Tips for Hiking or Running Alone.

Hiking or running alone can seem scary it might even stop you from getting fit. Not only did I run a hiking group I also hiked a lot on my own. I hope these tips can help you and give you the confidence to hike and explore the world.

.1 Know your limits

It’s not just about how fit you are, it is also your energy and stress level that you need to consider. You can run the same path every day, but may have different results. If you are trying a new path take it a bit easier than you would on familiar paths. Take extra breaks even if you don’t feel you need one, especially if you are hiking, take time to enjoy the view. From my personal experience, I once looked up a hiking trail and found one that claimed that it was an easy 3-mile hike. It turned out to be a 7-mile hike, it wasn’t hard but it was longer than I anticipated, and ran most of it. If you feel tired rest and stretch a bit there is no shame in needing a rest, and bring plenty of water.   

.2 Tell someone

Before heading out let someone know where you are going and how long it might take you. Be very specific on what route you are taking. If you do get lost or hurt, then at least someone will know where you are, and you will be found a lot faster. If you do get lost or hurt do not panic and stay where you are if you can.  

.3  Have an ID and emergency contact

It is a good idea to have identification on you as well as an emergency contact phone number and list your health problems and allergies. You can keep a piece of paper with your name and your emergency contact info on it. If you don’t want to use paper you can have your information on your wallpaper on your phone lock screen. Or you can get a bracelet or necklace I like road ID, I have one it is easy you don’t have to think about it just slip it on and that’s it. http://www.roadid.com

.4 What to do if you get injured

First, don’t panic it can be hard but you need to focus. Stay calm and take inventory of your injuries which helps for you to not go into shock. Keep your brain focus on doing first aid on yourself  use your phone to call for help. If your cell phone doesn’t have reception don’t panic. If you follow my tips you would have told someone where you are and when you would be back. Only move if you feel you are not safe where you are, otherwise stay put. Always have a first aid kit with you even on short hikes. Buy a kit that has instruction on how to do first aid on yourself. I would recommend taking a first aid class.

.5 Animals

If you are outside then there are animals you need to be careful of. Stray dogs, I love dogs but stray dogs can be dangerous you don’t know if they will attack you. If you see a dog in the distance try to go a different way.  If one approaches you and seem aggressive make yourself tall back away slowly don’t run keep your eyes on the dog, yell tell the dog to sit. Use your phone for help or try to get someone to help you. If you come across coyotes or a mountain lion do the same thing. There are very few mountain lion attacks just be aware of your surrounding. Mountain lion typically hunt from above and ponce on prey. Bears are different if you know that there are bears look for tracks if  you see bear tracks you probably want to turn around and go home. For the most part, if you don’t bother the bear it won’t bother you. But if it does don’t run bears can outrun you back away slowly don’t make yourself look too big. Bears are not intimidated at all by you if you show aggression it will more likely attack you. It might be a good idea to have bear mace just make sure you are pointing it in the right direction. For snakes, you can’t really do anything just keep a lookout and avoid them. For the most part animals are just as scared of you as you are of them. We of course are also animals and expenses a very similar fight-or-flight response.    

.6 Avoid getting lost

I have gotten lost a few times and it is not fun. To avoid getting lost, make sure you know the trail. Plan ahead and for the most part, there is a lot of useful information on the internet just look up the place you want to hike, and there are usually a few sites that will help you with direction. Rock stacking is something a lot of people do on trails to help find their way back if you see rocks that are stacked it is usually a good indication that someone has been there and that you are probably going the right way, it could be useful if you stacked your own rocks. Backtracking, if you feel you are lost go back the way you came, if you have a bad memory take pictures every few miles so that you can remember.      

. 7 Apps that help

These are a few apps that I like

# 1 map my run

# 2 trails.com

#american red cross app first aid

. 8 What to bring

This list is mostly for hikers but if you are running more than 3 miles (5 k) then you should have water. For a hiking a trail that is easy to moderate and less than 5 miles you should have lots of water, first aid, red blue or green flashlight, emergency contact information, granola bars nuts, and emergency food, extra socks, a sweater, emergency blanket, and medication if you need it. The most important thing is that you stay hydrated.

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any tips leave a comment.

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