Safety hiking tips for women
We all know that doctors have begun to prescribe walks in nature for a healthier lifestyle, we all have heard of the benefits that come from frequent hikes; lower risk for heart disease, less anxiety, better body composition. However, we ran the numbers, most of our female travelers told us that they wouldn’t go on hikes on their own.
So we asked our female travelers why? Below are some alarming, and unfortunately not surprising facts:
While 55% of our female travelers marked themselves as frequent hikers.
57% of the women told us that they wouldn’t hike on their own.
The saddest but not surprising statistic was seeing that the reason for this wasn’t because they aren’t hikers, most women enjoy going on hikes…so here is the reality:
50% of our female traveler followers selected the reasoning behind them not choosing to go on hikes is due to “feeling scared to go on their own”
The other 50% responded that they prefer to go accompanied by someone else.
Greether aims to provide a safer way for women to feel confident to explore all corners of the world and it is topics like these that encourage us to keep going.
Knowing that women are stopping themselves from doing something as simple as taking a hike, is a reality hard to swallow, no matter what part of the world you live in.
We gathered some information from 6 experienced female hikers, read below what safety tips they recommend our travelers to take.
1. Always tell someone where you're going, even if it's a quick hike nearby. Give them an ETA of when you'll return. It can save your life!
2. Wear proper hiking boots! So many people just wear sneakers, but I can tell you every time I've worn sneakers I've ended up with a sprained ankle, broken foot, or broken toe. You need the grip of a proper set of shoes.
3. Hiking alone can be scary for women. I like to go on more isolated trails, which adds some safety risks. That's why I hike with two safety protections: my large dog (when the trail is dog friendly) and a safety alarm. Some people say to carry a weapon, but let's be real, that's more dangerous than not having one. A personal safety alarm (either as an app on your phone or one for your keychain) will alert someone at home and/or make an incredibly loud noise to scare off a predatory animal or a predatory person.
Do your research about the trail and track it (I use All Trails). This will help prepare you for any elevation gains, keeping your pace steady, and any cool sights to look out for.
“Always tell someone where you are going and when you’re planning on being back. Even if it‘s an easy hike you never know what might happen. Discuss your route with your loved ones so you‘ll be as safe as possible.” -Victoria
“Always carry the 10 essentials, no matter how short or familiar the trail. Understand and know your route, regulations, wildlife, and weather for your hike. Carry a paper map and compass. Put safety first, even if it means turning around early. As always, leave no trace!”- Jo
“Always bring a portable battery bank to recharge your phone for GPS. Sometimes visibility decreases and you need to follow the little dot on your google map with GPS just to find your way.” - Morgan
Whether hiking alone or with a group, your first order of business should always be to let someone know where you are hiking, and when you are planning to be back. If there is a sign-in log at the trailhead, take the time to fill it out. Cell service may not always be reliable, so don't count on it to help you out.
Always check trail and weather conditions before heading out, and dress appropriately. This means making sure you have enough sunscreen or insect repellent as well. Have more layers than you need. If you are hiking in the mountains, the weather can change drastically at increased altitudes.
Always carry more water and snacks than you think you are going to need. And always pack a hiking first aid kit that includes duct tape, flashlight, water purifier, emergency blanket, and whistle.
Check wildlife warnings before heading out on your hike. If you are in bear country for instance, there are often advisories on minimum group numbers, or wildlife sightings in the area. Carry bear spray and learn what to do in case of contact with wildlife.
Hike within your abilities and limits. If you are new, don't plan for a full day hike! Start small so you can get to know your equipment and see if it works (ie new shoes or backpack causing chaffing). Or if you are a beginner, don't try an advanced scramble!
To wrap things up, here are our essential hiking safety tips we gathered from them:
Research the hike before you go.
Make sure you know what time of the day it's more convenient for the trail.
Communicate with someone about your plan, before and after.
Download a map on your phone in case you run out of reception.
Charge your batteries, bring an additional battery if you can.
Respect nature and don’t take unnecessary risks close to cliffs.
Bring more water than you think you need and always pack snacks.
Ask locals about the route, they might know something you don’t.
If you are in a place you have never been before, book a greeter to come with you!
Do you have any other hiking tips? Share them below👇, and make sure to share this with someone who likes to go on solo nature walks!