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#86788 - 01/10/08 04:59 PM Solo hiking
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Friends and family often are concerned about me hiking solo, but WHY?

When I hike with groups it seems that someone wants to take of picture of the group at the start of the hike. That picture will contain the source of most problems encountered in the backcountry.

There are hazards in the backcountry, but most problems will come from the folks hiking with you.

I expose myself to more hazards helping others than I do when I am solo.

Solo = danger is a myth.

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#86789 - 01/10/08 05:01 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
food
"Solo = danger is a myth."
_____________________________________
Yup <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#86790 - 01/10/08 05:57 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I think it depends a lot on where you hike and what level of difficulty. I feel hiking on trails solo is quite safe. It gets a bit more difficult to evaluate once you are off trail or truely solo (not seeing anyone for weeks at a time) in a very remote area. A friend of mine that I hiked with in the Wind River Mountains this summer is on the Fremont County SAR. In the last 5 years they have brought out bodies of two solo hikers. We went over a pass this summer only feet away from a fellow who died up there. It is a loose boulder field and he dislodged a rock that pinned him down. He was 50 feet from a lake and but could not get to water. His dog stayed by his side but could not get water and did not go for help. This is a really remote area and only a handfull of people even get in the general area each year. He wrote a journal as he died of dehydration. It was 7 days before anyone knew he was in trouble.

If you go out with competent people they are an advantage, particularly in bad weather. If your partner also has wilderness first aid experience, they truely can save your life.

In my opinion:

group of 4 competent hikers = safest
go with one other person = safer
go solo = safe in some conditions
go with incompetent people, regardless of number = not safe

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#86791 - 01/10/08 06:23 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Ideally, if I could clone myself I would have the ideal hiking partner. Then he could get off work when I do, rest when I want to, push hard when I want to, even stop to pee when I want to. I would love to have a hiking partner like that. But I'm not sure if I'd want to talk to the guy <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

I would prefer to have a partner but reality gets in the way. I can't clone myself. I want to do my trip, not someone else's. Not that mine is any better but just that it's mine. That's why most of my major trips are solo. Actually when hiking I often become very introspective and internally focused. I can reach a state of mind not obtainable in the company of others. Sometimes I like that. There is much to be said for human companionship but sometimes long days on the trail are not the best place for it.

Whenever more than one person is in a group there will be inequalities. That's a given. I really don't know if I'm more of a danger to those I'm with than they are to me. I suppose that can depend on my level of luck, or theirs. And I'm not convinced there's a solid inverse correlation between skill level and potential for disaster. Lots of experienced folks get into trouble.

I'd like to see some statistics (the real kind <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />) that show whether people are more likely to get hurt while solo or in a group. And to take that one step further, show whether an injured person's chances are really better in a group. I don't know.

_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#86792 - 01/10/08 07:53 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Trailrunner]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
Ideally, if I could clone myself I would have the ideal hiking partner.


I am trying with my kids. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I am somewhat confident that it will work with my boys, but not so sure with the girls. We will see. I am sure that those here who have hiked with their kids a lot and then the kids decided they didn't like it, can educate me on this one. The benefits I see are that all equipment used is decided (and financed) by me. The rules are set by me. And, they don't work, so their schedule is similar to mine. I guess we will see when they reach puberty. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#86793 - 01/10/08 10:41 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Trailrunner]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
If I could clone myself, I'd send my clone off to work so I could go backpacking <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#86794 - 01/11/08 06:01 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
For me the issue is simple; go solo or stay at home. I was born before WW-II and among people my age, there are few that are interested in anything more strenuous than golf. So basically, there are no potential hiking companions in my age group, at least not that I'm prepared to take the trouble to meet. Moreover, younger people have tastes different enough from mine in life experience, music and philosophy that I don't really enjoy prolonged "togetherness" with them. I was raised during the depression and war years by parents who had a tough time of it and the influence of these years shows. I'm an internal and atavistic person; I enjoy company but am solitary by nature so long periods alone don't bother me. Like Trailrunner, when I'm alone, I tend to get into a mental state that is different from that of everyday life. I recognize the risks of solo hiking and try to mitigate them as much as possible. But, as has been stated often on this forum, the risks of driving to the trail head are probably greater than those on the trail. Also, in 60+ years of largely solo hiking and often solo forestry work, I have not, yet, been at risk simply because of being alone. So, as long as my body holds up, I'll be out there solo.


Edited by Pika (01/11/08 06:02 AM)
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#86795 - 01/11/08 07:32 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
cfiles Offline
member

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Arkansas
I am one of the fortunate few that have a whole group of hiking buddies that are similar to me (physically, mentally, age, etc). We have a good time when we all go hiking together and we have all become very aware of how far to push each other (physically and mentally). In my case I feel safer when we all hike together because we are all competent hikers and know full well the risk we all take by being in remote locations.

With that said there have been a few times when an outsider has joined us and does not fit in well. In those cases the outsider has definitely had the potential to put us all at risk. Fortunately nothing too bad has never happened in either case.

So I think it is a toss up. If you can find competent people to hike with that you are comfortable around I think you can be safer. But an incompetent person (hiking/wilderness wise) can put you at a greater risk than going it alone.

Just to add to that, it is also good to have a set of "what if" rules defined when hiking with other people. Answers to questions like...

* Should we get separated, what do we do, where do we meet?
* What to do in the case of a snake bite/broken leg/severe illness/etc?
* Who to contact for help?

