Having hiked around 20 peaks since moving to Colorado in March, I have learned a TON about hiking in the mountains*:
What to take:
– Good Shoes: bad shoes can ruin a hike. I’m nursing two yucky heel-blisters right now.
– Trekking Poles and/or gel inserts to save your knees during descents.
– Breathable clothing.
– Layers: you will remove and put-on layers frequently during hikes above tree-line.
– ClifBar Bloks or that tasty Honey Stinger energy goo: these are amazing for bursts of energy!
– A water filter in case you need to drink from a stream. I use the LifeStraw.
What to know:
– The weather will change, and it is probably against you.
– Start early. Get off the peaks & back to tree-line before noon to be safe from afternoon storms.
– Leave water in your car, so when you run out on the trail, you have something to gulp down when you get back.
– Take waterproof everything – the weather can and WILL change on you!
– Tell more than one person your plans, time estimates, and check in if you happen to get service on the mountain. (Yesterday, I had service for my entire hike on Quandary).
– If something doesn’t feel right, LISTEN to that. Turn around, bail, etc. Intuition exists for a reason.
*These are MY findings. Nothing official or professional. Feel free to comment & tell me what I’ve missed, for I am still learning. 🙂
Why Go Alone?:
Ladies, get ready for people to really care about you when they find out you want to do things like travel or hike alone. I don’t know if it’s the same for guys, but I get lots of cared concern from friends/family when I let them know I’m heading out (to hike) alone. I absolutely love going on hikes & traveling alone because I get to completely open up and take in everything around me. I also love going with people, because I get new perspectives and have great conversation.
However, if you do not normally venture out solo, here is why it’s a great thing to try:
– You learn more about yourself: when you’re out alone, you don’t have other people to silence your own thoughts. It gets interesting to see what your mind does when it’s unleashed.
– You can try new things, while nobody else is watching: it’s interesting to be by yourself and try things simply for the sake of trying them. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks, and you can fail or succeed, and then take pride in the fact that you gave it a try.
– You find confidence: doing things on your own shows you what you are capable of. Insane confidence-booster.
– You find new perspectives: take yourself out of the normal social situation: it leaves you with you. Your perspective can change just as much on your own, as in group gatherings. Allow yourself to see everything, for the sake of seeing it.
– You get the chance to face your fears: yesterday, I hiked for about an hour with a headlamp, in the woods, alone. I could hear my heart beating in my ears, because my #1 fear during a hike is running into an animal who hasn’t eaten. I usually let my intuition guide me during these type of situations.
I encourage everyone to get out there on your own. A hike, a road trip, whatever. You will refresh you soul, your perspective and find out more about yourself.
Do you already go out alone? What do you like about it?