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#151399 - 06/12/11 08:58 PM new guy here, hello
Devin88va Offline

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 2
hey im completely new to the backpacking/trekking lifestyle. i have been looking to get more into the outdoors lately. i go camping, and enjoy the outdoors, but i unfortunately dont have any friends who feel the same way as me towards nature, and i know it is most likely not safe to travel alone, even more as a first timer, so would be completely unorthodox to go alone for the weekend? i mean i also have no idea where to start, let alone find people who would want to go in my circle of friends. well one but shes in yellowstone for the summer working. so any info would be helpful for a beginner like me, im seriously interested so any help would be awesome.

#151404 - 06/12/11 11:27 PM Re: new guy here, hello [Re: Devin88va]
JPete Offline

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario

You'll get some very good replies here, so I'll keep mine short (for me).

First,from what I see here, I think most of us tend to pack alone (there was a long thread on this not too far back).

Second, I think most of us would say it's more important just to get out; go for an overnight, even if it's in your back yard, than it is to find a partner.

Third, I agree that as a first timer, it would probably be a good idea to start with some day hikes until you feel comfortable in the woods, and practice with your shelter, sleeping gear and cooking in your back yard, or a handy state or local park (assume you are in US).

Once you try it in the field, I can almost guarantee two things: When you sit down to a hot dinner, you will realize you are hooked; and that your first night out, you likely will not sleep. But you will be hooked, and the next night (or maybe the third), you will sleep like you never have before.

Fourth, welcome to the forum, just be careful to avoid becoming a "gearhead" like the rest of us. See the gear lists on the home page to get a start on understanding the light weight approach to backpacking.

Best, jcp

Edited by JPete (06/12/11 11:34 PM)

#151408 - 06/12/11 11:55 PM Re: new guy here, hello [Re: JPete]
GDeadphans Offline

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Originally Posted By JPete

Fourth, welcome to the forum, just be careful to avoid becoming a "gearhead" like the rest of us. See the gear lists on the home page to get a start on understanding the light weight approach to backpacking.

Best, jcp

And thus, a gear head was born xP

I agree with JPete. You will begin to love the outdoors and become hooked. I am in the same position as you at the moment. I am visiting my family for the summer and down here in NJ and my friends are mostly city folk who don't think twice about the outdoors. But where I go to college, Maine, all my friends enjoy the woods. So right now for the season I have to go it alone, which I have never done before. I have done a ton of day hikes in the woods and feel comfortable. I think its time for me to step it up and do an over nighter(s) alone. Not sure if you are in the USA, but if you were to do the PCT, CT, or the AT I bet by this time of year you will certainly not be alone at the campsites. If I can scrape up some cash I think I am going to do a part of Pennsylvania's AT.

Good luck, and like JP said, don't get too wrapped up in gear. Especially if you get in to hammocks 0.o (boom head explodes)
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

#151416 - 06/13/11 06:47 AM Re: new guy here, hello [Re: Devin88va]
Chris S Offline

Registered: 06/13/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Alabama
My wife and I are avid day-hikers and I'm looking to branch out as well. I've taken many long hikes solo and am ready to take a couple of overnighters. I covet the solitude and the time to just try to figure life out as I'm out in nature. We have many well established trails near where I live so finding the right place to start will not be too difficult. Now it's time to pick up some gear without becoming a gearhead!

#151417 - 06/13/11 08:27 AM Re: new guy here, hello [Re: Devin88va]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
If you already dayhike by yourself and return to a campground at night, you shouldn't have much problem going on solo overnighters: all you're doing is postponing the hike back to the campground (now known as "the trailhead") until the next morning.

The gear may be a bit different, since you have to carry it. (No 10 pound tents or 5 pound sleeping bags need apply for the job!) Why don't you tell us what you have already, and we can go from there?

The only other consideration is food - you won't be lugging a cooler, so grilled steaks, fresh veggies, and cold libations probably won't be on the menu. Again, tell us how you eat now when you hike and camp, and we'll go from there.

Welcome aboard!

#151439 - 06/13/11 01:38 PM Re: new guy here, hello [Re: Devin88va]
OldScout Offline

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 501
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
Welcome! I think you will get more specific help and advice if you fill out your profile with much more detail. The advice will be different if you are 20 years old and in college or 60 years old and a recent "empty-nester". If you are still in school, many colleges offer an outdoor wilderness program. Are you in the USA? Several of the members are in South America, many are Canadians, and some are overseas. We have Aussies. The point is that if you give us a little more info about you, the advice here can be more taylored towards your situation.


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