Good morning lovelies! It has been smoking hot here the last few days I was getting ready to plan some fun adventures close to home for this weekend but it turns out it’s suppose to rain this weekend! Oh well, my trail shoes are already caked in mud, might as well as some more! I know it’s Wednesday and I should probably stop talking about my weekend but I just thought I would say a bit about adventuring solo! I am never one to shy away from a trip by myself, or an adventure alone, because I think you can really learn a lot about yourself and grow as an individual, but this past weekend was probably my first solo hiking weekend.
I have so many adventurous friends and people in my life who love the outdoors just as much as I do, but this weekend the timing didn’t work out with any of them and I couldn’t possibly pass up hiking around the Rockies! I am a pretty independent person to start, but some of my weaknesses that are usually strengthened by having other people around, are orienteering, bringing appropriate layers of clothing, and pushing myself when I get a little uncomfortable.
In just two days of adventuring solo, I felt like I had become a stronger person, and learned a lot about myself. I made my way to various trailheads, traveled along multiple trails, and scrambled to the top of a mountain… by myself. Admittedly, I now have a trail GPS app on my phone that is AMAZING, called “Topographic Maps Canada” because I wanted to play it a little safe, but I have become a lot less directionally challenged! I have hiked and traveled a lot with my dad, and he is an orienteering genius, so I never really had to pay attention to maps or directions or routes before. It is definitely something that comes with practice!
Most people ask if I was scared of bears or cougars or other wildlife while hiking alone. I honestly think it’s good to be a little scared. It’s good to be slightly on edge, paying attention to your surroundings, and to be prepared. There is no point being flat out terrified of seeing a bear because a) that helps no one and ruins your adventure, b) bears aren’t going to attack you just because they see you, and c) bears are cute, just treat them with respect, space, and patience. I kept my bear spray close, I tried to keep myself around other groups or at least know that there were others on the trail, and I told at least two people where I was going each day. I was hiking in known Grizzly territory on Friday, but I was aware of that fact and what I needed to do if I encountered one. I kind of wish I had seen one, but maybe from my car on the way home. 😉
Hiking solo gives me a lot of confidence. I was so proud of myself for climbing EEOR on Saturday, because it was all me that got me to the summit. I didn’t have anyone to express my fear of falling off a mountain to, I didn’t have anyone to push me through the scramble at the top, or anyone to encourage me running down the scree and letting my anxieties about it go, it was all me. It’s super freeing and really awesome to accomplish something like that on your own and I couldn’t stop smiling all weekend! I learned that I can do hard things.
Lastly, I learned that being an outgoing hiker with make your experience even better. I could have hiked in more isolated areas, to truly be alone, but I had a great time chatting with fellow hikers and making acquaintances along the way! I met a group of coworkers hiking up EEOR who showed me the best route to the top. I met two girls who had just finished a night shift at 6am and THEN hiked EEOR before heading to bed. I met a man and his dad, both from Nova Scotia, who were really excited for me when I told them about my upcoming Mt. Assiniboine trip and who ran down part of the EEOR with me. I met a guy with his adorable dog, jumping around the rocks at Consolation Lakes. All in all, it never hurts to strike up a conversation.
Do you ever adventure alone? What is something you’ve learned?
Have you ever kept in touch with someone you met adventuring?
Any cool wildlife stories?!