Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hiking alone

I like to hike alone. I didn't always but had trouble finding hiking partners that were free when I was and at about the fitness level. I tried convincing non-hiking friends of the joys of hiking but found that most didn't appreciate it like I did. And hiking with someone who is a much stonger or weaker hiker is often frustrating for both.

Hiking alone can be scary. When I slip or fall, I think about what would happen if I became injured and unable to walk. So, I'm more careful about what I do, carry extra items, such as a space blanket, tube tent, and cord. I also sign in at trail heads and let people know in general where and how long I'll be gone. Still, it is sobering, especially as I get older and have health problems.

When I hike alone, I see a lot more animals than most groups do. I like hiking in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and really enjoy seeing the animals. Of course I worry about grizzlys and have twice had encounters with grizzlys at less than 100 yards. Fortunately, they didn't charge.

Occasionally I will hike with a friend and enjoy it but I have come to savor being alone. I may reach a state that is similar to meditation, something difficult to do while talking with another. I enjoy both days that I see no other hiker and also talking with other hikers along the trail.

6 Comments:

At 28/5/08 23:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel much the same about hiking alone. Interesting, your mention of "zen like" state of mind while alone. I work retail so am more than happy to be alone on the trail now and then. I too am very cautious and deliberate in the mountains. No one to haul me out if I'm hurt.

 
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