Rules for Safety

If you’ve read “Isn’t It Dangerous?” then you’ll know that the answer is yes, solo hiking and camping can be dangerous for anyone, male or female.  Anything that could happen while hiking and camping with others could happen while hiking or camping solo, with the major difference being the obvious: there’s no one to help you if you get in trouble.

Like anything else, however, risks can be managed, and with the right preparations and precautions, solo camping and hiking can be safer than a lot of other activities (like, for example, this).  Here are some rules I have developed for myself that make me (and my mother) feel better about my solo camping and hiking.  Check back — this is, as always, a work in progress.

1. Knowledge is Power: Learn the Risks and Take Precautions

2. Don’t Confuse Enthusiasm With Ability: Realistically Assess Your Abilities and Plan Accordingly

3. For God’s Sake, Use Your Head: Instincts Are Your Best Tool

4. There’s an App For That: Pack the Right Equipment

5. You’re Not Ghandi: Pack Food and Water

6. Stuck on Band-Aid: First Aid Kits Are Non-Negotiable

7. I’ll Be Over the River and Through the Woods: Tell Someone Where You’re Going

8. Can You Hear Me Now: Don’t Forget Your Cell Phone

9. The Road Less Traveled is Overrated: Choose the Right Trails/Campsites

10. I Get By With A Little Help From…That Guy: Ask For Help When You Need It

11. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Pay Attention To Time and Weather

12. Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My: Know What Wildlife You Might Encounter

(c) Her Side of the Mountain, 2009.

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