Is Backpacking Alone Really as Dangerous as Assumed?
“Backpacking alone is dangerous” is what you read in most publications these days because you might meet a grizzly bear, you might slip or trip and get injured on the trail or you might get terribly lost or even worse, attacked. These are the main reasons most people/publications are warning people off backpacking alone and saying that you should always backpack with a partner.
But rather than focussing on the negatives we are going to focus on the positives because although solo backpacking could be dangerous it can also be one of the most liberating feelings whilst offering you invaluable experiences. So, here’s 10 reasons why shouldn’t let the negativity around solo backpacking put you off.
It is safe to travel alone
With basic common sense and precautions, you will be just as safe as if you were travelling with someone else or in a group. This even applies to solo female backpackers. As the saying goes ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and it applies equally to backpacking alone. If you’re prepared and have planned efficiently; making sure you have all the necessary equipment and have planned your route and informed people at home of your route then realistically you won’t be in any more danger travelling on your own than you would if you were backpacking with others.
Meet new people
It’s guaranteed that when you’re backpacking alone you will meet more people. Why? Because you won’t have the safety net of a friend, partner or group so naturally you will make more of an effort to interact with other travellers or locals. In turn, you’ll immerse yourself much further into the culture of the place/places that you’re visiting this could make you feel safer along with enriching your experience.
Improve your self-confidence
If you ignore the warning signs and decide to go backpacking alone regardless of the dangers, you will be forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. Having to deal with unexpected events and unpredictable experiences on your own will, without doubt, boost your self-confidence and help you to learn a lot about yourself.
It won’t always be plane sailing and you will have to overcome challenges alone, which at the time might be daunting and scary but will help to build and shape your character.
You can do what you want
One of the luxuries of travelling on your own is that you can do what you want when you want. You don’t have to worry about compromising or missing out on anything because you can do exactly what you want too. If you want to go somewhere you go, if you want to change your plans halfway through your trip, you can. The world is well and truly your oyster when backpacking solo and every day can be filled with things that interest you.
Don’t dismiss the idea of travelling alone just because of all the negatives things you hear. Often the negative connotations of solo travel aren’t true. If your dream is to go backpacking solo, don’t let anything hold you back. Once you take the plunge it won’t be as scary as you think, and you may even find that you prefer travelling this way. Make sure to invest in travel medical insurance to make sure you’re protected wherever you go.