Things like that. Of course I ALWAYS leave a complete itinerary with multiple people before going on a trip, solo or in a group.
_________________________
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#86796 - 01/11/08 08:05 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Pika]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
For me the issue is simple; go solo or stay at home. I was born before WW-II and among people my age, there are few that are interested in anything more strenuous than golf. So basically, there are no potential hiking companions in my age group, at least not that I'm prepared to take the trouble to meet. Moreover, younger people have tastes different enough from mine in life experience, music and philosophy that I don't really enjoy prolonged "togetherness" with them. I was raised during the depression and war years by parents who had a tough time of it and the influence of these years shows. I'm an internal and atavistic person; I enjoy company but am solitary by nature so long periods alone don't bother me. Like Trailrunner, when I'm alone, I tend to get into a mental state that is different from that of everyday life. I recognize the risks of solo hiking and try to mitigate them as much as possible. But, as has been stated often on this forum, the risks of driving to the trail head are probably greater than those on the trail. Also, in 60+ years of largely solo hiking and often solo forestry work, I have not, yet, been at risk simply because of being alone. So, as long as my body holds up, I'll be out there solo.
So are you still learning stuff about nature after 60+ years, or is there only so much to see? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#86797 - 01/11/08 08:15 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I do almost all of my hiking solo since my friends growing up are all moved away. I like to do day trips with just about any friend I can talk into it, but pretty much the only one that I will take or will go with me on an overnight trip is myself and my daughter. She is an excellent hiking budy. Haven't done anything overnight in winter with her yet. When I take her with me it is always to places I have already been. I have a few risky solo adventures behind me and ahead of me still, but its all relative. I would like to solo kayak to Isle Haute on the Bay of Fundy some day, straight across from New Brunswick rather than from the Nova Scotia side. I don't know why. I've never been there.

Not my video but here it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtgL7AUW2o

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#86798 - 01/11/08 11:08 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
Solo = danger is a myth.

That's maybe 95% correct, but as wandering daisy pointed out, there are situations where a hiking partner could save your life. The situation of being pinned by a very large, shifting rock can be deadly. If you choose to enter a boulder field, solo, far from a trail, then you might die there. Yet, I take that risk sometimes. I just know that it is a risk and do as much as I can to stay alert.

Entering hypothermia when solo is much more likely to be deadly than if you become hypothermic with an experienced hiking partner with you. That's the plain truth. That is why I take excessive pains to avoid hypothermia when I'm solo. I probably fear it more than any other backcountry killer.

So, it depends on the myth. Some kinds of solo danger are more dangerous than others.

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#86799 - 01/11/08 02:37 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: billk]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Don't forget what Pat Benatar said about clone names and clone games... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#86800 - 01/11/08 02:40 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: JAK]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Yeah, still learning. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#86801 - 01/11/08 04:07 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Pika]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA

Aimless I agree, the greatest solo hiking danger out there is hypothermia <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> And I too gaurd against it at every turn of the trail during a hike.

I still say that's what did in that fellow who was on the Ozark Trail a month back IMO.

I relate to Pika's views, trailrunners', WD's et al It's the reasons that I do and don't hike with others. A point to be made that another could go for help is ok; but the 'other' has to be able to go it alone <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

I remember the guy in the Wind Rivers WD, he was a preacher, and it was a very poignant story that i still have a copy of today......in my papers somewhere. Though I re-read it before each solo trip <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

In the end you have to decide what your skill set is, and where you are heading with it before going alone IME. I'm not bashful to entertain the thought of taking someone familiar with the area I'm headed to if I have any doubts.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#86802 - 01/12/08 04:05 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Earthling]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada


I'm probably more in agreement with food. The biggest thing I find is that when I'm alone
I hike at my own pace and nobody else's - I don't fret that my pace will not be good for them
or make them have a bad trip. I don't spend time worrying about if they have their fecal materiel adequately conglomerated so I don't have to worry about them. All that combines to stress free enjoyment for me, and I don't have to end up doing something stupid and dangerous like grid searching patches of bush at night looking for a greenhorn.. Realisticly, I'm not worried about myself, I'm experienced enough to know I've always got with me what I need to stay alive, and not get hypothermic. Frankly, the only thing that's gonna kill me is a serious accident like a fall, freak avalanche (I don't to serious avy country solo), rockslide, or I keel over and die from a heart attack or other "natural" causes. Frankly when it gets down
to that since I don't fret about driving my car on the highway, I don't worry about it. It doesn't mean I don't buckle my seat belt in the car, and doesn't mean I don't take appropriate safety gear with me. but it doesn't keep me from going out.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#86803 - 01/12/08 04:07 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: phat]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I suppose I should qualify that, with a bit of elitist snobbery - should inexperienced hikers go out solo - probably not extensively - and when you start keep in appropriate "bailing" distance from civilization until you can honestly say you are "experienced".. it's that word a lot more than what you're carrying that keeps you safe.
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Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#86804 - 01/12/08 08:21 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: phat]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
In my SAR experience, the common denominator for victims was inexperience, whether solo or in a group. There is no substitute for knowledge.

Beware the individual with all shiny, new equipment <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#86805 - 01/13/08 09:14 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: oldranger]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I agree with earlier posters, if I had to wait for someone elses schedule to match mine I would never get out. My grandmother, when she was alive, always told me I shouldn't be going by myself, now my mom is the same sometimes. Also, I am little bit of a redneck and they don't go hiking. My location/education/interests/personality put me in the position of going solo quite often. I have a few big boy toys, so once again, my scattered interests dictate what I can do with others. I have to adjust my priorities to include others. If you take into account what percentage of the population goes bping/hiking, add in where I live away from population centers and those folks interests/perceptions, mix with my country leanings and non-pc mind set and you have few people that are compatible with me. With that said, this last year, half of my bp trips were in groups as I was invited along on trips, mostly with single ladies. I must have messed up somewhere, ladies inviting me for a weekend trip? A different year for me for sure. This new year has started the same, they must be desperate for bodies to go with, or at my age now, I am just "safe"?

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#86806 - 01/13/08 10:50 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hikerduane]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
You? Safe? Well, it seems they know you better than you think. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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#86807 - 01/13/08 07:15 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: aimless]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Maybe they are waiting to spring something on me. I was invited by two married ladies who are organizing a trip in two weeks to Yosemite from a small bp group I belong to. I must be safer than I thought. They didn't mention if their husbands were coming or how many others. Boohoohaha! Where is my chainsaw and handcuffs?:)

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#86808 - 01/14/08 08:45 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hikerduane]
Xelif Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Bay Area, California, USA
Nah, more likely the poor hiker's fate in Georgia has them scared. Better to invite a married guy and have someone around... I bet that's what they are thinking.
_________________________
- John

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#86809 - 01/14/08 09:34 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hikerduane]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
hikerduane,

I feel your pain. It is a real blow to the ego when you realize that women think you are "safe". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I carry a couple of nutrition bars in my pack for emergencies. They are "safe" because I would never eat them unless I was starving.

