If you’re planning a hike any time soon, there’s a chance that Cheryl Strayed’s memoir ‘Wild’ has played some part. Strayed’s memoir of her 1,100-mile hike has become something of a cult icon. And, women across the world now plan copycat hikes. Some go straight to Strayed’s very own Pacific Crest Trail. Others head to similar iconic destinations like the Lost Coast Trail in California. Either way, they go with the idea of self-transformation and ‘Wild’ in mind.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this copycat approach. Whether you read the source material or watched the film, you’ll know that the memoir has an ultimately positive message. It’s proof that hiking can certainly change your life.
But, Strayed is the first to admit that she made a few rookie mistakes before and during her trip. If you’re serious about going where the wild things are, then, you could do with avoiding the following mistakes she made..
It’s a sin we’re all guilty of, but Strayed took over packing to the extreme. Fellow hikers even nicknamed her pack ‘Monster.’ Imagine carrying around something so large all day! That’s no way to a fun hiking trip. Instead, strike a balance between taking what you need, and keeping things lightweight. You’ll need a camp stove, a sleeping bag and tent, and a camping knife or two. You will, of course, also need to make room for food and a few essentials like rope. But, if you’re not likely to use it, leave it at home. Your back will thank you.
Leaving yourself without food
Let’s not forget that Strayed also stocked up on the wrong gas for her camping stove. The result? No food when she’s out in the middle of nowhere after a day of hiking. While this comes across as a comical rookie error when you’re reading, it would be far from funny if it happened to you. Whatever you do, you need to make sure you have access to the food you need at all times. Otherwise, you could soon be in a critical situation. Always test your stove before heading off, and make sure to plan your meals with the help of sites like Prepared Bee. That way, you’ll know for sure that you have plenty to last you.
Not thinking about safety
As a solo female hiker, safety needs to be at the forefront of your mind. Yet, there are a few times Strayed finds herself alone with unsavory men. While she manages to escape any real disaster, the same can’t be said for all women who head out alone. Make sure, then, that someone knows when you should arrive at each destination, and where you are at all times. They can then alert authorities if you don’t arrive. It’s also worth keeping a satellite phone on you so that you can always call for help if you feel uneasy.
Sort these small issues, and there’s no reason you can’t have the transformative experience without the mistakes.