-- Last Updated: Apr-05-10 1:16 PM EST --
I've been watching this thread with interest.
Lot's of good comments here that should cause someone to think about the risks they face.
Because of my (lack of) work schedule, most of my outdoor activities over the last 22 years have been solo. If not for that, my outdoor life would be extremely limited.
Solo adventures require a different mindset than group trips. You must practice consistently good judgment and preparation or you are setting yourself up for disaster.
Preparation, as has been discussed here, includes skills that can reasonably be expected to be put to use in the respective activity (i.e. rope handling/mountaineering, swimming/paddling, etc). There is plenty of information available these days to learn "the ropes" before advancing solo into wild adventures, so there is no excuse for learning the basics "the hard way", and especially for not even knowing for sure what the basics are.
Preparation also includes mental training and decision making that prepares you to accept the limits you will face gracefully. You must be able to identify and back away from those challenges that are unreasonable for you to face alone at your experience level.
I am a proponent of solo adventuring for those that have done "the homework" and are physically capable. Although I do like shared adventures, there is nothing like experiencing the wild on your own. I have learned to love it deeply.
However....If a person has to ask others "should I go solo..." the answer is probably no - or at least, not yet. This is one of those personal things you should be able to answer definitively (and honestly) for yourself. If you don't know the answer, the answer (IMO) is "no".
This is as simple as I can put it....Know yourself, know the challenge, then decide for yourself.
Deck Rigging Gear
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