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#86810 - 01/14/08 02:37 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hikerduane]
Woodlandfey Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Illinois
These are very good posts! I have hiked with others and since I'm a slow hiker, I don't do well with others. I used to hike in the Sierra's a lot and always went with my ex and well, we never seemed to have any problems. I now go solo and I'm lovin' it. I, too get to a place mentally or spiritually either one, that I am so focused on my journey and I am not really fit company for anyone. I like my solitude and actually I'd rather take my dog than anyone else. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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#86811 - 01/14/08 07:14 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
food, what ego? I know my place and I'm not even married.:) Most solo trips, the gals are always headed the other way.

I do miss my dog, Pooch. Passed away about 4-5 years ago on 01/11/02 or 03? Some of the places I get myself into, Pooch was just enough company, experienced bp dog, some of the places he came along with me were a little scary. With Pooch along, I never worried much about bears. For a mellow, yellow lab X, he always alerted me to bears by camp or at home getting into my garbage. Rangers said years ago that a dog wouldn't keep a bear away anymore. I never got to test that theory, but then, we never had bears come around at night either. On the trail in the morning maybe but not at night.

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#86812 - 01/14/08 08:06 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: oldranger]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
In my SAR experience, the common denominator for victims was inexperience, whether solo or in a group. There is no substitute for knowledge.

Beware the individual with all shiny, new equipment <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


I think there is more truth to that than we think. At least when I was doing dive tours, I knew that the certified divers had some kind of training, but even then, a few of them really had no clue what they were doing.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#86813 - 01/15/08 02:10 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
haikublue Offline
member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 205
Loc: Berkeley, California
I solo hike for two reasons:

I am too slow for most people.

If I waited for someone to be able to go with me...I would never go anywhere.

Of course...once I am on my way...I see that there is an adventure to a soloist that I appreciate. And adventure requires risks. Risks require informed choice. Informed choice requires common sense and confidence. Confidence requires self knowledge and basic skills.

Basic skills require experience...and reading posts TLB Forums!

And sometimes... the risk goes bad even with all of that.

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#86814 - 01/15/08 03:44 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
hikerduane,

I feel your pain. It is a real blow to the ego when you realize that women think you are "safe". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I carry a couple of nutrition bars in my pack for emergencies. They are "safe" because I would never eat them unless I was starving.


ROTFLMAO <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#86815 - 01/15/08 06:06 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Earthling]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Earthling
I have to say that there are a lot of advantages to being considered safe.
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#86816 - 01/15/08 07:56 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Jimshaw]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I'll take my chances Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#86817 - 01/17/08 07:42 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: cfiles]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Your post brings up the point that it is worthwhile differentiating between the "intentional solo" hiker and the "inadvertent solo" hiker - the person who begins with a group and becomes separated. Those are the folks who often come to grief since they are often relying upon the collective expertise of the now vanished group.

I am just a little bit more studious in prepping for a solo outing, and I tend to be a wee bit more cautious when "out there," if I am alone rather than with a group of buddies. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#86818 - 01/18/08 04:10 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Right on. Fear of the unknown is a powerful drug. But its a two way street. I worry about my friends and family that DON'T solo hike (or hike at all).

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#86819 - 01/18/08 06:20 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: oldranger]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Good insight, oldranger. That is a significant distinction.

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#86820 - 01/18/08 03:27 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: oldranger]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
And excatly why I pick my backpacking partners with great diliberation OR <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#86821 - 01/28/08 09:50 AM Re: Solo hiking - Benefits out way risks [Re: ringtail]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Going solo benefits out way risks because youÖ

Leave on the day and time you choose and at your own schedule.
Can change your schedule on a whim.
Can cancel the trip without upsetting anyone.
Take the trail you want to take.
Can leave the trail and bushwhack when and where you choose.
Donít have to backtrack 3 miles because someone forgot their water supply.
Walk as long as you want to walk.
Stop when you want to stop.
Rest when, where, and as long as you want to.
Enjoy the view or wildlife when, where, and as long as you desire.
Camp when and where you choose.
Go to sleep as early or as late as you want.
Awake before sunrise or sleep till noon.
Get back on the trail when you choose.
Spend as many days at the campsite as you choose.
Eat when youíre hungry.
Go to the bathroom when and where you choose or need.
Donít turn a glorious trip through nature into a trail run while trying to be competitive.
Talk when you want to talk.
Answer only when you want to without hurting someoneís feelings.
Can sing out loud without being self-conscious or disturbing anyone.
Hear the priceless sounds of nature and not someoneís too loud IPod.
You don't need to put up with someone's stumbling or muttering.
If you do something stupid and get lost or injured, you can only blame yourself.
You are at peace and in tune with yourself, creation, and the Creator.
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#86822 - 01/28/08 07:29 PM Re: Solo hiking - Benefits out way risks [Re: Brumfield]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Your points are valid, but it is also true, at least for me, that my best and truest friends are people with whom I have hiked extensively. There is a lot to be said for compatible hiking companions.

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#86823 - 01/29/08 06:28 PM Re: Solo hiking - Benefits out way risks [Re: oldranger]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Your points are valid, but it is also true, at least for me, that my best and truest friends are people with whom I have hiked extensively. There is a lot to be said for compatible hiking companions.


I agree completely, but I'd get out a lot less if I waited for them to be available before I
go <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#86824 - 01/29/08 09:09 PM Re: Solo hiking - Benefits out way risks [Re: Brumfield]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:

Donít turn a glorious trip through nature into a trail run while trying to be competitive.
Talk when you want to talk.
Answer only when you want to without hurting someoneís feelings.


For the first one, what you do is slow way down until the person is way ahead. Then you yell out "Are you winning yet." When they ask what you are talking about, you say, "the race that you are running, I was just wondering if you won yet." They slow down every time.

