I am always amazed by how few women will backpack alone. Ones that do often say it is "empowering." I respect their feelings, but I have never felt un-empowered,so going on a hike doesn't change the way I feel about myself.
When I was a wilderness ranger in Idaho, other hikers would often approach with questions. "Aren't you afraid of bears?" they would ask. Or just, "aren't you afraid?" They would never ask this of Andy, or Doug. I never understood that line of thinking.
It's bittersweet, spending the night alone in the wilderness. I want this, to be under the robe of sky, to fall back in love again with wind and trees and silence. There is a pull though, now, to the person I love and miss. I used to say I could never love a man as much as I loved the mountains. I am beginning to believe that this is no longer true.
Readers, men and women alike, do you backpack alone? If you do or don't, what are your reasons?