8. Trust Your Gut & Voice Your Concerns

 

Sometimes the boot is on the other foot, meaning that the person struggling may be stubborn, in denial, or wanting to go on at all costs, and it may be up to you to make a judgment call because you are in this together. If they become a problem further down the trail, it also becomes your problem. If you feel like (s)he is exhibiting beginning signs of hypothermia or their limp is more pronounced and this makes you feel worried about getting down the mountain before dark, then say something. Express how pressing on makes you feel more uncomfortable and that the better decision may be to turn around. Not easy to do, but so much easier than having to spend a stressful night in the woods unprepared. Or maybe you are the one who is struggling on the trail that day and you realize you just don’t have it in you. Speak up. Ask to turn around if you are ready to. We can be some of the worst competitors with ourselves. If hiking alone, it’s okay to give yourself permission to not get to the end of the trail and instead to just sit and watch the river flow by or pick and eat berries or write in a journal. Safety and enjoyment first. Hopefully you can come back another day and try it again or know there are always more trails.

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