Be Prepared

Preparation is key on any hike but if you’re setting out solo it’s worth double-checking you have everything you need, particularly as there’ll be nobody to rely on if you get into trouble. Your backpack should be well stocked with food, water, water purification tablets, a first aid kit, a map and compass, waterproofs and warm outdoor clothing (I always like to take a good 3 in 1 Jacket as it incorporates a fleece jacket for warmth and a waterproof outer), as well as a mobile phone, torch and whistle for communicating.

Plan Ahead

Have your route planned out on your map and make sure you know exactly where you are going before you set out. Let somebody know of your intended trip and return time and check the weather forecast before you leave – if adverse conditions are heading your way, postpone your hike to another day.

Stick to What you Know

It is important to stick to your route and avoid the temptation to deviate off the beaten track when walking alone – becoming lost while hiking solo puts you in an extreme amount of danger and without the moral support of a group, being lost can quickly become soul destroying. If you do get lost, stop, gather your thoughts and try to get back to your last point of reference. Signal for help as soon as possible and do not wander on blindly in the hope of finding your way.

Start Slowly

If you’re nervous about venturing out alone, why not try tagging along behind a group of hikers to begin with? This way you can enjoy the solitude that solo walking brings, safe in the knowledge that there are people nearby if you find yourself in any trouble or danger. If you’re new to walking, build up experience with a partner or group first and make sure you are confident in your abilities before heading out on your own.