The last two are great ways to get rid of annoying hiking partners. Nothing like someone talking to themselves. It is even more fun to pretend you have multiple personalities. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#86825 - 01/30/08 07:14 AM Re: Solo hiking - Benefits out way risks [Re: finallyME]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Okay, finallyMe, it appears by your remarks that I've found someone that can appreciate my quirky world view. I tend to be misunderstood on forums, because you can't see me chuckling as I write many of my comments. I'll start using the smilies faces more often. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I'll try your "are you winning yet" idea, I kinda like the sarcasm part. I've tried the talking to yourself thing with my wife for the last 33 years, it doesn't work, she's still here... but she does not go hiking with me at all. I talk to my machete when I'm jungle trekking and that bothers her for some reason unknown to me. However, she does often encourage me to go hiking... she confuses me at times... I'm not confused.. yes you are, no I'm not...

And what do you mean "pretend" to have multiple personalties ... do people have to do that? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#86826 - 01/30/08 07:32 AM Re: Solo hiking - Benefits out way risks [Re: Brumfield]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:


And what do you mean "pretend" to have multiple personalties ... do people have to do that? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


That depends on which personality you are talking to. A few of mine are in denial that the others exist. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#86827 - 01/30/08 06:44 PM Re: Solo hiking - Benefits out way risks [Re: finallyME]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
Quote:
The last two are great ways to get rid of annoying hiking partners. Nothing like someone talking to themselves. It is even more fun to pretend you have multiple personalities.


I thought you looked uncannily like Mr. Brooks with a backpack on. But then I said, 'oh, just another hiker from Portland.' But then you started arguing with your imaginary friend Marshal about who brought the hatchet, and that sent me into a sprint back to the car at the trailhead. How many of these annoying hiking partners have you gotten "rid of?" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#86828 - 01/31/08 06:05 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Here's another poke in the bee's nest to stir things up.

Hiking solo is the ONLY way to truly HYOH IMO. With a partner, the best you can hope to achieve is HOOH (Hike our own hike).

I love my fiancee, but there is no way I could emotionally hike a long trail like the AT or even a shorter long trail like the Colorado Trail with her. Our hiking styles are so different that when we hike together, I totally change my pace, gear load, mileage, kitchen set-up, shelter style and most importantly, GOALS. She in turn gives in to some of my needs. It's a totally different experience from going solo.

I enjoy this time, but more because it is time well spent with her than because it is hiking. Only when I go solo can I truly hike MY own hike.
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#86829 - 01/31/08 08:51 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Bearpaw]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
I agree. I've had this hike I've been wanting to do in Denali NP for over a year now but haven't been able to get around to it. I'm always going with others hiking whenever I go there and they always seem to want to stop and rest all of the time when I'm on a roll and want to keep going. I'm not entirely comfortbale going solo there though because of all of the bears in the area which I want to hike. But solo right now is the only way I'm going to do this entire hike which will take my from a river flat to a glacier at the foot of Denali itself. It's a little long, especially for a no trail hike, but it'd be fun and totally worth it in the end. ONE DAY!
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#86830 - 01/31/08 09:11 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: MattnID]
GrumpyGord Online   content
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 848
Loc: Michigan
One thing which I think is missing in many of these discussions is the possibility of solo hiking with a partner. By that I mean that you meet at night to sleep together and perhaps at other predetermined spots but each person hikes separately during the day. Many folks enjoy company in the evening but prefer to hike alone during the day.It still takes some comprises but adds a level of comfort to the experience. Obviously this will vary with the area and the companion but it certainly is worth investigation.

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#86831 - 01/31/08 02:32 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: GrumpyGord]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
I hear ya GrumpyG. Hiking with someone is hard for me to do. Paces can be different and converstaions can be unwanted at times. Don't get me wrong, it has it good points as well. But my prefered is to hike alone and camp together. Having conversation around the fire is very nice.
My favorite hiking partner has a much faster pace than me, but he waits or comes back to check on me every now again. He never initiates a conversation, but listens to anything I have to say without judgement. He enjoys any meal I cook and always wants more. Camp chores are not his thing, but he will bring a stick every once in a while. His schedule is always free and he can go anytime I want to. He enjoys every step of every trail we do and is really into nature. He is warm to sleep with when he is dry. And for all of this I never mind the fact that I have to carry his food and sometimes his water.

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#86832 - 02/01/08 08:59 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hootyhoo]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
The whole hie seperate, camp together thing is a nice idea if you yourself don't have any major goals you're trying to accomplish along the hike. I personally just couldn't do it because if I'm gonna hike solo I'm probably trying to make a distance of my choosing and not be held back or rushed trying to get to a pre-determined camp spot. I guess with me, the whole thing is black and white, I'm either going 100% solo or 100% partner, hehe.
_________________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle

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#86833 - 02/01/08 09:10 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hootyhoo]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
You should make him carry his food and some water. Just a thought.
_________________________
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#86834 - 02/01/08 04:27 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: finallyME]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
He has so much fun, not wearing a pack that I just have to carry his stuff. It does put limitations on distances and days though. You could look at it this way - I carry the food (and water on dry stretches) and he stays alert at night so that I can get my beauty sleep.

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#86835 - 02/01/08 09:16 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hootyhoo]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
sounds like a good deal. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#86836 - 02/02/08 09:15 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: MattnID]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Very well said Bearpaw - pretty much 100% hits my reasons for going solo.

