Hiking Solo: Yay or Nay?

I love traveling solo, but I also admit that it can be challenging, especially for those who don’t know what they are doing—i.e., me. I took a solo hike last week and traveled more than five hours to get there. The hike itself lasted about five hours, but it could have been less if I hadn’t felt anxious and scared.

The hike started at the train station and continued for about two hours until the end of a road leading up the mountain. Then a small path appeared where the cars could no longer continue, and the real climb started there. I was alone from the beginning of the journey, because I went early to the path where the hike began.

Even though I was fully dressed and ready for the hike, I couldn’t help worrying on the way. Whether it was the absence of people or the silence of the mountain, I always felt like something was behind me. When people are afraid, the mind plays tricks on them. Every shadow and rustle was enough to bring evil thoughts to my mind. 

It’s a fact that there are bears and wild boars in the mountains in Japan. I knew it was possible to run into both, but I couldn’t tell which would be more terrifying. A scarier thought is that of getting lost. Unfortunately, getting lost and losing your life in the mountains is not unheard of in Japan.

Not knowing exactly how far the summit was also triggered my anxiety. I knew there were air rescuers around, and to be honest, I almost called them. But, at the same time, I thought it wouldn’t be right to bother them for some embarrassing reason (fear). While grappling with anxiety, I realized that I was approaching the summit. At that moment, other hikers started to appear, which motivated me more.

It was possible to reach the top with a rope, but I didn’t go all the way up because I was too tired. However, I still appreciated what I saw from the highest point I could reach. If not reaching the summit is “failure,” I am gladly a “coward.” I think it’s time to realize that not all adventures have to result in either “success” or “failure.” Feeling safe, knowing your body’s limits and knowing when to stop are more important than reaching the summit when hiking. 

Have you ever hiked solo? Would you do it?

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  1. kagould17

    Excellent hike and post Bahanur. Not sure I would be as keen to go solo on any hike, but good on you. I would love the chance to do some hikes in Japan. Stay well. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahanur

      Thank you, Allan! It was a challenging but empowering experience. There are more popular and crowded places where you can hike safely in Japan, so if you ever decide to hike solo, I recommend hiking in such areas 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kegarland

    Ha! I wouldn’t call this a fail at all. Good job making it as far as you did…solo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahanur

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stuart Danker

    I’m not really adept in nature, so no, lol. I could travel solo no problem, but going into remote places, especially if there’s no cell reception, might mean huge problems for me if disaster struck.

    I guess that highlights a need to build survival skills if I ever plan to hike solo. Which isn’t a bad thing. Lovely pics, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

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