@jinxypop speaking as a fellow female hiker, I can fully relate to your concerns and anxiety around hiking and backpacking alone. I, in fact, still don't do either by myself for all the reasons you mention. With that said, here are a few things that other women I know do to help them feel a bit more comfortable when they're headed out for a solo adventure:

  • Picking busier/more popular hikes and destinations where they are very unlikely to be isolated during a day hike or overnight
  • Always ensuring that a family member or friend knows exactly which trail they're hiking, where they're spending the night, and a good estimate on what day/time they will be back in cell range
  • Registering at the trailhead register when one is provided
  • Bringing a dog
  • Bringing a few items that are smart to have in general, like a multi-tool or knife, whistle, and/or bear spray (which is illegal to use on humans)

Finally, as @Philreedshikes mentioned, hiking with others may just be more comfortable and provoke less anxiety. Typically many areas that have good hiking destinations also have formal hiking groups, including women's-only groups, that will offer and lead organized outings; if you let us know where in the country/world you're located, we may be able to provide a few specific options for meeting other women who like to hike!

You might check out this earlier conversation on solo adventuring we had in the community on the women's board. And we'll also tag a few other of our members who may have some experience with solo adventures:

@SoloAdventurer @aya @bryndsharp @MilkTea @HoughtonLikeTheLake @alaneoutside @Clementine103 @NAP 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.