Women And Hiking
Hiking is not everyone’s cup of tea. You need to plan ahead. There are umpteen things you need to worry about when you are hiking solo as a woman. When you hike solo, you get to see any other person most of the time. You are there in an uninhabited place on your own with just footprints of humans or even animals besides yours. There could be vicious bears following you to attack, there could be rattlesnakes that are venomous.
There could be cases that there are other hikers who can be potential attackers. Such events are something most of us are unprepared for. There could be an easy way to fend off wild animals but you really don’t know the stranger who might mean harm to you. Most hikers go solo after gaining a lot of experience hiking with groups. You must always be ready with a plan when you hike alone. You should let someone know the exact route, have an approximate arrival time, carry extra food and water, have a first aid kit, trail map, flash lights and compass. Assaults from strangers are a rare event during hiking but there is always a likelihood it might happen and you need to be prepared with some good self defense for hiking.
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Be Prepared, Be Cautious
Though a physical attack from a stranger is rare, solo female hikers should be cautious. There were instances in the past where female hikers were attacked and sexually abused. So, being prepared is vital if you want to escape a potential attack. You must be prepared to defend yourself. In a way people are animals. All rules implied for animals can be applied for human attackers. Even a bear spray can work. The key is in your preparation. Do not assume that there will not be any attack.
Self defense training and confidence will go a long way for all women hikers. Confident and assertive people are not easy targets. It is important that you hold yourself with confidence. The attackers will quickly overpower someone who looks submissive. You attract less trouble if you stare straight into the eyes and walk with confidence. In case you are threatened, have a plan of action. It is less likely that an attacker will take the trouble of hiking to find a prey. Getting trained in self defense and having a plan for evacuation just in case something goes wrong will help you be safe.
Tips To Be Safe
A basic self defense course will train you to be prepared, be aware of your surroundings and to protect yourself. It improves your chance to escape a violent attack. Carry bear spray where it is easily accessible. Even if you feel threatened, act confident. Walk straight up with straight shoulders and open posture. You need to create an impression that you are not going to be that easy. Look straight up to the eyes and ask direct questions in a loud tone. Always maintain a distance. A mountain lion, creepy stalker, whatever the threat may be, maintain a distance. You have a better chance to escape and can avoid sudden surprises.
Act as though there are others who are following you. You can say that you are waiting for a friend or that your group is laughing behind. Just don’t admit that you are alone. If you really doubt that the stranger could be a potential threat, use every dirty trick to fight them off. Don’t hesitate to hurt the attacker. You can scratch, scream, kick, bite, punch and run. Always carry communications. Signalling devices like a reflective LED, a whistle will be useful.