Adam Noll, founder and president of Outdoor Adventure Training (O.A.T.), is passionate about connecting people with the outdoors through hiking and other outdoor sports. Through O.A.T., Adam Noll offers classes, including a Hiking 101 Women Only, for hikers of all experience levels.
Staying healthy while hiking is not difficult, but every female hiker should learn to expect the unexpected and prepare for difficulty while on the trail. Some of the most common hiking problems can be avoided through informed preparation.
Physical injuries plague novice and experienced hikers alike, but can be especially acute for female hikers due to a variety of physiological factors. Because women are more likely to sustain knee injuries than men, women should take the time to condition leg muscles to prevent injury. Pre-hiking stretching and conditioning lessens the risk of injury and helps maintain the strength and flexibility of joints and ligaments. Activities like running and walking also build foot strength and toughness, which can help prevent foot problems that trouble many hikers. All hikers should carry effective first aid items like Band-Aids and athletic tape.
Another issue that may concern female hikers, especially solo hikers, is personal safety. While hiking is not an especially dangerous activity, there are precautions a woman can take for her peace of mind. One is to become familiar with the hiking route before heading out solo. If this is not possible, it is recommended to let a trusted friend or family member know the destination and planned return time. Finally, carrying a walking stick or hiking pole not only relieves pressure on feet and legs and prevents dangerous falls, but it can also be used for self-defense.