“You’re hiking by yourself? You can’t do that. That’s not safe.”
I’ve heard that statement way too many times, and it always frustrates me on multiple levels.
I do most of my hiking by myself. In fact, my favorite hikes are typically the ones that I go on by myself - where I can just be alone with my thoughts. There’s truly something magical about it.
Whenever I hear that statement, I wonder if they would say that if I was a guy hiking by myself. I doubt it since most of their concerns seem to be about strangers that I may come across on the trail, not about accidental injuries. I really find that to be unfortunate.
When I’m on the trail, I often ponder the concept of “hiking anyway”. No matter how cold, rainy, muddy, icy, etc a trail has been, I’ve never regretted an opportunity to be outside. Because of that belief, I hike anyway.
Being a woman isn’t going to stop me from enjoying the peacefulness of nature, so I hike anyway. Does that mean I’m oblivious to my surroundings? Not at all. I’m always aware, and though I’m well prepared in how to stay safe if I meet an unkind stranger on the trail, I’m more concerned about getting injured on the trail than rather than dealing with an unsafe situation just because I’m a woman.
Years ago, I never would have considered hiking by myself as a form of rebellion, but maybe it is. Either way, I’m going to hike anyway. You should too. Be smart about it, but go enjoy the outdoors. You deserve to be there just as much as anyone else.” - Sadie (@islandgirltalk)
Sadie would like to give a shout-out to: I finished the 52 Hike Challenge for 2020 already, and I plan on doing it again next year. I also just completed the Hiker Babes Journey to 100.
[Image Description: Sadie stands in front of some dead, winter field vegetation in a grey t-shirt and dark "wing" glasses. She smiles, her hair in a brown bob with bangs]