Havasupai Canyon Hiking

THIS Is the Antidote to Your Solo Travel Fears

Apr 3, 2023

“Yeah, I don’t mean to be an alarmist…but I’ve heard some really scary things about that hike…”

This came from a video I posted recently on social media encouraging a woman who asked if Havasupai was “doable solo.” I said “absolutely” and then took it a step further by replying with an initial full how-to video about hiking in the backcountry on a multi-day backpacking trip.

The unexpected response I received inspired a series of videos covering as much as I could from the aspect of a woman traveler who might embark on this solo adventure or something similar to it.  I talked about charging your phone, keeping it charged and last minute water sources. I touched on security in regard to your car being parked at the trailhead. I advised on maps to download and apps to use to help you stay on trail to prevent a hiker from becoming lost. I gave sources of help, should you need it.

On and on I went about the minute details of where bathrooms are located at the campgrounds so that you don’t have to wander into the woods by yourself, as a woman, in order to drop your pants and place yourself in a vulnerable position simply because your bladder is full.

This sub-two minute video, stuffed full of details, has been watched 114,200+ times and has over 8,416 likes on TikTok…and there’s a reason why.

Videos like the one I posted counteracts the fear felt at the thought of solo travel or even the act of traveling to unknown places. Specifically, it prescribes the much needed all-important antidote: planning and preparedness. Why? Because, at its core, what we are really addressing is an all-consuming fear of the unknown not the fear of traveling solo.

Consider this: we make a decision, every single day, to step out our front doors and get into a car, knowing the risks involved should we get into a wreck.  We know the risks and we choose to drive anyway because it’s no longer an unknown- the scariest monster of all.

But in the case of stepping foot into the foreboding forest, not knowing what may lie beyond if we take a step out of the safe and predictable realm of the known and into the absolute unknown, brings chaos to our comfort loving hearts.  Our brains scream at us to run back to the car and speed away because at least we know the risks as we drive along towards the high statistical probability that we will get in at least one major car accident causing bodily injury in our lifetime. 

That’s fine. 

That risk is something we can anticipate and meet head on. That shadowy possible monster in the woods- wait is that a shadow or an animal?  Is it vegan or does it love the taste of finely aged human rump roast?

Yeah, NO. No, thank you.

Planning and preparedness is the figurative headlamp with which to shine a light on all the late night stories created courtesy of the carefully crafted comfort zone our minds construct to keep us safe from that particularly spooky what if.  When we illuminate the pulpy, dark corners of that fictional narrative, with facts sourced from planning and preparation, we can finally give our overactive storytelling brains a chance to calm down and trust that we will survive…and maybe have a bit of fun in the newly expanded playground of our redefined comfort zone.



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