Not many people like the idea of going backpacking on their own. Some of them may have been on a trail run by themselves plenty of times, but the thought of sleeping completely alone in the woods might make their scalps prickle. It may be the vulnerability of darkness or something else – the reason is specific to each person. If being alone in the wilderness helps you achieve your backpacking and hiking goals, don’t let the fear of it hold you back any longer.
If you have never been backpacking or hiking before, consider honing your mountain sense before going alone. A thorough understanding of the terrain, altitude, gear, conditions, wildlife, and everything in between is the first step in feeling self-sufficient and confident on the trail. Filtering water, setting up the tent, being aware that there might be bears around you, tending to your stove, treating a blister, and assessing the weather are only a part of being able to do the whole thing on your own. You won’t be able to rely on anyone else but yourself when you are out there, and this might be an empowering experience if you have the right equipment.
Mind Over Matter
Focus on statistics to put things in perspective. For instance, you are much more likely to be injured in a car crash than being bitten by a bear. Also, less than 1 in 37,500 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year in the U.S. Three million people hike the Appalachian Trail every year, and there are only 10 reported murders since 1974, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. That said, you are far more likely to encounter another person threatening life in the neighborhood than on the trail.
Assess the Situation While Going Alone
Your anxiety may be trying to communicate with you. Weather, wildlife, other hikers on the trail, or anything else may be to blame. Trust your instincts. There’s no shame in turning around and returning another time if you get a strange feeling. Give yourself grace and patience when you try something different.
The solitude and confidence boost alone could be worth it.
6 Top Tips for Backpacking Across the United States
The United States is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Here are six top tips to help you make the most of your backpacking trip across America.
When Should You Go?
The good news is the United States is so big that there is always somewhere to visit all-year-round. The weather and landscapes are so diverse that the only thing that determines when you should go is where you want to visit.
If you want to cover a lot of ground in the United States, flying is the best option, especially if you only have limited time. The USA’s network of airports will connect you to pretty much anywhere in the country, with budget airlines competing to offer customers the best prices.
You may want to hit the open road, but there is one thing to consider when renting a car. Drivers must be over 21, with drivers older than 25 faring better because they will avoid an additional surcharge.
Budget traveling isn’t the best around the United States, but hostels and campsites are your best bet for saving money while backpacking.
Less is More
You will have to accept that you won’t see everything in one visit to the United States. Learning to accept this will mean you have a better trip as you can focus on the things you can do, rather than what you’ll be missing.
Most of the popular travel destinations will be close to a National Park, and we recommend you visit at least one. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the landscape and understand why Americans are so proud of their country.
There is plenty to see and do when backpacking America, but these tips will help steer you in the right direction. They will help to ensure you can make the most of your time exploring the United States.