“Do not go alone”, it reads everywhere. All guides, all hiking books, and all internet forum tell you not to go alone. That is, however, what I did most of the time over the last twenty years.
Someone might want to ask, why I go alone. People actually do. It is probably just the lack of opportunity of having someone to join me. Nothing else. I am happy to meet people along my trips and also hiking together with them for some distance if it matches my plans and intentions.
Probably, my destinations, today my level of experience, the uniqueness of the trips, the expedition type of nature of my trips, and my sometimes adhoc and short term planning make it difficult to join up with me. And then, I do not like compromises, such as compromises about the destinations or the nature of the trip.
There are risks and dangers about hiking alone as there are everywhere else in life. I do not think, all the guides and books and internet fora are wrong about them. No, they are completely right about them and yes, it is a gamble about risks and dangers on the one hand side and precautions, knowledge, skills, physical and mental preparedness, and experience and luck on the other hand side. Again, like everywhere else in life. There is nowhere in life the guarantee for a certain outcome of this gamble.
That said and realized, it is about curiosity, breaking boundaries, and exploring the new. Just because it exists. “A ship is safe in the harbour but that is not what it is built for”, a famous saying reads. There is much truth about this and I believe much of it got lost in today’s overinsured way of living, in which people start worrying about their retiring but not yet having finished school.
Finally, it is also about what you gain in return from such trips. Being on a trip alone, it is obviously not a social experience, instead something totally different and so different from ordinary life. It is so difficult -almost impossible- to explain to people not ever being exposed to similar situations like explaining colors to blind people.
Meeting no one for many days, being alone and remote, being exposed to the unknown, not knowing what to expect (at least not in detail) the next day, the next hour, in the next valley, having actually washed off the daily routines of ordinary life from your brain, opens doors you have not seen before. Apart from being a total reset from ordinary life, apart from opening up new channels for intense internal and external sensations, it is much more. It is like switching the operating system, not just updating.