Solo Hiking Advice from Record Speed Hiker Joe McConaughy

James J. Latham

We all want some area. The want for all things empty and broad-open up is only amplified by coronavirus vacation limits and keep-at-house mandates. If you are struggling from the side-impact that is cabin fever, trail inspiration can assistance. Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy has plenty to share. He holds the velocity-report […]

We all want some area. The want for all things empty and broad-open up is only amplified by coronavirus vacation limits and keep-at-house mandates. If you are struggling from the side-impact that is cabin fever, trail inspiration can assistance. Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy has plenty to share. He holds the velocity-report (FKT) for equally the Pacific Crest Path and Appalachian Path. McConaughy just released an eight-week on line expedition-preparing program with backpacking legend Andrew Skurka. The target is to assistance all hikers increase distances by building a method and tactic to put together for their to start with (or 10th) right away trip. Love the no cost movie documenting McConaughy’s journey solo by means of-hiking (and setting the 45.5-working day report) on the 2,a hundred ninety-mile-very long Appalachian Path, as perfectly as a few of the new normal-setter’s suggestions for how ideal to hike distances alone, what you want, and how to thrive.

Courtesy Columbia


Men’s Journal: What do you like about solo hiking (versus with groups)?
JOE McCONAUGHY: I find a good deal of people today are uncomfortable with the plan of paying a good deal of time by them selves with no everyday distractions. Folks complain about currently being scared, not knowing what you are performing and finding bored. While these can be valid worries, backpacking and hiking is not rocket science. And with a minor preparing, you will have an astounding time. The truth is, solo hiking is the ideal model to hike when you want to do the trip you want to do. You can hike wherever you want, when you want, how you want! Amazing!

Do you deliver any added equipment when you hike/camp by your self?
You do want to make positive you are self-reliant when tenting by your self. That indicates you have developed your have trip itinerary, you have an exit tactic in case you are hurt and you have all your equipment and foods with you. I usually do a double look at of my equipment to make positive I’ll be heat more than enough and have essential to start with help package provides if I am going to be out for much more than a working day.

Do you ever be concerned about basic safety when you are hiking alone? From other people today or challenges like weather, falls, bee stings, and so forth.?
Individuals have a natural panic of the woods. It is an unfamiliar area, crowded with trees and no civilizations. We’ve hunted out all the really serious, significant animal threats with practically no exceptions except the grizzly bear. Maps and the innovations of the GPS make it really tough to get missing, so you should really preserve equally on hand. Usually allow people today know wherever and when you will be hiking solo. Let them know when they should really hope to hear from you, and what to do if they don’t. Also, currently being a male, I can only communicate from my point of view relating to hiking solo and worrying about other hikers, but I know a good deal of gals who have accomplished multi-month by means of-hikes all in excess of the United States solo with no basic safety challenges.

Wicklow – Courtesy Columbia

Do solo hikers every single be part of up with other solo hikers, or is there a “code” of conversation?
Communities developed by means of hiking are some of the strongest I know! When you are huddled under a tree in the middle of a downpour with a entire stranger, you just cannot assistance but grow to be immediate pals. Some solo hikers will try to find a group beforehand—hiking golf equipment and Facebook groups are a excellent area to begin. Really don’t be surprised if the human being in the campsite in excess of provides you a brief sip of rum and a seat at their hearth, it has transpired to me lots of periods. That currently being mentioned, lots of people today camp to get absent from other people today, so do be respectful and thoughtful.

Has the menace of COVID-19 minimal your hiking choices?
Certainly. National and Condition Parks are shut. Continue to be-at-house orders phone for you to keep at house, not drive three hours to the closest significant mountains by means of a handful of tiny cities. I was hoping to do some pleasurable multi-working day hikes this summer, like the Wind River Selection and the John Muir Path, and now I am not sure if all those will materialize if they are months absent.

Any suggestions on pacing? Analyzing what length you can vacation?
Hiking length is managed by two components, time and velocity. I have set two world data on trails. I just cannot hike much more than three.5 miles an hour by means of rather challenging terrain for a sustained interval of time. Even for somebody who is not in the ideal condition, you are hunting at 2-three miles per hour dependent on components like the elevation and technical nature of the trail. To be much more blunt, we all stroll really slow. So, what can you manage? Time! If I want to hike 30 miles every single working day, I hike for 9 hours. If I want to hike for 10 miles, I hike for three hours. Quite straightforward, suitable?

What does your usual hiking package consist of? Do you deliver unexpected emergency equipment in case you have an unexpected emergency bivy?
I break my package into the pursuing types. By paying a bit of time dialing in on my equipment, I can have a foundation fat of 10 pounds alternatively of 25 pounds. Your foundation fat is calculated by full backpack fat minus foods, h2o, and worn garments:

  • On-trail garments
  • End and sleep garments
  • Sleeping shelter (tent, rainfly, and so forth)
  • Sleeping tools (sleeping bag, sleeping pad)
  • Food
  • Cooking package
  • Personal items (mobile mobile phone, toilet paper, toothbrush, and so forth)
  • Hydration

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