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136

Yes, you absolutely need to properly protect your food. Proper food storage in the wilderness isn't just for you, it's also for the bears. Even if your dogs or you are able to fend off a bear, you may in the process clue the bear in to the fact that where there are humans, there is food. And if you've inadvertently trained a bear to think that human campers ...


48

You know, most black bears are probably going to be deterred by the presence of your dogs, but bears come in all sorts of personalities and degrees of desperation for food. Your dogs might be able to take a bear in a fight, but that doesn't mean they won't get seriously hurt in the process. Think about the possible consequences if deterrence fails: A ...


29

Roland Muser wrote a book, Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, based on surveys of 136 long-distance hikers, each of whom spent 3-6 months on the trail. Some relevant quotes (p. 133): Two or three hikers had run-ins with local inhabitants, and some reported uncomfortable hitch-hiking incidents. More seriously, two hikers were ...


16

Have an emergency kit, and a first aid kit. Keep both of these on your person at all times, but at a minimum, keep the emergency kit on you. People have died less than a mile from camp because they left all their gear at the tent and went for a "short hike" Set up a some sort of check in system. These range from the simple cell phone to the fancy (and ...


11

There are a couple of really good answers here. But I feel like something is being overlooked. You and the dogs are going to be asleep, when the bear comes walking through your camp. If the food is hanging out of reach, the bear is just going to keep walking, in all likelihood you and the dogs might never know you had a visitor in the night. The same ...


11

In most cases, and certainly in this one, you want to go downhill following water if at all possible. Downhill will take you to civilization in almost all cases as humans have tended to settle in the valleys and not on the mountaintops. Going downhill will also help one find more water as streams get bigger the farther downhill you want to go. The other ...


10

One thing that should be obvious, but still is worth repeating: If you’re out alone, make sure you can get help when you need it. I recently went on a solo trip into the mountains in the winter and realized that something like hurting your knee in the deep snow can happen quite quickly and if you can’t get help, in the winter you’re in big trouble. Which is ...


10

Traveling solo doesn't necessarily make a hike any riskier, or lessen your chance of injury. What is does do, is increase the response time of rescue workers. When you're hiking in a group and something happens, then you have immediate help right there to address any critical needs; from putting pressure on a deadly bleed, to carrying your broken body back ...


8

Do hang the food (or use a bear can, etc.) In my experience, wild animals are not deterred by dogs very much. A bear that lives close to humans might even be attracted to dogs: dogs frequently have dog food with them. Not exactly on topic, but I have woken up to deer approaching my camp, while my large dog was barking her head off. They only stopped ...


7

The biggest danger in hiking alone is that any sort of injury or illness can very quickly put you in a situation where your life is at risk. anything which immobilises you in the wilderness is potentially quite dangerous. This is exacerbate in winter where hypothermia can very easily kill you overnight if you are unable to find shelter. Say you break ...


7

The answer to your question is "in some situations, Yes". Many PCT hikers in SoCal learn this the hard way. They are out there wearing their headphones and fail to hear the sound of that rattlesnake on or near the trail. Thankfully very few get nailed, I think there was only one guy that got nailed by a snake on the 2015 seasons (he was transported to ...


7

I've been in the early stages of hypothermia before, and I can tell you from experience that when you're in the early stages of hypothermia, you're convinced you're okay and that nothing is wrong; as in shivering and shaking uncontrollably while trying to convince the people around you, "Oh I'm fine, I don't feel cold at all I don't know why I'm shaking so ...


7

I did the CDT this year (5 months, 2700mi, NoBo). In this answer, I will focus on budget while on trail (not budget to buy gear or transport to get on trail). General advices (some answering to paparazzo advices): Food on trail I counted 10-12$/day for food. I was cold soaking and eating often the same meals (ramen, dried refried beans, tuna, nutella, ...


5

I would not recommend camping alone if you have not camped before. There is quite a lot of multitasking - in a group of 4 adults often every single one works simultaneously for an hour or so when we reach a campsite - and you could find yourself trying to do things in the dark (which is dangerous) or when you're too hungry to think straight. Next thing you ...


