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#154357 - 09/06/11 02:25 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1102
Loc: Madison, AL
Originally Posted By kievalina
....
It will be difficult for me to take practice mini-trips because I don't want to take my daughter camping until I know what I'm doing (both my husband and my daughter would be whining and would never, ever camp with me again if I messed it up) and I don't have any close friends who camp.

Kids do much better camping than adults. Just make sure she has enough food and is warm enough and she will have a good time. If you are nervous make the first trip in a campground. I have never met a kid who wasn't happy roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire. If something doesn't work out, drive home.

Originally Posted By kievalina
.... and I'm dealing with a LOT right now.

Don't go now. Go next spring
Originally Posted By kievalina

One specific question I had, and someone answered it a bit: What is a reasonable weight to expect for, say, a pack, or a bag, or boots or clothes?

I would say most people who don't do research on lightweight backpacking and try to re-purpose car camping gear end up with packs around 50 lbs. The first stab at lightweight backpacking people end up around 30 - 40 lbs. It takes real effort to get a fully loaded pack below 20 lbs. Just my humble opinion.

Originally Posted By kievalina
... How do I calculate what clothes I will need and how much? I'm all for multi-purposing things, layering, etc. and keeping the weight down...


Well, if you have clothes in layers and enough layers to keep you warm at night you can take off layers until you are comfortable during the day. The standard recommendation is to bring enough clothes such that if you put all of them on you are fine in your worst case conditions. The key is not to bring anymore clothes than that.

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#154365 - 09/06/11 04:19 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
Claus Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 56
Loc: Central Iowa
I'm worried about all the excuses. You have lots of time yet you list all these excuses not to get prepared. If you really want to do the trip you need to change the attitude. Because something stressful will come up in the spring as well. Best thing is to book a flight now so you are committed and can't back out. Then the trip all the sudden becomes something important because you don't want to be out the cost of the airfare. Belief me, as rude as this sounds, excuses are the one think that will kill your trip.

People here have given great advice that I can just join. Hiking around the neighborhood and trying out your gear at home is an easy and great way to prepare.

Fall is a good time to try out your camping gear. Sleep with your tent and sleeping bag in your backyard. Don't be afraid if the temperature drops to 30 degrees F. You should still be able to handle this. At 10,000 feet it could easily be that cold or colder. Let your daughter and husband sleep in the house. They aren't going with you. No need to buy gear for them as well. Also you want the lightest tent possible so you don't want to lug around a 3/4 person tent.

A tent should be setup and torn down fairly quickly. So you should be able to sleep even weekdays in your back yard. I did that a few times to test my equipment. And a few times is all you need. Once you become comfortable doing so you can stop. A night in cold and rainy weather will prepare you for the worst. BTW, I suggest getting your own tent. That way you have your privacy and the comfort you like. You also won't depend on a specific person in case that person can't be at the hike.

Your husband and/or daughter can come along on your walks where you test your backpack with gear. They don't need to carry anything and could even ride a bike or in a stroller you push.

My condolences about your mother. You might use your test hikes and tenting as a time of reflection and relaxation of these stressful times.


Edited by Claus (09/06/11 04:23 PM)
_________________________
Please feel free to disregard my opinion.
http://adventurelaus.blogspot.com

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#154370 - 09/06/11 05:57 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: Claus]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Claus
I'm worried about all the excuses. You have lots of time yet you list all these excuses not to get prepared. If you really want to do the trip you need to change the attitude. Because something stressful will come up in the spring as well. Best thing is to book a flight now so you are committed and can't back out. Then the trip all the sudden becomes something important because you don't want to be out the cost of the airfare. Belief me, as rude as this sounds, excuses are the one think that will kill your trip.


The other thing is what I could have more directly addressed... that people frequently have scheduling changes.

Planning a trip like that a full year in advance, in my case, has been a kiss of death - I have to wait until about five months in advance or the trip dies of a million schedule changes, itinerary issues, weather issues, and ... the rest of the group bails out. One by one. That's so far out you can't reserve a wilderness permit. I have a bucket list of long hikes that I can't get to - I had a permit for a 60 mile loop that had to be given away because my own situation changed!

