Pros and Cons of Hiking Solo

What does it really mean that you are alone? 

Before you head off to your first solo adventure, it's worth going through some pros and cons. I love hiking solo and am a big supporter of the idea. But it's best to be prepared and know what you are getting yourself into. Below are various possible cons and pros - they don't work that way for all but read them all to see if hiking solo is for you!

In the typical case of "good and bad news" I start with the cons:

What to Wear and What to Pack for a Day Hike in the Mountains

After another news piece on tourists who went hiking without proper clothes nor gear, I thought it would be beneficial to write an easy guide of the things you should wear and pack for a fantastic - and safe! - day in the mountains. 

Every other week we can hear about cases where the mountain rescue was called to save irresponsible hikers, who didn't prepare well and were ignorant of what they should pack or wear. 

Visiting Rabka Zdrój and Hiking Solo In the Gorce Mountains, Poland

Don't be afraid to modify your plans mid-way, you can discover some true gems that way!

When I was hiking in the Island Beskids, I didn't enjoy them much. I liked the views - all mountains are beautiful, but the hiking was boring, horribly tiring, and just not much enjoyable. I started to questions my initial plan to spend all my five days on the red trail, so-called the "Small Trail of Beskids". I decided to go to Myślenice and take a local bus to Rabka Zdrój, one of the most famous spa towns in the Polish mountains. It's a hub for many trails and I could hike for the two days I was left and take a bus back to Kraków to catch my train.

Hiking with Fibromyalgia: Benefits, Tips, and Recommendations

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia some nine years ago. Unexplained pains, nothing on x-rays, and jumping reaction to the doctor pressing some well-chosen spots on my body. A well-known story to many who struggle with fibromyalgia and sometimes wait for years for a diagnosis.

I am lucky – my version of FM is pretty light. I could still work, take care of myself and generally, the disease did not mess too much with my life. My doctor told me about the importance of exercise and active lifestyle no matter the pain it could cause.

Must-see in Málaga: Alcazaba and Gibralfaro

Recently I visited Málaga again. My first time was some five years ago as a chaperone to a group of teenagers. Not exactly the perfect conditions for slow travel. This year I went with my Mom for a week, starting with the Great Friday. We had the freedom to do whatever we wanted and spend as much time as we needed in every place we visited. 

I was lucky to witness the Semana Santa celebrations and processions but I also had a chance to revisit Alcazaba. Five years ago we had to go pretty quickly through it (and with my eyes all around my head to see if kids were behaving) and we skipped the Gibralfaro. This time, we took our time and made sure to walk also to Gibralfaro.

Female & Solo Hiking in Polish Beskid Wyspowy (the Island Beskids)

The beginning of May in Poland is called Majówka. As the 1st and the 3rd of May are state holidays, it’s not only a chance for a long weekend but if you are lucky (and can take some days off) a nice long week of spring break.

This year I decided to head to the Polish mountains for my Majówka. I hoped for a pretty long trip – 8 days but had to cut it to just five because of work-related responsibilities. I wanted to go and see some places I haven’t had a chance to explore yet. I know Beskid Śląski (the Silesian Beskids) pretty well but there is much more to the east of it, where I had never had a chance to hike.

I decided to go to Beskid Wyspowy (The Island Beskids). It’s rather less popular of the various Beskids ranges so I thought it would be the perfect hiking destination.

Gear Review: Sea to Summit

Do you even need a hiking pillow?

Similarly to many other hikers, I try to go as light as possible within my means. I am very far from ultra-light but I’m getting close to a comfortable lightweight hiking. One of the easiest way (and cheapest!) to cut on weight is to simply leave some stuff at home. I tried to be strict as possible, so I didn’t have a separate pillow. Like many other hikers, I just pulled some clothes into a dry bag and used it as a pillow.

But before my January trip to Greece, I decided to allow myself a bit of luxury and comfort. I was tired of constant neck pain and issues with my back. I’m not a young and fresh gal, after all, I needed to take more care of myself!

Walking Solo through Athens and the Acropolis - a Photo Essay

Athens welcomed me with a powerful storm, streams flowing down its streets and train workers strike. I came to hike on Crete but planned to have one day to see the Greek capital.

I’d never been to Greece before that and wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I wanted to see the most important remnants of the ancient city but had no time to properly research anything. And I think it turned for the good. I had only basic memories of what The Acropolis looked like from old history books.

I started to walk through Athens up north as I had to buy a gas canister for my camping trip. I walked a few different districts before finally reaching the oldest parts of the city.

What's In My Backpacking Kitchen (and why)?

Choosing the right items for your hiking and camping kitchen is a process. You learn what works fine for you and what is not a good match. If you are lucky, you don’t accumulate too much stuff that just gathers dust somewhere at the bottom of your gear closet. It’s well worth to read advice and see what works for others – to make it easier for yourself.

