People walking together with the words 'Wherever your happy place, we've got the kit to get you there'
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Consciously Elle’s Tips For Feeling Confident Exploring Solo

Meet Elle, a passionate sustainability advocate and nature lover. Inspiring our latest collection, her mission is to help others live a more planet-friendly lifestyle while embracing the great outdoors to enhance well-being. Here, she lists her top tips for exploring solo and safely...

I'm Elle, also known as @ConsciouslyElle. I aim to encourage people to live consciously and spend time outdoors in our beautiful natural landscapes. Being outside has helped me improve my mental and physical well-being, and this is something I want to promote and share with others. 

As a woman, exploring alone can be an incredibly empowering and enriching experience. However, it can also be intimidating and overwhelming. When I first started walking and hiking solo, it took me longer than I expected to feel relaxed, even though being in nature was always my happy place. 


As someone who loves spending time in nature, I can personally attest to the many benefits it has for my mental and physical well-being. Even on days when I'm feeling down or anxious, a quick walk outside can help clear my mind and provide a sense of calm. Exploring the outdoors has become an essential part of my self-care routine, and I encourage everyone to experience the many benefits of spending time in nature for themselves. 

To help you feel confident in the outdoors, I've shared my tips that I've learnt over the years of exploring on my own. 

A woman with blonde hair and wearing a black hoody looking down at the ground

1. Plan Ahead

Research your hiking route thoroughly before you go. Familiarise yourself with the terrain, check the weather conditions, and your estimated hiking time. Plan your itinerary in advance and ensure you have plenty of time to complete the hike. Consider joining groups to gain confidence in the initial stages if you're preparing to go solo. 

2. Comfortable (And Appropriate Clothes) For The Win

For a safe and comfortable hike, it's important to wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics, long trousers, and long-sleeved shirts to protect your skin.


In cold weather, layer up with warm and waterproof clothing. In warm weather, choose lightweight and breathable options.


Invest in good hiking socks and footwear with good traction and support. I would advise avoiding wearing new shoes on a hike to prevent blisters and an uncomfortable walk (nothing worse!). And remember, sensible clothing and footwear choices are key to a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

3. Always Pack The Right Kit

How long the hike or walk is, determines what you'll need. I always pack essential kit in a comfortable and practical hiking backpack, such as a water bottle, some waterproofs (especially if you’re like me and live in the UK!), and a portable charger for your phone and tech.


Consider investing in a trekking pole or walking stick for added support and stability when walking on challenging terrain. My essentials for a day hike often include a map, compass, or I tend to use apps like Ordinance Survey, which are great for this too — sunscreen, a first-aid kit, a flashlight or headlamp, a whistle, and (multiple) snacks!


4. Trust Your Instincts

Your gut feeling is often your best guide. If something doesn't feel right, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. I tend to avoid isolated trails, especially at night, sticking to populated areas. 

5. Tell Someone Where You’re Going

As a woman who loves nothing more than to venture out into the great outdoors on my own, I've learned that taking a few extra steps to ensure my safety is just as important as enjoying the beauty of nature.


Before heading out on any adventure, whether it's a local walk or a further away hike, I always make sure to let a friend or family member know my plans. I give them all the details about where I'm going and where I'll be staying, which gives me peace of mind knowing that someone is aware of where I am.


To me, embracing the freedom and beauty of the outdoors means being responsible for my own safety, taking precautions to ensure my well-being throughout my journey. 

6. Trail Etiquette Is A Must

Observe trail etiquette, such as staying on designated trails, disposing of waste properly, respecting wildlife, and yielding to other hikers. Being a responsible hiker not only ensures your safety - it also preserves the natural beauty of the trail for others to enjoy.   


Solo hiking can be a thrilling adventure, offering an opportunity to connect with nature, push personal limits, and build confidence. It can be intimidating, but with the right mindset and preparation, it can be an incredibly enriching experience. Embrace the adventure, stay safe, and enjoy the journey.


Always remember to plan beforehand. Dress comfortably and appropriately for the trail, trust your instincts, practice trail etiquette, bring the essentials, and pack the right kit! 

Thank you Elle, for sharing some fantastic tips on staying safe as a solo explorer!


If you’re not sure where to start, your local Cotswold Outdoor store offers advice and fitting appointments where their friendly and knowledgeable staff can help.

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