Solo Hiker Takes to TikTok to Share Her Epic Fail

Katie Slee is a tough young woman, judging by her TikTok profile. But a recent viral video shows her crying and having panic attack after realizing she was in too deep during a solo hike. Slee admits she hadn’t properly prepared for the rigorous hike in the Dolomites, a mountain range in northeastern Italy, calling the experience a “#hikingfail” and a “#travelfail.”

Slee made it pretty far into the hike, a loop trail, when the terrain became steep, icy, and snowy. She didn’t have the gear for ice or snow, but she says a couple of locals she crossed paths with gave her some shoe spikes to put on her trail runners. Once fitted with shoe spikes, Slee says she made the decision to continue the loop, even when the locals turned back the way they came.

Alone once again, Slee reached the point of no return. The trek back the way she came seemed insurmountable, but the path forward seemed equally impossible. She broke down on camera, not sure what to do and clearly scared.

“I can’t do this,” she said between tears.

After calming down from a panic attack, Slee picked herself up and continued on with the hike. She finished the loop safely, with many lessons learned. The short version of her story went viral, with over 3 million views on TikTok.

Watch a solo hiker work through her “fail” here:

Slee’s Advice for Solo Hikers

Slee says her situation was preventable. She admits she didn’t do her research, particularly on the second half of the trail, and she should have turned back. Slee also admits she didn’t bring the right gear for the terrain and conditions.

To provide even more context, Slee also posted a longer video detailing her experience in the Dolomites. Slee’s message to other hikers is to do better than she did—do the research, bring the proper gear, and don’t be afraid to turn back if you realize you’re in over your head.

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