5

If hiking makes you feel anxious, then don't go hiking. If you do go hiking, as with most activities, you should pay attention to what your are doing. That includes listening to what is around you. Part of the enjoyment for most hikers is experiencing the outdoors. You can't do that as fully when you disable one of your senses. Leave the music player ...


5

Woman here. No, I do not believe it's safe for women to hike alone. While most men in the western world would never harm a woman, women are magnets for the minority who would, and there are enough opportunistic predators out there that women find themselves being assaulted at the most random times while trying to perform the most mundane tasks. I don't ...


5

I think it depends very much on the area. In my area, it's very uncommon to encounter anyone once you get in more than a mile or two from the roads. Back there people are generally safer from other humans than they are in town. However, there is always the possibility and it is good to be prepared. Carrying pepper spray and/or a taser (depending on the ...


5

Normally when people ask about their wild plans I tell them to be cautious and to build up to it. But your plan sounds pretty fun. Things to consider: Weigh your backpack, keep it below 15 kg if at all possible. An idea could be to plan your route to include shopping stops just before making camp. (If using camp grounds the camping store is a neat if often ...


5

Many things are similar to a day-hike, like having good shoes and check the weather forecast for example. For more details, you might find the answers to this .SE post about planning a day hike useful. For multiple day trips, consider the following in addition. planning Since you have mentioned Heidelberg, I would like to point you to the site www....


4

I don't really think that woman should be afraid when hiking alone. However, for sure, both woman and man should be careful. According to Sky Above Us Statistic deaths related to lack of knowledge and experience (while hiking and outdoors activities) by far outnumber deaths attributed to falls. Even further, according to a Backpacker Data your risk of ...


4

At the risk of being politically incorrect, how pretty are you? I see a petite, pretty woman as being far more at risk than a bigger less vogue-looing woman. Being pretty makes Black Hats consider it. Being petite makes them think you will be easy to overpower. If you are fearful of attack: Carry a sheath knife obviously. Carry a second knife less ...


4

There is implicitly more dangerous about camping on your own. That is to say that the probability of something going wrong is no worse than with more than one person, in fact one person is less likely to encounter a problem than two from a pure probability theory perspective. The exception is a collaborative exercise like a river crossing, but that's another ...


4

Besides the already given answers there is another pretty simple solution to your problem. Sometimes when I'm 3D shooting in the forest I - of course - want to hear the sound of nature. Also, I want to be able to hear other archers for safety reasons. That, however, doesn't prevent me from listening to silent background music! How, you ask? Bone ...


4

You don't say whether you will be backpacking or sleeping in a campground or motel. I strongly advise against a backpacking trip as your first experience hiking alone. I'd advise against anyone making a backpacking trip his/her first experience hiking alone even if it were summer and not nearly winter and up north. Too many things can go wrong and you are ...


4

Disclaimer: Despite a comment I made earlier about how I too would like to hear about ways to test for hypothermia, I should stress that relying on this could be potentially dangerous and should be a last line of defense, not first. That is, always assume that you could be even if your test is negative, instead of assuming that you are not until it is ...


4

I'm used to walking for longer distances a few times, even up to like 30KM on kinda even areas, but I've never done a multiple day trip in a hilly area. One important differences between (multiple) day tours and a multi-day hike is that you need to keep enough strength to do all the setting up of camp and cooking. I.e., you don't want to arrive exhausted -...


3

It's reasonable to identify stages up to the start of shivering. But shortly after that judgement goes out the window. If you are traveling in a group, set up a buddy system. Each person has a buddy and you monitor the other party for symptoms. Look for the 'umbles. Fumbles -- fine motor coordination. Trouble with zippers. This can also be caused by ...


3

Would you recommend that deaf people never venture into the outdoors without an escort who can hear? I hope not. Listening to music while hiking isn't inherently dangerous. Generally speaking listening to music while hiking is no more dangerous in my opinion than listening to music while walking down a city street. In both environments there are warning ...


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