Yes, I am a female and I camp/hike alone..
and yes, it is scary sometimes! As females in our society we are stamped with ideas of limitations that we can't or shouldn't do some things. We are filled with fears of being in society alone. As a person I should not have to worry about any horrifying things happening to me, but I do have to think about these things and so does every other woman. I will not let these worries and expectations worry me and stop me from living my life. When I tell people that I am going to Sedona to hike the first question I get is "oh, who is going with you?" The answer is no one. Why is this a surprise to everyone? From my experience challenging yourself and accomplishing something on your own, in fresh air surrounded by beautiful places and solitude is an amazing experience.
There are a few tips that I have for the female hiker that goes alone, or with a group of her girl friends, or just for any average Joe hiker in Sedona or anywhere:
1. Pick your camp site and set up camp for the night in daylight before you set out if possible. When picking your campsite read reviews and consider if you feel you will feel comfortable there and read their rules and regulations before booking. While in Sedona I camped at Avalon because of the amazing views and reviews. I highly recommend the spot above the old root house.
2. Look up your trails before you go and determine how long it will take YOU to do the trail. I hiked Cathedral in double the time it should take just to take my time and be safe (remember I am alone) and I hiked Devil's Bridge Trail in fast-forward time because it was a lot easier for me. I recommend hiking Cathedral in the morning hours because in the afternoon in the fall the light is in your eyes on the way up from about noon to 5pm. Cathedral was not an easy trail and I thought about turning around at the first part you had to really scramble. Most trails I find to be the most rewarding once I see the amazing view from the top or finish the trail. I found this one to be most rewarding when I was able to encourage other climbers to proceed at the point I thought about turning around. I imagine the view from Devil's Bridge amazing at sunset and I imagine the hike beautiful in early AM hours. I did the hike around 11am on a beautiful day.
3. Do not be afraid to meet new people and hear new stories! I learn and hear the most incredible things while on the road, but be smart about it. Never tell someone where you are camping if you are camping alone.
4. Speaking of safety, I always leave a family member with a schedule of my tripand check in often with dropped pins of my location. I leave trail head information before setting out and once completed I send a quick photo. I try to stay off of my phone and all social media while hiking and camping outside of that to get the most out of my trip and soak it in purely alone without seeking 'likes' on what I am doing.
5. Hesitant? Get out there and do it!
Please click an image and scroll through!
these images were taken with an iphone :)