SOLO HIKING: Tips from Search and Rescue about how to do it safely.

This presentation was a culmination of wisdom gleaned from nearly 25 years of hiking and backpacking extensively, much of it solo. Search and Rescue work has also taught me volumes when I learn from the unintended mishaps of other solo hikers.

4:39 Steps for easing into hiking solo for new or nervous hikers
11:55 Best practices to plan and prepare for your solo hike
26:06 GPS/SOS device recommendations for solo hikers
34:01 How to know where you’ll have cell phone coverage on a hike
36:33 My opinion on firearms solo hiking
38:55 What I take for personal protection on solo hikes
41:00 ID recommendations for your pack on solo hikes
42:20 Final checklist before leaving on a solo hike
46:30 What do if you encounter sketchy/threatening people
51:35 Wildlife encounters
57:22 Recommendations for handling stressful situations on solo hikes
1:04:41 Solo backpacking recommendations
1:08:41 Night hiking recommendations


Garmin InReach Mini


Zoleo (newer SOS satellite device)

Discounted Gaia GPS Subscription

Arlette Laan Fiber Creations (my hiking doll’s artist)

My blog’s Facebook Group

What you should always take and do before going on a hike

What to do if you’re lost on a hike

Basic Navigation Skills and Tips

Snake Safety for Hikers

Bear Safety for Hikers

Hiking Safely with Kids

Hiking Safely with Dogs

Hypothermia Education



My Facebook Group (where I share deals on hiking, backpacking and camping gear)


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  • I still haven't done a solo trip out to the Smokies yet, which is kind of surprising, but after seeing this I'm feeling a bit more confident about it! Thank you for putting this together Nancy!! Hate that I missed the live stream, maybe next time!

  • So wish I had caught this live! So much easy-to-understand plainspeak, you could do speaking engagements, lectures, etc. I have a friend in Hendersonville who you may have heard, or heard about. His name is Earl Tilton. I think he still trains NASAR, as well as all sorts of "trail knowledge". Good people. Aldo, if you happen to think about it. Could you/would you, do something for men, about approach of females on trail. I can come across kind of weird/strange but not really…i truly dont want to spook anyone out there, I love it out there, and I love to interact with people as well. Any tips would be great.

  • have hiked alone for years and love it but have never backpacked alone….

  • Thanks Nancy, I really enjoyed that!

  • I have taken three trips by myself to the Smokies and hiked but I always stayed on popular trails. Now I want to do more remote trails so I am preparing myself so I can feel safe while doing it. This was what I needed to see!

  • Watched as replay. Thank you 😊

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