Hiking Alone

Nicole Qualtieri:

I embarked on my first solo backpacking trip in 2014. It’s no small admission to say that the effort changed the course of my life.

That trip was — perhaps — overkill for my first shot at backpacking solo. I completed 150 miles, combined over multiple trips on the Continental Divide Trail in Montana and Wyoming. But I dialed in my system and wilderness skills, powered through blisters, and faced my fears over the course of those miles.

In a world filled with noise, constant companionship, phones that never power down, and internet advice coming at us incessantly, here’s one more bit of advice I’d like to impart — turn it all off. Take a walk in the dirt.

This summer, go backpacking alone. …

Backpacking Alone Is for Everyone

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