Fireless Backpacking - For the Love of our Planet (and Ourselves)!

Some of my warmest memories from childhood come from spending summers at scout camps – around a huge campfire, singing songs, and waiting for potatoes to be ready. And yet, I believe there is no need for hikers to build fires when they are backpacking through the wilderness unless it’s on well-established campsites with fire rings prepared for visitors. And even that - only once in a while. Why on Earth would I write that?

Experiencing Semana Santa in Málaga, Spain

I am not a Christian but I grew up in a Catholic country so I am pretty well versed in the basics of Easter celebrations. But nothing like Semana Santa happens anywhere in the world. The famous processions are unique to Spain and their history reaches centuries-old traditions.

What exactly is Semana Santa?

During the Holy Week, a number of brotherhoods and fraternities perform processions on the streets of major Spanish cities. The processions are religious and their nature is penance for sins in spiritual preparation for the upcoming holiday. In some places, the celebrations have been taken place for over five hundred years!

Hiking While Celiac - Gluten-Free on the Trail

When you have celiac disease and/or have food allergies and food intolerance, you think about food a lot. If it’s such a problem during regular days, how much more when planning a trip into the Wild?

It took me a while to learn what works best for hiking and camping trips (as well as my budget). But it always requires some research ahead of time, preparing food at home and probably carrying much more than others do.

All You Need to Know About Hiking Solo in Iceland

I am so happy you plan on hiking in Iceland. And a bit jealous – I loved it so much that I wish I can go back as soon as possible! But to make sure your stay on this gorgeous island is all good, I want to you to know a few things.

When is the best way to go hiking in Iceland?

This is a crucial question. There are so many places in Europe where you can safely hike from very early on (I hiked in Spain in February) all the way till late fall in mountainous areas. In some areas, you can basically hike the whole year. Not so in Iceland.

Gear and Gadgets to Take Your Camping Experience to the Next Level!

Whenever we think about (solo) camping gear, we focus on the big and obvious pieces: a tent, sleeping bag or sleeping mat. But beyond those, there are some nice items that can make even the most basic camping trip almost a glamping adventure.

I’ve collected a few “must-haves” camping gear items that should not be overlooked when thinking about the big stuff. Then, I added five luxury items – they might not be necessary but elevate your camping adventure from bare survival to sweet dreamy pleasure. I know that it is important to lighten our loads up - but I am of the middle way philosophy - I prefer to carry a few seemingly unnecessary items for the added comfort and pleasure. 

Gear Review: Jetboil MiniMo Backpacking Stove

Jetboil MiniMo is already my third cooking system. I started with the solid-fuel cooker by Esbit but switched to MSR’s pocket rocket the first moment I could. The solid fuel tablets were small, yes, but smelled horrible. They often melted in leaving yucky goo after and it took forever to boil the water. After each use, there was a layer of ugly black sooth on the bottom of the pot, too.

I kept the great cooking pot from my old Esbit but hid the rest somewhere where its horrible stench won’t be much of an issue. I should probably just throw it away, now that I think of it…

I really loved the pocket rocket so it was a hard decision for me to buy the JetBoil. I had a hard time justifying fitting its price into my meager gear budget.

Female & Solo on Crete: Days 15-16 | Ano Asites - Profiti Ilias - Archanes

Starting a new section of the E4 trail

I started the day in a very comfortable bed at the Iraklio Hotel. After a proper shower and delicious breakfast (they even had gluten-free bread!), I moved towards the bus station (on the other side of the town) to catch a bus to Ano Asites.

When I got there, I was told I was on the wrong bus station. See, there are two of them in Iraklio – the “A” for long-distance buses and the “B” for local ones. I had to get a city bus to reach the other bus station… which was just steps from my hotel. Oh, well. I was glad I made it to the bus – at the last minute!

Gear Review: Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi Hiking Boots for Women

Two years ago, when I got my Salomons, I thought I found the perfect boots. And I still love them! So why did I decide to get a different pair of boots?

But then I’ve read about Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi boots. They looked funny but they won Outdoorlab’s editor’s choice for 2018. The price was outrageous but the descriptions of fantastic cushioning and comfort caught my attention.

I was getting ready to hike on Crete, where I knew there would be a lot of roads walking and hiking on boulders and rocks. The price was causing my eyes to tear but I ordered the Hoka One One Tor Ultras from Italy (no store was selling them in Poland) and hoped for the best.

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Days 9-12 Agia Roumeli - Chora Sfakion - Rodakino - Plakias

After a very nice rest day in Agia Roumeli, I was ready to move on along the E4 trail. The forecast didn’t sound good - I was getting ready for a rainy hiking. The hotel’s owner said it would be raining only in the mountains – and he was right!

At first, the trail took me to Agios Pavlos along the coast. This Byzantine chapel was a stunning shape against the raw view. Throughout my Cretan hiking, I loved seeing the tiny chapels, dotting the landscape in most surprising places.