Overcoming Barriers to Hiking Alone | Solo Female Travel


Taking your first steps to going it alone on the trail can be a daunting experience, especially as a woman. However, it is possible! Whether you want to hike a day hike, backpack or thru hiking a long-distance trail, or travel the world, this video will help you identify your barriers and take steps to overcoming them so that you can achieve your dream adventure.

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49 comments

  • Great advice Abbie! I’ve been hiking since I was a child, then gained more experience outdoors in the Army, as a parent, our daughters have been hiking since they were two years old & grown up & learning from each experience (they are teenagers now) & still love it. Like you, we try to inspire others to get outdoors. ❤️

  • Am thinking about walking the West Highland Way. Watched you doing this on your channel. Haven’t done a multi day hike for 20 years or so and never on my own either. Want to be able to though, starting with some lighter gear, do more day hikes outside of my local area on my own. Rebuilding some stamina. After watching your post I decided to go on a navigation course, will help clear at least one of my fears, baby steps make things possible! Thanks Abby, informative and inspiring.

  • you're brilliant, you had me at hello. I really really want to walk alone but am too scared of how do I keep safe if I meet a man who is predatory / disinhibited and I can't shake him off. I don't have family nearby and don't feel comfortable making my safety my friends' problem – ie that they have to be by the phone in case of an SOS call. Radio 4 woman's hour had an experienced solo female walker and she talked about some hairy moments. Beats the object of the walk being relaxing if you're hyper alert to male danger. She mentioned that there are some UK nature reserves where women have reported 'known' creepy men hang out there.

  • Love solo hiking, people I know ask why I do it etc, they say 'I bet you ponder lots of stuff and think a lot of things through, whilst hiking' I answer yes I do, but the truth is after every hike I realise that i have actually thought about nothing but the hike itself, keeping tabs on the map, looking at the scenery, watch my footing on sketchy terrain. And that's the enlightening bit, realising that I have walked say 10 miles and not thought about the crappy week at work, or the other things that play on my mind, and its a great feeling, freedom in the outdoors, freedom from anxieties, problems and all that stuff that hangs over us, love it! if you are wondering if you can do a hike solo, give it a try, its really something else! thanks for the great vid as always Abbie!

  • Dodgy people is the foremost in my mind.

  • my dad brought me up to love my own time alone..however, my inlaws have always had family around, can't handle it…

  • Abbie, I found your channel last week and your videos are truly inspirational!
    I love hiking and I’m used to traveling by myself and going on day hikes by myself as well, but I’m now preparing for my first multi day hike alone (Malerweg and that’s how I found you) and your videos are very helpful!

  • Thank you. This has been very informative. I'm 63 and I really want to hike. Not physically fit enough for it but I know I can do the 1 hour hike I have near our place.
    Thanks for the info and the encouragement.

  • This is excellent. I'm a newbie just getting into hiking (I have done a lot of dog walking on my own over the past 6 years) and there is some great advice here. I think confidence plays a big part. That can me mitigated by being sensible and realistic in your expectations, having sufficient equipment and correct clothing and supplies with you and building up your experience slowly but surely (a bit like building up to run a marathon, you get to 5k, 10k and 20k runs first.

  • Thank you so much for this video. I've been debating solo hiking for some time, but I'm a bit of a social butterfly and love conversation with others on a journey – that and I'm a total beginner at this lark! This has helped me understand how to get on with this and power on and try a solo hike. Thank you again!

  • Thanks Abbie! You've encouraged me to take the first steps at researching how and where to do my first cycle tour and camp overnight somewhere 🙂

  • This was so helpful … thank you ABBIE

  • Thanks to you, I have just nearly finished my solo west highland way. I have so much respect for you, and I cannot thank you enough for opening my eyes to the joy of hiking on my own x

  • this really eased my worries about solo hiking – it is rare that I find someone ready and willing to come along with me, and i dont want to let that stop me experiencing the world. my main fear is people, and i still deal with this but this video is really helpful to me by offering the first step on my path to solo adventuring

  • Abbie!! where are your hiking pants here from? I'm looking for a couple good pairs! 🙂

  • I love your positive attitude and admire your energy to move past your fears ( solo night camping)! Very inspiring. I´ll be off to my first solol hike as soon as the weather gets more stable ( St James Way in France ) – can´t wait. I chose this way because I know that there are a lot of people so if I choose to have company or should get hurt, it won´t be a big problem. I think that´s always a good way to start: A hike that is physically not too exhausting and that´s not in the middle of nowhere. I also trained myself by doing solo day hikes.

  • Great advice, Abbie . . . and not just for hiking. I need to do this every day! Thanks!!

  • Love your positive attitude!!

  • I love your videos, great info, very inspiring, look forward to the future ones. Spot on.

  • I took some great hikes along the coast of Wales..high hills with great views and sheep

  • Great video, great idea for a video.

  • End of 2021 October I’m walking the west highland way, great glen way,NC500,down too st. bees cost too cost then home 915 miles too do, will be on YouTube as soon as possible, if any one is there look out 4 me. Hiking allow, not problem.

  • Thank you! I needed to see this video! I have been hiking with a friend lately once a week but feel I would like to try on my own, I have always been scared to do it ! But I’m going to try! Lots of love to you and Anna from Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  • 🇨🇦👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  • Well done for a really straight forward, down to earth, open and honest video. Particularly being up front about your issues with mental health. Will be watching your other videos…

  • I want to walk a nice decent 10 mile walk in a day, but found it all a bit overwhelming on my own. I would get nervous about getting lost and have the fear of ending up miles out of my way. So, I decided to break it down and set myself two walks in a day. One, say, 6 miles then have lunch back at my car, and then set off for a 4 miler, or travel in the car while I rested to another route and set off again. It allowed me to be out all day in the countryside but never too far away from 'base'.