As for the "partial partners" I do this with a very few people, and in select locations, only
when we know each other well enough and our hiking styles (and their differences) well enough that we're very comfortable doing it, understanding what each others goals are,
and confident enough that we know we don't worry about the other if we don't meet up
if plans change. Alas, most of the people I would hike with are not like that, and I don't have
the confidence level in their skills (or them mine) to be able to sleep at all at night if they didn't meet up to camp. So while yes, the "partial partners" is possible, realistically, most
of the time, if you're with me we're connected because I'll feel responsible for your well
being.
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#86837 - 02/08/08 07:34 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
tinaanderson Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 18
I agree for the most part. I like hiking solo and with others, but I generally run into less problems when I'm alone. You could actually make that argument for any activity, not just hiking. I don't think it is that dangerous if you know what you're doing and you're careful.
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#86838 - 02/08/08 07:38 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hootyhoo]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
I had a good hiking partner like that up until about a year ago, but he died after sharing the trails with me for 10 years. I miss my dog big time. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Brum
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#86839 - 02/16/08 11:15 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: tinaanderson]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I hike alone a lot, not out of choice. I prefer to have company. I came into hiking from mountaineering, where your climbing partner was essential and on big expeditions, it became a group effort. I think hikers, in general, do not have training in what we used to call "expedition behavoir" - the numerous social skills and "rules" that make groups function smoothly and remain friendly, rewarding and cohesive. My experience is that you have to have a defined leader (at least define who is the leader for the day and maybe trade off) and when you are not the leader you have to be a good follower. I personally enjoy taking a break from being the one who has to make all the decisions. A major factor is choosing your group or partner. This should be done very carefully and you should have talked and agreed on goals, rules, who carries what, and how much "togetherness" you want. You could hike together and then camp out of sight of each other if you like that kind of privacy - or camp together and hike separately. With others, there always is a benifit/cost ratio. I personally find that with the right partner, the benefits outweigh the costs.

As for danger, I think we fool ourselves if we are convinced that hiking alone is totally safe. It is just a matter of how much risk you wish to take and if that risk outweighs the problems that you think a partner would add. I honestly do not see how a competent partner would be more risk than being alone. For all you know, when things go wrong, you could be the one needing the help. I hike alone - long trips, too. But recognize the risk I am taking. It really makes me a bit edgy. In my perfect world, I would always have a partner!

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#86840 - 02/19/08 12:33 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: wandering_daisy]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
WD, again, from my own experience I would have to agree with your post. It never fails that having along folks who are not on the same 'plain' as you out in the field will ruin an otherwise perfectly good trip <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Ditto on the day leader idea when in a larger group fo 3-5. I like having 'time off' from doing all the mapping, trail breaking/finding, weather forecasting, etc during a trip with others. I go out for the same reasons as other folks, and don't need the stress of having 'depeandants' along for the hike <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
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#86841 - 02/19/08 05:02 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Earthling]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
Quote:
I go out for the same reasons as other folks, and don't need the stress of having 'depeandants' along for the hike <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />


I agree. Whenever I go out with a group I always seem to get designated "leader" whether I want it or not. In my work I'm responsible for a lot of other people. I go out in the woods to get away from all that pressure.

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#86842 - 02/19/08 05:31 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Eric]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
EXACTLY! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> The outdoors are my stress reliever safety valve <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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#86843 - 02/20/08 11:07 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: wandering_daisy]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I'd have to disagree about having a "leader" on a normal backpacking trip that involves a small, informal group. I have to confess I haven't done much backpacking with people I didn't know fairly well, but the idea of say, three or four friends who all have some backpacking experience assigning a leader strikes me as ludicrous. And if they don't know each other well, who gets to be leader? Most of the people I've met who would naturally assume the role of leader couldn't lead a %$#%$# with a book of instructions. And yes, I have a little problem with incompetents in positions of authority.

Even larger groups don't always need a leader. I once accompanied a group of Explorer Scouts on an overnight trip in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. I went along for no other reason than their rules required that someone over 21 be there (I was about 25 or 26 at the time.) I think there were seven or eight of us altogether. Although I felt a certain responsibility for them, and kept an eye on them, I didn't assume a leadership role, and they didn't need it.

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#86844 - 02/21/08 04:24 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: billk]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
The only thing better than hiking solo would be hiking with a son or daughter that is still young enough to think that you are a superman, or an old friend that doesn't really care what you are or what you do. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#86845 - 02/21/08 07:32 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: billk]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
The no leader idea goes fine when everything is OK. When an emergency arises, a leader is needed. When you are doing a lot of off-trail travel, someone has to "lead" and others need to follow. If everyone were just to go his own way it would be chaos. A leader does not have to be activily leading all the time, but it should be understood who is the leader when emergency or disagreement arise. I personally do not want to have arguments all day on which way to go. Someone leads, others follow. A good leader takes suggestions and can be very democratic, but when the stuff hits the fan, someone has to make the final decision. I find that discussing leadership roles and responsibilities before the trip helps out a lot. I am definitly bias towards leadership. I worked for the National Outdoor LEADERSHIP School. We taught leadership. We believe in leadership. We think leadership is essential to any expedition. Expeditions with good leadership reach their goals more often and run smoothly. Good leadership makes the group experience really fun and rewarding.

As for your boy scout example, I bet if things got bad (someone broke a leg, a severe storm, etc), you would have become the leader. After all, that is why an adult is required in Scout outings. Leading does not mean you are out front bellowing orders. It means you bring order when chaos happens.

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#86846 - 02/21/08 11:20 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: wandering_daisy]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I guess we're just talking about different kinds of groups, with perhaps different motivations.

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#86847 - 02/22/08 08:51 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: wandering_daisy]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I second WD's post, now that is what I was inferring <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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#86848 - 02/23/08 05:36 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: JAK]
jjtrouter Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/08
Posts: 17
Loc: Grafton, WV
Quote:
The only thing better than hiking solo would be hiking with a son or daughter that is still young enough to think that you are a superman, or an old friend that doesn't really care what you are or what you do. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


I am superman! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

I like to hike alone and with others, but usually hike alone because most of my friends think I have a screw loose or are just "too busy" to spend a couple of "useless days bumming around in the woods." Of course to me, those are the most useful days of all.

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#86849 - 03/13/08 07:32 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: jjtrouter]
tchiker Offline
member

Registered: 08/28/06
Posts: 162
Loc: Atlanta, GA, USA
As others have said, a mixture is nice between solo hikes, hikes with a friend or two, and group hikes of 8-16 people where you can meet and get to know new friends on the trail.

I have had great experiences with all of these different options...my solo hikes are probably my favorite though. The solo hikes are more dangerous because if anything goes wrong, you don't even have someone to help you or go get help, etc.

