Traveling solo is a wonderful way to get away from the many responsibilities of family life and work. But if you are planning to travel on your own, it’s extremely important to follow some basic rules for your own safety. Take a look at the following tips before you grab a backpack and set off on a solo adventure.

Have the right supplies

You’ll want to pack the essentials for a solo trip. There are plenty of packing resources available online that will help you narrow down your list, but most experts agree that a solo hiker should always have the following on them during a long hike:

  • High-energy food (protein bars, jerky, etc.)
  • Water
  • Compass
  • Map (a physical one, not just your phone)
  • Firestarters
  • First-aid supplies
  • Appropriate gear for various weather conditions
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Quality knife
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen

Research the trail and trip

Thoroughly research the trail you intend to be on. Check out blogs, online maps, and first-person accounts to find out what you will be in for. First-person travel blogs are a great source of helpful information from people who have been exactly where you are going. Always check the latest weather reports before you set out, and make sure you have the appropriate clothing and necessities for any weather situation. Decide on other necessities you will need, depending on the type of trail you’ll be on and the length of your hike. The longer you will be gone, the more supplies you will need. However, you don’t want to weigh down your backpack with too many supplies.

Announce your plans

Disappearing for a solo hike may sound appealing, but you never want to leave without telling at least one friend or family member where you are going. You never know what will happen during your trip. Give them an outline of your journey, such as where you will be stopping and when you plan to come back. Let them know that if you aren’t back by a certain date to sound the alarm. When you do get back from your hike, let them know right away.

If you can take a friend along for the hike, great! But if you are determined to take a solo hike on your own, know your limits before you go. Talk to your doctor and get a clean bill of health, and research everything you possibly can before taking off. Above all, be safe and have a great time!