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How old should someone be to be backpacking alone? Experienced vs. Little Experience?

8 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    My advice is never go it alone no matter your skills or experience. We had a survival expert vanish here in Alaska some years ago;

    I have spent decades mastering survival and hunting skills and assisted search and rescue locate people in the wilderness. Yet looking back at all the times I went solo I have to say it was a very bad idea! I spent the entire winter alone in the Bitterroot Wilderness area in western Montana and where it extends into Idaho, in hand made shelters. I darn near died several times.

    We have thousands who disappear in Alaska;

    This happens all over the world and too often in areas of the lower 48.

    So many things can go wrong they are too many to list. And I still am haunted with the sad faces of the lost hiker or hunter's family when we (S&R and us volunteers) came out of the wild empty handed because that person could not be found.

    In fact there have been groups of people who have vanished. So why risk death by going it alone? All it takes is a bad fall down a rock face and there you are all broken up, unable to move and no way to get help or call for help and you slowly die in agony. So travel in a group, let loved ones know exactly were you are going and wen to expect you back, notify local park ranger or forest rangers where you are going, dont expect your cell phone will get a signal, buy a personal locater beacon device and start out with short trips and work on extending those trips. Always have first aid gear, a survival pack and signaling devices. Also bring food dont be a fool and try to 'live off the land'.

    Update; because of some answers here I must point out its not just you at risk. A search and rescue effort involves lots of people, people who could die in that effort. You must consider that fact. Do you want to put other lives in danger?

    Source(s): I'm a retired Alaskan big game hunting guide and studied wilderness survival for over 40 years.
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    • Lv 7
      3 years agoReport

      i don't agree with this answer. bear sorry you lose people. Fancy go alone just be mindful. and don't do it for a full season. that's just silly and asking for death. a weekend trip DO IT!
      female i did it you can to!

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  • squidy
    Lv 6
    3 years ago

    You NEED experience. I don't think your age matters much, but you should go backpacking several times at LEAST before you go on your own. This way you will learn what kind of problems can arise. The biggest problems will probably be weather-related, but they might also be water related, or something entirely different.

    I can't find the story right now, but I remember reading about a woman who went out with her dog, inexperienced, and the weather turned to freezing rain and snow, and they both nearly froze because she was sleeping in a hammock and the dog was underneath it, and her hammock filled up with water, and she put her down coat on her dog and then the dog ran off and lost the coat, and the whole thing was just a mess. She had to call for rescue. Very embarrassing.

    There was another story where a whole group went camping, but the person in charge of checking for drought conditions didn't do it because she didn't think it was necessary, and the whole group had to turn back early because they ran out of water and there was none in the environment.

    Also, many stories of animals eating people's food. People don't always consider mice, but mice are everywhere in the wilderness and they WILL find unsecured food, and they WILL eat through gear.

    These may sound like mild stories compared to some harrowing tales you could read, but they stuck in my head because they are very common and avoidable situations. You may risk death or you may just ruin your trip, but you don't have to do either if you learn by experience first. You need to learn those lessons with other people there to help.

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  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    There's safety in numbers, Skippy. One should NEVER venture out into the deep woods alone. There are too many things that can go wrong, from simply stepping on a stone and breaking an ankle to being attacked by a wild animal. It's ALWAYS best to have someone with you to watch your back.

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  • 3 years ago

    One should be old enough to know how to be prepared for situations that are likely to arise, such as weather variations, energy requirements, and outdoor hazards. Begin with overnights in developed campgrounds, learn more on day hikes, then try short overnight backpacking trips. My solo backpacking experiences did not begin until I was forty years old, which was about twenty years too late.

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  • 3 years ago

    Camping in remote places alone may be dangerous, but is much more thrilling in my opinion, the immersion and sense of bewilderment you get from being so removed from the noise of other humans is amazing and unforgettable.

    Danger is part of the fun of life, if you survive the seemingly impossible alone you deserve to live another day, if you don't... well, it's self explanatory.

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  • 3 years ago

    never go backpacking alone either way

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Go with a buddy. Going alone is not a good thing.

    Age varies with the maturity of each individual.

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  • 3 years ago


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