And of course it depends on where you are hiking too...if I was doing some Class 3 stuff in the Sierra Nevada, I wouldn't want to be out there alone. But hiking the AT in GA, it'd be difficult to get lost and the odds of getting hurt are pretty slim as well.

But solo hiking like any other activity carries some risk with it. Non-outdoors people exaggerate the risk in their mind, but that is because they are naive and presumptuous.



Edited by tchiker (03/13/08 07:36 PM)

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#86850 - 03/13/08 08:33 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: jjtrouter]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Quote:
The only thing better than hiking solo would be hiking with a son or daughter that is still young enough to think that you are a superman, or an old friend that doesn't really care what you are or what you do. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


I am superman! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

I like to hike alone and with others, but usually hike alone because most of my friends think I have a screw loose or are just "too busy" to spend a couple of "useless days bumming around in the woods." Of course to me, those are the most useful days of all.
Sound's like you know what's happening.

Sound's like you're getting plenty of R.E.M. sleep. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


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#86851 - 03/14/08 05:27 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: JAK]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
The only thing better than hiking solo would be hiking with a son or daughter that is still young enough to think that you are a superman, or an old friend that doesn't really care what you are or what you do. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


I am superman! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

I like to hike alone and with others, but usually hike alone because most of my friends think I have a screw loose or are just "too busy" to spend a couple of "useless days bumming around in the woods." Of course to me, those are the most useful days of all.
Sound's like you know what's happening.

Sound's like you're getting plenty of R.E.M. sleep. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />



Nice reference! :thumbsup:
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#86852 - 04/16/08 03:28 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
outspoken Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/16/08
Posts: 12
Loc: East Tennessee
I hike with others for the enjoyment that I get from having good friends around, but if I wanted to just go log some mileage or finish up a section of a hike without interference then I would go solo

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#86853 - 05/26/08 04:48 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
northernbcr Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
do you carry a sat phone or p.l.b.

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#86854 - 08/02/08 02:33 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Jimshaw]
kutenay Offline
member

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 102
Loc: B.C. Canada
I prefer solo hiking and backpack camping and usually backpack hunt and fish alone, as well. The danger is relative to where you are, a bit, but mostly WHAT you do or fail to do.

I consider the major source of problems with solo hiking to be "macho", where people try to do things/go places that they are not capable of. Caution and a realistic attitude toward your experience, skills and environment can keep you safe and happy.

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#86855 - 09/30/08 06:54 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Bearpaw]
HikerMatt Offline
member

Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 21
Loc: Michigan
I agree with Bearpaw on this. Normally when I have a partner it is either my father-in-law or my own father. My f-i-l hikes at a pace that is way to fast for me to enjoy my hike (he is all about getting as many miles in per day as possible) and my dad hikes a lot slower than I care to hike so I end up having to let him set the pace and I get more worn out by hiking a pace that is not my own. Now, when I am out by myself, I can hike my own pace and enjoy my trip to the fullest.

However, there are risks when you hike alone, but only a few more than with a group....The biggest is what happens if you get hurt without a partner IMHO...with a partner, they can go get help...but that's not to say that if you were by yourself you wouldn't be prepared with a satellite phone or some form of communication...

Normally when I go out alone, my wife knows what trail I am taking and that if she doesn't hear from my by a certain time that something must have happened and she comes looking for me...Granted, there is a grace period, like I decided to take it easy on the hike out or something...but normally I try to keep my car somewhere that when I am near it, I have cell phone signal so I can call her..

Again, to each their own in this world and everyone has their own opinion on what is best...you just have to soul search, if you will, and find your own answer.
_________________________
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http://m-harrison.com

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#86856 - 12/04/08 09:15 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: wandering_daisy]
hikerFedEx Offline


Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: United States
For me solo is very different, both in goals and how the trip unfolds. I'm pretty independent generally, which is not to say I don't like company. When I (mostly) hike solo I usually have a general goal (miles, times, plan) but I have all the options to vary as I see fit. When I hike with a group (regardless of size) the plan is driven more by the least common denominator than motivation. For me that means a different mindset - NOT planning to hike big miles, being flexible to whatever the group wants (giving in sometimes), etc. This is ok, but very different than being completely self reliant & accountable for my actions or missteps. The same is true when I ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, mountain bike, kayak, hike, or use my personal watercraft. Movement during each leg of the trip is just part of the adventure. Meeting up at rest breaks, for lunch, dinner, end of day, camping, etc. is the other phase of the social part.

There is certainly a psychological part of "feeling" more secure with a buddy along, but it's probably just that. It might help to deter or scoot a bear away and obviously could help if one were seriously injured. But for the most part you're no more secure because there are two or more of you. (And certainly not if you're with a newbie or just a friendly but naive or inexperienced friend)

I enjoy solo but constantly have to explain the challenge, adventure, self reliance, beauty of solo to non hikers EVERY time I discuss my plans or trips.

Certainly there's some added risks solo. Depending on the trip risks I make far more effort to leave detailed written plans, maps, routes, bail-out options, etc. with family with very specific instructions who to contact and when. Other times I'm rather wreckless if it's a pretty minor risk.

I like the anxiety of solo on a "big" trip taking calculated risks.

Hiking "solo" on thru hikes (AT, LT) is another category all together. The best of both worlds in some ways. Complete freedom to do whatever I want whenever, yet enjoy the random or selected company of others during the day, part of the day, and/or at nite. Especially since I'm always in control.

Ideally I'd like to find a duplicate hiker to push me and for company, but not one to drag me down or "ruin" the peace and solitude. Hiking with even a small group of friends has not proven nearly same challenge, since my friends don't have "the hiking bug" like I do. Maybe I need to make some new (additional) strong hiker friends. But I have NO desire to hike with clubs, etc at silly paces.


