Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Alone in the Wild: Solo Tramping in New Zealand

Wilderness magazine covers solo tramping....

There is an interesting article about solo tramping in the March 2013 issue of Wilderness magazine (the NZ outdoor bible), which argues that tramping on your own can be a positive experience.

Wilderness Magazine cover for March 2013

There are many times when trampers want or need to venture out into the wild by themselves. Some prefer the solitude solo tramping provides while others have difficulty finding partners to join in their adventures.

A solo tramping Jon on Travers Saddle, April 2018

Solo tramping has traditionally been perceived as odd, ill advised or dangerous, these perceptions are slowly changing as the benefits of spending time by yourself are realised.  It would also seem that solo trampers are a growing outdoor group, going by the number of one person entries in hut books.

One advantage of solo tramping: a hut to yourself!

Tramping alone: Good or bad....you be the judge!

The general gist of the article is that solo tramping lets you interact with nature in a more holistic fashion. Because you are both the leader and the lead you decide the agenda, pace and difficulty of your trips. With no people to consult you need to draw more deeply on your own experience, growing skills in the process.

Solo Jon section hiking the Te Araroa Trail SOBO, Queen Charlotte Track, 2016

Now, I enjoy this and would never claim that this is the best or only way to visit the outdoors. Personally, I enjoy the feeling of self reliance when solo, you make ALL the decisions which makes tramping a more intense experience IMHO. You do require experience, common sense, good equipment and a realistic appreciation of your limits to maintain safety though.

Wilderness articles are generally available on their website or hunt down a paper copy. 

 Highly recommended.