"Good company in a journey makes the way seem the shorter."
- Izaak Walton
This no-brainer of a rule is one of the most consistently violated, and not just by beginners! Cases occur where physically-conditioned, experienced, trained, and well-equipped individuals march off into the backcountry by themselves and are never seen again.
“There’s safety in numbers…” as the saying goes. This is very true in the outdoors! If you go anywhere by yourself, and something happens that incapacitates you, well, that’s it. You’re on your own. A medical emergency could be terminal if you have no one with you to go for help or render aid until help arrives.
Personal security is also a consideration. Lone individuals, particularly women, may be at risk. The common sense that applies anywhere else shouldn’t be discarded on the trail.
Always hike or backpack with at least one other person. It’s been suggested that a minimum of four people is the optimum group size. In the event of an emergency, one remains with the victim, and the other two go for help. That way one person isn’t forced to go for help by themselves.
…to going with a group. On-the-trail decisions are often better made when members of the group bring varied strengths and skill sets to the experience. Many people also feel it’s just more enjoyable to share outdoor experiences with others.