<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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#108344 - 12/26/08 09:33 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: hikerFedEx]
Ulhiker Offline
member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 65
Loc: Arkansas
One thing that I didn't see when reading the posts to this discussion is that when a person hikes solo, I think that they tend to prepare more and probably approach things on the trail a little more cautiously, because they are alone. Not necessarily with trepedation, but maybe paying more attention to the little voice in their head, telling them whether or not the situation is safe. Maybe I'm wrong, but when I go solo, I tend to approach things with a lot more thought, from preparation to execution.
Oz
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www.backpackingarkansas.com

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#108374 - 12/27/08 04:15 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I've hiked solo for years. Mostly bushwhacking off trail. But I'm pretty careful, and I've been lucky as well.

I just would have never made it to too many places I wanted to go if I had waited for someone that could come along.

Hiking with others has many different levels. I enjoy taking newbies on hikes to spots they've never been too and sharing some tips along the way.

But you have to evaluate what the person with you is going to enjoy on those trips. I've made the mistake of taking family and friends bushwhacking and, while some never complained during the hike, they did tell mutual acquaintances afterward about the strong urge to try and get away from me by whatever means necessary.

Others have just loved it and call me often to go again or tell me about stuff they've found bushwhacking around.

Hiking with friends has one priceless advantage. They will see things you would have otherwise missed.


_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#108408 - 12/28/08 08:22 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Ulhiker]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
OZ
"
Originally Posted By OzarkBackpacker
One thing that I didn't see when reading the posts to this discussion is that when a person hikes solo, I think that they tend to prepare more and probably approach things on the trail a little more cautiously, because they are alone. Not necessarily with trepidation, but maybe paying more attention to the little voice in their head, telling them whether or not the situation is safe. Maybe I'm wrong, but when I go solo, I tend to approach things with a lot more thought, from preparation to execution.
Oz

____________________________________________________________________________________

Oz,
solo BPing is like solo climbing, either you become 100% ON and totally aware, or you can die quickly. Solo BPing you are more careful, although you may do more dangerous things than you might with another person along, nothing is done without a plan. So solo BPing is more "spontaneous" in that you do what you want to do, but you also have to be completely in charge.
Jim


Edited by Jimshaw (12/28/08 08:23 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#108427 - 12/29/08 12:07 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Jimshaw]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
This is totally off-subject. I noticed that your reply is up near the top and the other recent reply is at the bottom of the page. I am confused about what determines the order that replys appear. They seem to be different with our new format. In the past it seemed that replies were more or less from most recent at top to earlier replies down the page.

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#108437 - 12/29/08 09:07 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: wandering_daisy]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
This is totally off-subject. I noticed that your reply is up near the top and the other recent reply is at the bottom of the page. I am confused about what determines the order that replys appear. They seem to be different with our new format. In the past it seemed that replies were more or less from most recent at top to earlier replies down the page.


I suspect it is something in the preferences you have selected. What do you have selected for "Topic Display Mode?" Flat or Threaded?

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#108464 - 12/29/08 07:58 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Paddy_Crow]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
It is currently on "threaded" mode.

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#108497 - 12/30/08 01:40 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: wandering_daisy]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
It also depends on which post within the larger posting is being replied to. Some folks reply to the latest comments. Somes folks who are reading the whole thread for the first time respond to intermittent comments.
_________________________
Why am I online instead of hiking?

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#109759 - 01/21/09 01:30 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
Icelander Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Ashland Oregon
I have hiked solo for over thirty years and really never have gotten myself into any serious trouble. For the last twenty years I have hiked in Oregon's high desert without trails. I usually set up a base camp and then head out in a different direction each morning and come back in the late afternoon to eat and sleep.

I guess I started going solo because of a lack of companions or a lack of suitable companions. And now at fifty six it's really difficult to find peers who want to rough it in the back country. But finding my way down some desert canyon and maybe catching a trout and picking some onions for my dinner is the best part of living IMO. I'm shocked and saddened that so few people care about it. But I guess that also has an up side. I almost never encounter other hikers in the places I frequent.

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#109828 - 01/22/09 04:08 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Icelander]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I hike solo for several reasons. First, I prefer being on my own. Solitude allows me to do what I want to do. Second, I am an extremely slow hiker--1 mph on a good day. My dog has no objections, but most humans resent being slowed to such a snail's pace. Third, I have had experience going with a group and don't like it.

I have had it drummed into me from both family and friends that "hiking alone is unsafe." I tend to reject this partially due to some unfortunate experiences hiking with groups and partially due to the fact that I am more careful when going out alone.

I have, however, succumbed to considerable pressure and acquired a 10.8 oz. brick in the guise of an ACR Microfix Personal Locater Beacon. If the worst comes to the worst and my life is in danger, I can push the button. If nothing else, acquiring this (hopefully) useless item keeps my friends and relatives off my back!


Edited by OregonMouse (01/22/09 04:09 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#109866 - 01/22/09 03:11 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: OregonMouse]
jpanderson80 Offline
member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Memphis, TN
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I have, however, succumbed to considerable pressure and acquired a 10.8 oz. brick in the guise of an ACR Microfix Personal Locater Beacon.


Yucky! I'm so sorry OM. That is indeed a "brick".

I'm hitting the trail in 9 days for the first multiple day solo hike in years. I am looking forward to it more than anything I can remember in recent history. I know what I'm getting into and am very cautious. I think part of the problem with people thinking that solo hiking is so incredibly dangerous is that they have been city-fied so much themselves that they could not personally survive much less enjoy a trip in the wilderness.
_________________________
I always forget and make it more complicated than it needs to be...it's just walking.

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#109878 - 01/22/09 05:14 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: jpanderson80]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I would hate to see anyone going out solo who hadn't developed the skills and experience (more important than the gear) needed to cope when things hit the fan. Backpacking is really not something that beginners should attempt unless they stay very close to the trailhead and their cars for their first few trips, and close to high-traffic trails thereafter. In my case, I have 60-odd years of experience and have encountered and successfully coped with some really horrendous conditions, so I know what I'm doing and exactly what the risks are.


Edited by OregonMouse (01/22/09 05:16 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#110659 - 02/04/09 12:38 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
jimbame Offline
member

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 50
Solo hiking....I'm more aware (but still do silly things)...I can stop and nap or stop at a waterfall or at a panorama...more "things" to do alone just keeping the mileage to a reasonable number...but I can walk when I want and stop when I want....experience helps. Danger -- controllable even when the griz are around, or mountain lion scat....again more aware and willing to bail at any point...

