The Making of a Thru-hiker, Part 3: Should a Young Woman Thru-hike Solo?

My third post for “The Making of a Thru-Hiker” column (in Women’s Adventure Magazine): Should a Young Woman Thru-Hike Solo?

Gail on the Pacific Crest Trail

This message from a reader threw me into a soul-searching tizzy:

“What would you say to a twenty-year-old woman who wants to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail but doesn’t have a partner to hike with? I’m her mom, and after reading your book I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, I don’t think it’s safe for her to attempt this alone.”

To read the rest of the article, visit Women’s Adventure Magazine:

4 comments on “The Making of a Thru-hiker, Part 3: Should a Young Woman Thru-hike Solo?

  1. I like your measured advice, taking into consideration traffic on the PCT, the daughter’s planned preparation and the mother’s concern. As you noted, many people take risks at the age — risks that often make us stronger, more competent and more confident. I am frankly not a big fan of “Wild,” tho’ of course, I plan to see the movie. I felt the chapter about her fear of being raped was maximized, just as her terrifying lack of preparation was glossed over and perhaps even romanticized — all for dramatic impact and perhaps even with a movie in mind. Or am I being too cynical?

    • I backpacked by myself as a woman in her twentieth a lot and never had a problem. I did meet my future husband one summer on top of Mtount Whitney, we were married for 50 years until he passed away.

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