women hiking together

Women Have a Higher Likelihood of Surviving Wilderness Disasters, According to Study

According to some previously-compiled statistics, women are more likely to survive disasters in the wilderness than men. Robert Koester collected data from search and rescue databases and compiled them into his book, Lost Person Behavior. The data showed that men initiated 80% of searches, and out of those search-and-rescues, 12% of men died, while only 9% of women died.

"Culturally, females tend not to do as many of the idiotic things that solo males do. Males are more likely to try to pick up a rattlesnake," Koester said in The Daily Universe.

Women are also far more concerned about personal safety while hiking. The Journal of Leisure Research published a study that found many women choose to skip hiking altogether despite all its benefits due to their fear of being attacked while out on the trail.

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The study surveyed men and women between the ages of 20 and 50 to get a feel for how they spend time outdoors and what they are concerned with while in nature. It determined five types of fear that solo hikers worry about. The top concern is being hurt by another person on the trail, followed by accidental injury or emergency, getting lost, being attacked by wild animals or dogs, and fearing of getting their car broken into.

According to the study, solo hikers are suggested to do these five things to mitigate the possible negative circumstances:

  • Avoid possible threats
  • Modify their solo hikes
  • Employ the use of aids or protective devices
  • Expand their knowledge base
  • Take a psychological approach

One way to modify your approach to solo hikes is by taking a dog out hiking with you. More female hikers are turning to their canines for an extra layer of companionship and protection. Granted, it may limit where you can hike in some cases, but pups can offer protection from human and animal predators. The app AllTrails can also be used to minimize the instances of getting lost and help hikers find new trails and optimal routes. Hiking with a buddy is also an option; you'll have support in case either of you gets into a pinch, and you still get to reap all of the health benefits of hiking.

READ MORE: This Hidden Hike in Georgia Features Stunning Waterfalls