  • Thanks for teaching us. It was very helpful. I will mostly have to hike solo in the future, and only easy hikes due to a recent injury. Love all your videos and you have a nice smile and personality which make these gorgeous videos even better. Stay wild.

  • Thanks Abbie. Really informative video.

  • Tampons make good fire starters, especially if you tease them out enough. I'm a guy but I always carry about a dozen or so in my fire kit for emergencies. You can also poke them up your nostril if you get a nose bleed, etc. As fire starters, they are not as good as a commercial fire starter but they are very compact and can be used in a pinch for some medical emergencies and they don't stink your fire kit out.
    I have used panty liners with some non-stretch sports tape as ad hoc wound dressings over the years. Several tampons and panty liners along with sports tape are additions to my first aid kit.

  • I really enjoyed this. I’m 57 and only started backpacking 3 years ago. I’m now obsessed. I have taken 4 trips solo so far., many more with at least one other. My current barrier/fear is here in California in the US. The are sooo many homeless and others who are not necessarily outdoor people who are finding the woods these days. Some are not good people. I now worry about weather my car will be safe at the trailhead and also whether I’ll be safe on some trails. I’m not sure how to overcome this.

  • Another great video abbie. I am happy to hike with people but I must admit I usually go it alone and love the head space it gives me. I also love the challenge of it and getting over certain fears. I am building up to my first solo wildcamp as well when allowed and am nervous but excited too.

  • Nice video! Very interesting.
    I'm sorry that women and girls have to consider some of the things that you mentioned as regards safety and security. As a husband and father it breaks my heart! Actually regardless of that it still breaks my heart!!
    Keep up the good work 🙂

  • Fear for me but no idea why and what I am scared of. Any tips would be appreciated

  • Being able to navigate well, takes on more imortance when alone.

  • Thank you for this. I’ve been solo walking for a while but it’s always really good to reflect on why it’s so good to do it and gain confidence that you’re not the only one who enjoys it. I’m currently reading a book called “Wanderers – A History of Women Walking”. I am awed by women who as long ago as the 17th century were walking alone because they understood the benefits and were not afraid to be different 😃

  • Hi Abbie really enjoy your videos and this is another good one we'll done. I am new to camping and have enjoyed watching all the videos. Lots of opinions and gear lists. I am mixing army surplus as I like the idea of repurposing items and hiking gear for different reasons. As a bloke, of older years haha its always interesting to hear how the sexes discussion creeps in. I have seen lots of the macho responses and hunting, fires, and general cave man replies. We aren't all like that as you also point out as being individuals. I'm a bloke that is still worried about who might be wandering around at night. I am terrified about pooing in a hole and the paperwork that goes with it 😳. Oh and I don't like being cold and not sleeping 😴. I enjoy listening to you and getting your advice which is very useful. Stay safe and keep enjoying your time in the open. 👍😉

  • Thank you so much for this – I really like the idea of partnering with yourself and being your own best friend. Very encouraging and helpful. And thank you for tackling some of the more personal topics for women which are not often discussed.

  • Another great video and really encouraging. Please keep them coming!

  • I'm not a woman 😀 but I like hiking alone, sometimes i'ts nice also in the darkness, more exciting! I made some videos about hiking in Italy, if you wanna take a look!

  • I have found little tricks to use to ease my anxiety. For example, a steep slope, slippery rocks above a river, crossing a stream on a log, snowy steep terrain with rocky runouts, a big thunderstorm when you're higher up than you should be. I've been on a big lake in a canoe during a tornado and lightning storm, waves crashing over the bow. These things all terrify me, and especially my fears of falling or drowning. I use my breathing, I go slowly, sometimes I suck on a hard candy, or I count and just keep counting, the numbers calm me. These things keep my mind occupied so that i'm not envisioning the fall, the landing, the disaster. Before I tackle something hard, I might sit and rest for 10 minutes and have a snack. I will sing if I feel like I'm lost or behind schedule. Obviously the more you do these tough physical things, the more graceful you get at them, and more confident. But there will always be really hard things on just about any trail, so it's good having some – I guess they would be called displacement? Not sure, not a psychologist! – tricks that help you.

  • Excellent video, Abbie!

  • Really well done, very organized,….thx

  • Great video and well thought out. Dedicated female solo hiker here, have had some of my most amazing moments out walking alone. Hope this helps more folks get out there!

  • You're a great coach and teacher, Abbie. I can say that I have seen lots of women backpacking and hiking in all kinds of terrain, from the Appalachians to the desert and the Rockies. Some are in groups and some apparently solo (at least for that moment). They are all total bosses. Your tips and guidance are great, and other women hikers also are offering some great videos on this topic (Alice Ford, Mary Mansfield). We are a community, and you guys are leaders of that community.

  • Bev

    Hi Abbie. Thank you for this video. I'm hoping to complete Hadrians Wall at some point this year but I want to do a simple weekend hike first to test the equipment (and myself!). Do you have any routes you would recommend? Somewhere in the South West would be preferable. Thanks

  • Great video 🙌 have always been a solo hiker I feel I can connected with mother nature better and clear my mind 😊 keep up the good work atb Justkarl_outdoors

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