What's the most profound bit of hiking advice you've ever been given?
Mine came in a backpacking shop,20 years ago, when I asked the salesman whether I should buy a headlamp to supplement my flashlight and candle lantern. He looked at me for a moment, then said: "When it gets dark, go to bed!" ("Idiot!!" was implied.)
That sparked a whole new approach for me, of really asking myself what constituted a "need."
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Ron Grinder
It's really about the fun, not the miles.
That advice was actually given to me about canoeing the Buffalo River in AR, but I started having a lot more fun backpacking when I applied it to that too.
I've never read any books about backpacking yet. I think that's because I didn't really want outside influence. I never wanted to ponder someone else's reasons for heading into a wilderness, I had my own and that was all I needed.
I've learned a lot about what I did not need right here, from all of you, and that has actually been quite profound in how I've evolved with my backpacking trips. I supposed I could have learned some of that sooner from books, but I had a lot of fun getting here so I don't have any regrets.
I might read some Colin Fletcher one of these days though. I'm not likely to go any way other than my own now, but it's fun to read about where others have been and what advice they have as a result.
"I've never read any books about backpacking yet. I think that's because I didn't really want outside influence. I never wanted to ponder someone else's reasons for heading into a wilderness, I had my own and that was all I needed."
You'll like Fletcher - you've already captured the essence of his philosophy: books can help, but in the end it's all about what you want, not what "They" think you should want.
Loc: Portland, OR
I can probably scrounge up a fair number of pieces of good or helpful advice, but when I examine them none of them seem especially profound. On the other hand, my most profound experience while hiking was spending three straight weeks solo hiking on the PCT and hearing nothing but natural sounds the entire time (I arranged my resupply so that I never left the trail).
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
"silence is golden"
Sounds good to me!
My favorite, which I've probably posted here before: Occasionally turn around and look at your back trail. It's especially important to do that at trail junctions and any place where the trail seems obscure. This will pay off when you are on your way back!
Besides, you otherwise will never know if something is following you!
Edited by OregonMouse (07/17/1105:09 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Glenn If I was to make a profound statement or two - lets see: You could be severly injured by a flying object getting down food stuck in a tree. Stand erect and in balance like you were walking down a sidewalk when on steep rock, and keep your weight on the balls of your feet. Only try the difficult things after much practice. and get training befor doing things that could kill you. Never thrash Keep your dog on a leash
Frankly however, other than the potential for death or disaster and avoiding them, there's nothing really profound about hiking or camping other than the view and nature where you go. We're talking about walking in the woods with some gear - its not rocket science and we're not trying to save the Earth - well maybe some of us are, but thats another topic. Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Profound? no...but its always been helpful for me...
When you hike set a pace you can keep all day:
If you start out like a shot your likely to be wore out when you get to your destination. If you push too hard your also more likely to injure yourself. Take your time.
Every once and a while stop and look around:
Its important to help keep your bearings. Also you can miss some really beautiful and amazing things if your staring at your feet all day. It also helps keep me alert which is important if your backpacking solo.
Climb the Mountains and get their good tidings... -John Muir
Do not obsess over gear. Use what you have or can borrow. Just get out there and replace it when you can afford to replace it. Make sure that this is something you enjoy before you become too committed.
Standard saying from the old days at NOLS "If you are hungry, cold, hot, tired, or otherwise miserable, you are doing something wrong. Hungry? stop and eat a snack Cold? stop and put on a layer Hot, stop and take off a layer, tired? slow down the pace, Otherwise miserable? Why not stop and camp- a good nights sleep does wonders." These are not the exact words, but you get the gist.
Another one "rules are for fools" judgement trumps rules any day