Episode 114: Safer Alone in the Backcountry

Interview with Sarah Grothjan

Sponsored by Merrell

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Sarah Grothjan believes solo hiking is one of the safest things she can do. Sarah explains why she feels safer alone in the backcountry than she does in her off-trail life. We talk with Sarah about how a city can feel less safe than being by yourself in the woods, why she wants to change the pervasive narrative that says otherwise, and how the last five years of hiking and backpacking have helped her come out of her shell and step into herself.

Banner image courtesy of Sarah Grothjan

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Featured in this episode: Sarah Grothjan

Hosted by Gale Straub

Music is by Josh Woodward, Kai Engel, and Lee Rosevere using CC by A license. 

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How Sarah got into hiking and backpacking solo
  • Why she wants to break the pervasive narrative that women need a man to hike safely in the backcountry
  • How a stalker changed her perspective on city life and words from thru-hiker Heather Anderson made her want to try backpacking
  • The ways hiking and backpacking helped with Sarah’s shyness
  • That there are risks to spending time in the backcountry, but Sarah doesn’t believe they are gender specific (for the most part)
  • The mixed reactions Sarah gets from people about her solo outdoor experiences
  • Why she wrote an essay for Outside Online and what the feedback was
  • What outdoor trips Sarah is looking forward to this summer

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