So, I’m out solo hiking again today. It’s slowly getting easier every time I do it but I’m still a little nervous. I feel myself having to look for people on the trail, even ones that may not even be there (Read more about my fear at I Hate Hiking Alone). But as I am on the tail end of this hike I’m feeling a very welcoming sense of calm, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this before.

“Is that a bad thing? Should I be this relaxed? Why haven’t I been this relaxed before?”

A piece of me wonders why I need to be outdoors by myself. Why is that need so strong? Why can’t I have that same need and urge with my husband and kids on a consistent basis? It’s not like I don’t want to go hiking with them, I do!  And, I do hike with them quite often but sometimes I feel like I just need quiet.

However, having quiet makes me wonder if that’s wrong. Maybe that’s just the way society makes us think. That we have to be constantly in motion. That taking time to meditate is a sign of weakness. Is that what I’m feeling, weakness?

Maybe as a woman I feel like I need my husband to protect me.

That I need his guidance and his wisdom. When in all actuality I know more about being outdoors than he does. And it’s not that he doesn’t want to know it’s just this is my profession and not his. Don’t get me wrong, if we were in a survival situation he’d do amazing. He knows how to do things that I don’t know how to do, but when it comes to hiking in general I’m the one with the knowledge base. Yet, I still feel like I need him there to have confidence. It is the weirdest feeling in the world.

I wish that I didn’t have that feeling constantly. But I guess that’s what continuously solo hiking will teach me. I want my daughters to grow up not having that voice in their head telling them that they need a man to protect them. That they don’t need a man to be there to do these adventurous things. That girls ARE allowed in the outdoors.

But in order to do that I have to show them.

I have to be the example, which means I have to work through my own fears, and then my own voice inside of my own head. I cannot expect them to act differently than I feel if I’m not willing to do different myself.

So, this brings up the question, “How do I finally get over my fear? Will I ever get over my fear? Is that ok?”

Comment below and let me know if you are struggling the same way I am. We can share our stories and work thru it together.

One Hike at a time. 

8 comments on “Why Do I Feel So Guilty Hiking Alone?

  1. Totally relatable… I haven’t graduated to solo hiking but REEAALLYY want to…
    My thing is a military husband who constantly warns me how dangerous it is out there. I have the knowledge and the gear… Now I just need the confidence to hike and backpack on my own….

    • Backpacking alone is the next big hurtle for me. Just being in the dark alone is something that scares the “you know what” out of me! ~Crystal

  2. I love your article. I hike solo most all the time, 49 married and he doesn’t like hiking. I taught my 2 daughters to hike, backpacking and pack for weekend trips. Now they solo hike, 20 and 18 years old. I still get scared but I keep doing it. I love in Alaska with big game and lots of woods to explore. I have turned around often, cutting the trip a bit short but I never stop. You got this!!!

  3. Good for you! I remember my first solo day hike a decade ago and how scared I was, and it’s funny in hindsight because now it seems so normal. I do a ton of solo backpacking and bikepacking now, and I STILL get scared, especially at night, but I do it anyway. Rationally I know the wilderness is a safe place, safer than cities, safer than many other places. We all have a right to feel at home there. Thanks for venturing out and sharing your stories!

    • Thank you for sharing! Yes, it’s definitely a task I am learning to get better at. Not sure if I’ll ever fully be able to not be scared, but I can definitely be more confident. ~Crystal

  4. I love hiking by myself. It feeds my soul in a way that being with others doesn’t. I don’t feel guilty doing it BUT I feel pressure when anybody I frequently hike with asks me where/what I’m hiking this weekend. That I should invite them. That it’s not ok to say I’m solo hiking. I feel like I should lie about it. So I don’t do it as often as I’d like. I’m trying to find a way to nicely buy firmly say I’m hiking alone. 😊

  5. I backpacked up to a backpack camping area at a small preserve nearby where I live here in California. I was the only one there. It was very scary but I was determined to do it. At dusk many deer went by as the sun was going down and it was a beautiful site. I didn’t get much sleep that night. But the next morning as I hiked down the mountain at about 7 AM with the sun just coming up and quail running around everywhere it was all worth it!

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