This image pretty well sums up why a lot of people choose to walk alone in the hills and mountains. If, like me, you have a fairly head-on job , it is great to have that moment of isolationism where there are no distractions to break the solitude.
But solitude is not the only reason that I walk alone. Everyone will have their own reasons to walk alone as on the whole it is a very personal thing. But hopefully, if by reading this you think that you could benefit from solo walking then please – just give it ago.
Whilst, in the main, these are not in any particular order, there is one that is top of the list:
YOU decide what YOU want to DO – there is no one telling you what route to do, when you should stop for a break, why you can’t change your mind and go on a slight detour (because it takes your fancy). You are left to make all the decisions yourself. Now hopefully you are not indecisive! but even if you are turn it to your advantage and flick a coin to make a decision. What I am getting at is no one can or will dictate your course of action.
Coupled with the last reason is – you can go at your own pace. Have you ever been on one of those organised walks where a couple of people just stroll along at their own pace chatting and generally ignoring the rest of the group. Are you frustrated with having to stop every 15 minutes to let the rest of the group catch up. Or conversely – been that one holding the rest of the group up because you chose to walk with a group of racing wippets! Fear not – if you walk alone you walk at your pace, whether that be fast or slow.
I know that many walkers enjoy supplementing their walk with other activities such as bird watching, geo-caching or photography. In my case I an a radio amateur and enjoy operating my portable radio equipment from the summits. This can be very frustrating to fellow walkers who don’t share your other interests. Walking alone allows you to spend as much time as you wish indulging in whatever takes your fancy!
We all live fairly hectic lives which are constantly creating more problems than we care for. I personally find that walking alone allows me to mull things over without distraction and maybe even resolve some of my personal issues. After a couple of hours in the hills all the worries of the world lift and I feel refreshed and ready to take on life again.
If you are naturally a shy person then walking with others will have its own issues and anxieties. Walking alone removes all those worries and as you walk further and higher your own self-confidence will grow. After a while you will be a new person and you start to notice a new confidence at work and in life generally.
There will be many more reasons and benefits to walking alone than I can cover here. If you have your own experiences then please let me know and I will add them to the list.