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#110666 - 02/04/09 04:01 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: jimbame]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
"Danger -- controllable even when the griz are around, or mountain lion scat....again more aware and willing to bail at any point... "

My personal feeling is that for a prepared hiker there isn't a great deal of danger in hiking alone. Sure, if a tree falls on me or space aliens attack and only manage to wound me, it could be good to have someone along to help, but I mostly hike on established trails. Generally someone is going to come along at some point. Bears run away from me whether I'm alone or in a group, I've hiked through well known mountain lion areas and have yet to have an encounter. It could happen, but the stats don't suggest that I should worry about it.

Each of us is different here, I can only speak for myself, but I did feel a little --- odd, uncomfortable at first in hiking solo. After doing it for a lot of days in a row, I got pretty comfortable with it. I.e., as the novelty wore off, so did the nervousness. For a fit, intelligent + wise person with some experience who's hiking fairly frequented trails, I don't consider solo hiking to be particularly dangerous.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#110677 - 02/04/09 09:49 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: BrianLe]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
It depends, but generally yeah, its a crock.
Same with paddling.
Most kayakers can't self rescue, and that's just crazy.

With the right partner, I could definitely do more with the partner than I am willing and able to do alone. Without the right partner I am unable to do as much as safely solo.

My daughter is a great hiking buddy though. She is only 9, and small, but we are almost able to do as much together as I am alone, at least on land and in summer. She is learning to sail, and to paddle, and to cross-country ski, so in a few more years she will be there, and a few more after that if we still travel together now and then we might be able to do some adventures that I might not do solo. We shall see. It's more likely that she will go here own way, and that's ok. There is always solo.

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#114737 - 04/20/09 06:43 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: JAK]
Salik Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 11
Loc: Elgin, IL
This whole discussion has been very interesting. It seems that solo hiking fits with most people's goals for hiking. Personally, my purpose for hiking is to observe nature and connect with my creator. Thus, solo hiking fits best. When I hike with other people, they tend to talk too much and break the thoughts and reflections that I am having. I hiked with one of my teachers, and he positively added to the experience and pushed me harder than I would have gone alone which was fun. But as a whole, I'd definitely prefer to hike alone to fully focus on the beauty of my surroundings and being able to take as long as I want to look at something that I feel is spectacular.

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#118240 - 07/11/09 05:11 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
EricaStolte Offline
member

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 18
Loc: SouthernVT
I would rather hike with another person. I am hiking solo by necessity as it's hard to find an activity partner.

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#118844 - 07/28/09 06:33 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
Greg Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 4
Loc: VA
Truthfully, It all depend in the mood im in. I personally would rather have atleast one person with me. Always that one circumstance, if something happens they r there to help ya. But it is always nice just to get out there by yourself. Most of the time I need someone to take a pic of me, because no one wants to believe I made it to the top.

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#118972 - 08/02/09 05:31 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Greg]
bigb Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Maryland
I hike solo 90% of the time human wise but always have a K9 partner. I have hiked solo with no dog and it is much different truly alone. I enjoy both but at this point couldn't imagine not taking my dog. For me trips with people take more planning and I can't hike my hike, but still can be enjoyable. I normally just let another person be boss and enjoy the ride.
_________________________
"In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

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#119685 - 08/21/09 11:14 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: billk]
David Lee Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Beijing
-send the clone to work....
Well that sounds good to me!


Edited by David Lee (08/21/09 11:17 PM)

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#120031 - 08/28/09 04:49 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Salik]
rapchizzle Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/28/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Charleston SC
I've just started to get back into hiking after a few years of hiatus when I got out of the Boy Scouts. Since then, I've done two weekend trips, one solo and one with a good friend of mine. I'm planning another trip to the same state park (different part though) and to be honest, I'm not inviting anyone else. There's just something about doing it alone that I love, whether it be the self reliance, sense of adventure or even just proving to myself that I can do it without having to rely on someone else.

One day I hope to be speaking through the voice of experience like a lot of you hiking veterans. And when I get out of college I plan on getting myself a dog that will become my new hiking partner

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#120057 - 08/29/09 01:35 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: rapchizzle]
jonnycat Offline
member

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 363
Loc: PNW
I find that humans step on my nature buzz, but a good dog can connect you to the natural world like nothing else. Plus you get a nice big furry thing in your tent at the end of your day!

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#138957 - 09/17/10 11:43 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: jonnycat]
keedos Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/12/10
Posts: 3
Itís hard to find a good trail partner that is happy to hike at the same pace as me. Also, sometimes I want to scramble up that peak, and sometimes I donít. Itís hard if Iím stuck with someone that isnít on the same page. Itís just easier if I go alone. The way I look at it is if I die hiking up in the mountains at least it will be doing something I enjoy.

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#139005 - 09/19/10 11:00 AM Re: Solo hiking [Re: ringtail]
POPsJr. Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/17/10
Posts: 5
I backpack with groups and solo. I enjoy most, multi day solo trips to remote area. A peacefull mornings on a lake or stream, sun rsing, fish rising, flyrod working, just cant get better than that for me. Heck if you stay home too long your honey do list will get longer, I think it is better to pass over in the woods than cutting the lawn in the back yard.

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#140572 - 10/16/10 08:57 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: billk]
Sarge Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Upstate South Carolina
In response to earlier clone jokes:

If your clone committed a crime while you hiked, would you let him use you as an alibi?


Edited by Sarge (10/16/10 08:57 PM)

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#140655 - 10/17/10 10:58 PM Re: Solo hiking [Re: Sarge]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Ya so this is an old thread, but now I've moved next to massive recent lava flow here Bend Oregon and hiking alone on the lava is an extremely dangerous thing to do, but thats what I'm going to do, but I've decided to carry a cell phone Its so rough that a fall 100 feet in could be very bad, a difficult rexcue, if I survived rocks moving. I'll certainly be dressed for it, might even wear a helmet.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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