My name is Lianne Oosterbaan. I am Dutch, but in 2017 I moved from The Netherlands to the United Kingdom and I have been living in London ever since. I am a cultural anthropologist and PhD student at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.
I have been hiking and camping as long as I can remember. First with the family, later with friends and solo. My first long-distance solo-hike was the Pelgrimspad in The Netherlands in 2015. During this trek I went on my first solo bivouac and solo camping.
After moving to London in 2017 I started walking alone almost every week to explore the city and the countryside surrounding London. As most of my new friends were not much into hiking and camping, many of the hiking trips I made were solo hikes.
So why a hiking guide for women? I never thought twice about hiking alone but some of my women friends, especially in the UK, could not imagine going on a solo hike as they would feel uncomfortable, vulnerable, and even scared. Solo wild camping, on the other hand, is still very much a challenge for me. Not so much because I fear something horrible will happen, but I fear someone will discover me in the middle of the night and tell me to move elsewhere. Which means that I would have to pack up all my stuff in the dark of the night to find a new camping spot. If it were me and a friend, it is easier to laugh this off and move on. At least, I imagine as I have never been told as of yet that I need to move my camp elsewhere… So with this hiking guide I hope to show women that solo hiking and solo camping that it is fun, exciting, and worth the challenge.
This does not mean that this hiking guide is only for women, as the hikes and routes are obviously for everyone and plenty of tips and tricks will relate to many people. So, pick a route and let’s get outside!