Last weekend I went camping and hiking at Cloudland State Park in Georgia, alone. Upon my return, as I was laying out my rain soaked tent and tarp to dry and sorting my supplies, I got a text from an old friend saying that he couldn't believe I would go alone, because danger! I said, do you think I'm not capable of pitching a tent and sleeping in it? He said, of course but there are "other people" out there who could harm me.
To be perfectly honest, I've been more afraid of my own dates in the past than anyone I've ever encountered in a campground or on the trail.
This is not the first nor will it be the last time that I have to have that kind of conversation, but regardless it's been pulling at the edges of my mind for days now. He didn't ask, how far did you hike? Which waterfalls did you see? What kind of gear do you have? Where else have you been? Where do you plan to go next?
Folks, if you encounter a woman in the wild, do not speak to her of the dangers that she's very well aware of, or of what you think she should fear. This will only anger her. Instead, assume she knows what she's doing. Second, assume that she wants to be there and if she's alone you may also assume that it's not for lack of offers for company. Then, definitely ask about her gear, or where she's been, or where she's going. We love to talk about these things if it's clear that the person asking us these questions sees us as knowledgable and capable.
Seriously, let's talk gear.
Also, watch this.