It can be harder to get away from people then you might think…National Parks full of tourists, cliffs covered in climbers, even wilderness can get filled with backpackers…so here are a few suggestions for your next adventure away from people!
1: Get as far as you can! If you’re going for a hike, get past the “popular” hikes and the people will vanish. Try that climb way down at the far end of the cliff, or hike past the first vista, or past the peak. Backpack beyond the lake everyone’s talking about and you’ll be truly alone. In addition to beating the crowds you’ll have done something even more awesome then they did, so go you!
2: When I’m backpacking in a new area, I ask everyone where they would recommend I go. Then I avoid all of those places!!! Instead I find some place on the map that just looks cool, a lake, a peak, a cool ridge line…whatever it is I go for it, it might not be as “iconic” but it definitely won’t be overrun with people.
3: Get off the trail! Now in some places you should definitely stay on the trail, but seek out places where hiking off trail is safe and within the rules, for example Wilderness Areas in the US. Learning to use a map and compass is always a good idea, and especially so if you’re going off trail…but if you don’t have those skills yet a short stroll up a stream will usually land you in a beautiful area away from people. Then just walk back down the stream and you’re back.
4: Turn towards the unknown, get comfortable not knowing. The wilderness is often unknown, it takes some extra courage to go there and it’s easier to get yourself into trouble…but the rewards are equally greater. Go for it, give it a try, that’s what adventures are all about!