With endless adventures and nobody holding you back, solo backpacking or trekking is appealing to those willing to take a risk and don’t mind some time alone. Whether it’s simply that your hiking buddy can’t make this one or you’d rather go it alone, adventuring on your own comes with a unique set of risks and challenges.
Most of us can handle the lack of company for a few hours, or even a couple of days. The true test comes when we’re faced with adversity. Can you handle it on your own? There are pros and cons to going it alone, which you should consider before setting off.
Do You Have the Skill?
A simple hike may seem easy and yes, you may have done it 100 times before. However, when you’re going alone, it doesn’t matter what kind of adventure you’re going on, you need to be sure that you’ve got all the experience and skills needed if you were to get into any difficulty.
Are you simply taking a gentle hike, or is it a tough multi-day trek through the jungle? Which ever one, you should consider your skill sets before departure. If you’re not equipped to handle any problems which may arise, then it might be best to take a buddy.
For those thinking about longer backpacking trips, are your map reading skills up to scratch? How’s your sense of direction when you stray off the path and are wondering how to get back?
Introvert vs Extrovert
Setting off on adventure on your own, you should consider if you’re more an extrovert than introvert. Either way, there are pros and cons. Introverts will leap at the opportunity to spend some days alone and not have to face anyone. It can be liberating for an introvert to get away from the daily hustle and bustle.
For extroverts though, being on your own can cause a certain level of anxiety. The flip side is, though, that extroverts are often excellent at putting themselves out there and making new friends wherever they are.
If It All Goes Wrong
One of the biggest benefits of adventuring with a group of friends is that there is always someone to rely on in any sort of emergency. Whether somebody is in need of medical assistance or you’ve simply lost your bearings, someone will be able to pipe up and lend a hand.
If you’re going it alone, you should be sure that you’re mentally tough enough to face difficulty on your own. It can be a scary world without a support group, so be sure that you are happy to find the path and get back on the track solo.
Practicality and Timing
There’s a point in everyone’s life where you feel like you just need to escape and get away on your own adventure. These times are excellent opportunities to really find yourself and explore the world at the same time. Often, people wait for the perfect time or until it is practical.
The truth is, if you feel you are capable and your mind is craving it, a solo adventure is a good idea. It does require adequate planning and a back-up plan, too. When it comes to traveling on your own, there’s no right or wrong. It very much depends on the situation and self-awareness.
As long as you are aware of your limits, and you take a moment to consider options, making no rush decisions, solo adventuring can be the best trip you’ll ever make.