buddy.

Hike at Your Own Pace

One of the things that I love the most about hiking solo is that I can go at my own pace. I love to take pictures when I’m in nature and hiking solo allows me to stop whenever I want to. The only person that I’m in competition with is myself.

Hiking at your own pace is just one of the benefits of hiking solo

Choose the Trail That You Want to Hike

Hiking solo allows you to choose the trail that you want to hike. Whether it be a familiar trail or a completely new trail, the choice is yours. Not only can you choose the trail you want to hike, but you can choose the time of day.

JUST ONE TIP: When hiking solo, it is highly recommended to go early in the morning so that the hike is completed before the sun goes down.

Meet Fellow Hikers

Much like travelling solo, hiking solo provides you with the opportunity to meet fellow hikers while out on the trail. Don’t be afraid to stop and chat along the way. Who knows, you might even make a new friend or two. I compare hikers to campers. There is something so natural and friendly about hikers and I never feel uncomfortable or intimidated about approaching them.

meet fellow hikers and make new friends is just one of the benefits of hiking solo

Get To Know Yourself Better

Yes, I know it’s an old cliche that travelling alone helps you to learn more about yourself, but it’s even truer when hiking solo. You are completely responsible for your own planning and safety which is certainly something to be proud of. There is also something to be said about being one with nature. It definitely helps to clear your mind and helps to put life into proper perspective. It’s a win, win, situation.

Hiking by yourself provides you with the opportunity to get to your yourself and your capabilities more

Accomplishment

Finally, the sense of accomplishment that you feel upon completing a solo hike is undeniable! You and only you not only planned the hike, but you completed it successfully and finished feeling invigorated and ready to take on the world.

The feeling of pride and accomplishment after a solo hike is indescribable

Life Changing Benefits of Hiking Alone

I hope that I’ve convinced you to try hiking solo if that’s what you want to do. As you can see, the benefits of hiking alone far outweigh any fear that you might have. Hiking by yourself is a life altering experience and I highly recommend that you hit the trail on your own and become one with nature, at least once.

SAFE HIKING 🙂

Kelly xo

SAVE THE 7 BENEFITS OF HIKING SOLO

31 thoughts on “7 Life Changing Benefits of Hiking Solo

  1. Melanie

    Love this! I’m thinking that I need to step up and do some more hiking on my own. Like you, I’ve been travelling solo for a long time, but hiking alone does seem a bit scarier. I think it’s because I’m afraid of encountering a bear on my own… :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      hiking alone is definitely much scarier than travelling alone. I bought bear bells and attach them to my backpack to make noise and I also carry bear spay just in case (although there aren’t a ton of bears where I am)

      Like

  2. Renee

    I have no issues travelling solo, but not so sure about hiking. Unless it’s on local trails with my dog, and ones that are popular with other hikers. Agree with all your tips — tell someone, dress for the activity, and get familiar with the trail (to avoid getting lost), and something I always have is a full battery charge on my cell phone (just in case).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barry

    I’m not a big hiker but ! have to agree with all your points here. As I travel I check in each day with a friend via WhatsApp etc, just so they know I am ok, even if it is just to say “all ok”. I also carry a digital map on my phone to help me if I get lost. I use one that uses GPS without the need for Wi-Fi connect or payment. It may not be so good on a hike but I have walked through forests etc and at least been able to see I am going in the right direction!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma

    For all my solo travels, I’ve not been one for solo hiking so far. I do prefer to hike with someone. Less for safety and more to keep me occupied or distracted when the going gets tough, or to motivate me into continuing and pushing through. I have found a hiking partner who is pretty well matched in skill which is nice. But I see the value in hiking alone, and loved reading your experiences. The only thing I wouldn’t want to do is an overnight as I’m not sure I’m ready for camping alone

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JoJo’s Cup of Mocha

    Awesome post, I absolutely love solo hiking! I prefer it to hiking with others, honestly. These are amazing benefits to hiking solo. I love to be alone with my thoughts, go at my own pace (I have asthma and on certain trails it’s tough for me to keep up with others), and I take take as long as I’d like for photography and filming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. BlondeAroundTheWorld

    I have tried hiking alone and loved it. I am used to traveling alone, but hiking alone is another level. It can be intimidating yes, considering that you are in nature on your own, but it is a fantastic challenge. There are precautions to be taken, however, this article is encouraging and enlightening

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Josy A

    I really enjoy hiking alone (until I hear rustling in the bushes…when I start to imagine all the bears hiding in there!!) But I tend to do hikes that I already know or that are busier than I’d do with my partner. I guess I don’t mind repeating hikes rather than pushing myself into unknown territory when I’m alone.

    I do really enjoy hiking solo… I just hate driving home afterwards. It’s better when my husband can join me and help with the drive when I’m tired. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carolin | Solo Travel Story (@SoloTravelStory)

    Some activities, and I count hiking to this, need to be experienced alone to fully appreciate them. I would feel rushed and like I had missed out on something if I had to hike with others. You start chatting and then missing out on the nature and its healing effects. So completely missing the point of the activity. I agree with all of your points, especially the one on safety.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      I completely agree. When I hike with my hiking busy, we are too busy chatting and I completely miss everything. Sometimes this is okay, but you are right, we do miss the entire purpose and benefits of hiking when going with others.

      Like

  9. awakenedvoyages

    Hiking solo is my favourite thing to do! Being alone in some remote hill or an epic mountain is the only time when I don’t miss any company. I completely go within myself and feel part of the surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. thedctraveler9b7e4f7d4d

    I’m not a huge hiker (really bad knee) but I love this. Especially your safety tips. My husband hikes solo and I got him the AllTrails Pro so I can have updated location in case he gets hurt or lost. I agree there would be a sense of accomplishment doing it by yourself! There’s a sense of peace when you do something on your own too. Time to take all the photos you want and enjoy it at your own pace.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. cellyhikes

    Great post. I usually hike in a small group and have in the past been a bit apprehensive about hiking by myself but I do see the benefits that you are speaking about. I think I may try some solo hiking on some easy trails on my island. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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