|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – September 2008
Use this step-by-step guide to beat 7 common backcountry fears. Plus, ideal hikes for overcoming–or avoiding–the source of your scare.
ALONE IN THE DARK
On Mandy Coleman’s first solo backpacking trip, she spent the night cowering in her tent, convinced every rustling leaf was a fierce animal or prowling human attacker. “It’s a fear of being in complete solitude, with no way to get help if something were to get you,” she explains. Unable to stand another night filled with imaginary horrors, Coleman doubled her daily mileage to hike out early.
The Real Risk
According to the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, your odds of becoming a victim of violent crime in a national park are one in 708,000. In the United States overall, it’s one in 50.
The 4-Step Fix
The Big Test
In Capitol Reef’s Halls Creek Narrows—in winter—you’ll have one of the country’s darkest night skies all to yourself. nps.gov/care
Camp under the midnight sun in Denali’s epic backcountry, where you can expect more than 20 hours of light on long summer days. nps.gov/dena