So many times in my travels and hiking I see people walking or hiking by themselves. I certainly have to give them credit for living their own lives on their own terms. It was only recently that I was out for a hike, actually researching my last article on (Hiking for the Homeless), that I happened to pass a young woman who was just heading out for her hike.
She had her headphones on, flip-flops, no water and looked pretty determined.
Now having just done this hike by myself, I knew where she was going to be walking and some of it was pretty remote, away from anyone else and out of hearing range of anyone enjoying the reservoir. I don't usually hike alone and I was very aware of my surroundings which gave me cause to pause when she headed off.
I became concerned for her because she was heading off into the bush and because of the earbuds, I knew there was no way that she would be alert to her surroundings.
So I want to give you all a heads up when you are out hiking in the bush by yourself. It is certainly different from being on the bus or train, or walking in your neighbourhood. But there is too much that can happen to a lone person if they are not aware while out in the bush. And I am not trying to scare you but I want you to give these next suggestions some consideration before you head off by yourself.
1 – Carry ID with you. You know who you are, but a stranger won't. Should something happen to you along the way, you fall and hit your head and are unconscious you will at least be able to be identified. And if your phone is locked, no one can get into it to find out who you are. I want to make sure that you get back to your loved ones.
2 – Let someone know where you are going. Again, this is just a precaution so that if you don't come back people know where to look for you.
Be aware when you are hiking for days in the outback.
3 – Please take off your headphones or earbuds while you are alone in the bush. Anything can happen and if you are actually listening to what is going on around you your chances are better and you can act accordingly to threats. If you can hear something or someone coming, you have a much better chance of defending yourself or warding off problems. And if you are aware, you can avoid hazards like snakes or falling tree limbs.
4 – Enjoy the fact that you are in nature. Listen to everything around you. Listen to the amazing birds we have here in Queensland. Watch the cloud formations, look for flowers, maybe you can try to identify the birds that you hear. When walking in the Enoggera reservoir there are tons of Bell Minor birds as well as Whip Birds.
5 – Why not take a camera with you to record what you see? Life is too busy and sometimes taking a camera helps your walk to be more relaxing. The point is if you are out in nature, why not try to be aware of your surroundings in other ways as well. There is a lot of beauty out there if you look for it.
The whole point is to be safe and if you are aware, why should you not be able to go and be alone in the world? Be safe and take care.