The preliminary trip(s)/activities should probably be planned out a few months from now, after researching and deciding on some gear/clothing. That way you haven't wasted money and time on the nebulous long trip - and if the planned trip doesn't happen, you can decide whether the preliminary stuff panned out such that you have motivation to plan another multi day trip for family/friends to take the place of the first.

_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#154379 - 09/06/11 08:30 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2087
Loc: Napa, CA
Just back from a trip and catching up on all the posts. And I just want to say one thing:

Lori, you rock!
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#154385 - 09/06/11 09:57 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: balzaccom]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By balzaccom
Just back from a trip and catching up on all the posts. And I just want to say one thing:

Lori, you rock!


Or suck. Depends on who you ask. crazy
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#154411 - 09/07/11 11:52 AM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: lori]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Well, Lori, you are versatile...good for you!

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#154665 - 09/14/11 09:28 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
kievalina Offline
member

Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 38
Loc: metro detroit, mi
So sadly the friends I was hoping I could tag along with aren't actually going anywhere. :-( He likes to hike; she does not. So, I guess he goes out of state/out of the country with friends when he goes? So that's out. So now I guess in my spare time (HA!) I make new friends who are local and who backpack.

To add to the fun, my husband said he was "very concerned" about altitude sickness and "people die from that". Way to scare the bejeezus out of me, dude. :-p

I am thinking of getting my cousin to do some small, local trips with me, but that's going to have to wait until spring at the earliest, because he's in college and doesn't have time (apparently, college marching band sucks up a LOT of time); he doesn't have experience, either, but at least he's interested, unlike anyone else I know.

Just wanted to say I'm still reading this thread.

But... I was sort of put off by the fact that some of you apparently saw my situation as full of "excuses". Those excuses are just my life right now, unfortunately.

I despair of having any time whatsoever this fall to attempt much of anything other than maybe a backyard camp. By myself. Husband absolutely refuses to sleep in a tent. Period. I asked all summer long; never happened. Not sure when I will be able to go buy stuff, either, so I can practice as was suggested.

Do any of the REI or similar stores have classes or something? Or, anyone on this board live in the metro Detroit area??

Thanks again.

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#154668 - 09/14/11 10:12 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: lori]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 514
Loc: Virginia
No, you rock. You're giving really good advice, and illustrating points I'd wish I'd understood when I joined this forum 2 years ago... which, after all, was the point of joining this forum.

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#154669 - 09/14/11 10:20 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 514
Loc: Virginia
See if this launches: http://www.rei.com/stores/18?s_kwcid=TC|13030|REI%20denver||S|p|6928717453&cm_mmc=ps_google_reibrand-_-REI_Brand-_-REI_brand_denver-_-REI%20denver&gclid=CN3B3_mWnqsCFYXb4Aod-UCxgQ

If not, google "REI Denver" and you'll find it. Class list is at the bottom - so are their guided trips.

Trust me, many of us share your restraints towards getting out and hiking. I don't get nearly the trail time that lori, balzacom, or numerous others get - price of keeping up a marriage, and having small kids. While escaping for a week is hard, getting a weekend every three months has proved to be much easier.

Hoping you get out...

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#154670 - 09/14/11 10:22 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By kievalina


But... I was sort of put off by the fact that some of you apparently saw my situation as full of "excuses". Those excuses are just my life right now, unfortunately.

I despair of having any time whatsoever this fall to attempt much of anything other than maybe a backyard camp. By myself. Husband absolutely refuses to sleep in a tent. Period. I asked all summer long; never happened. Not sure when I will be able to go buy stuff, either, so I can practice as was suggested.

Do any of the REI or similar stores have classes or something? Or, anyone on this board live in the metro Detroit area??

Thanks again.


This is where I recommend hiking groups - there are lots, from the Sierra Club to meetup hiking groups to local groups that maybe have a website, maybe don't. Dayhiking with groups is a good place to start, you meet people to go do other stuff with as friends.

Don't be discouraged by people who see reasons as excuses. What you have is priorities - but I also know that there are many different kinds of backpackers, from the occasional social backpacker talked into it by friends, to the other end of the spectrum - people like me who suffered their first trip out and stuck with it and figured it out, and hey, wow, I seem to hike all the time now, when I'm not training for search and rescue.

If you want to do this, not in a passing sort of "wouldn't it be nice" kind of way, you'll find a way to do it. No one can make you do something you don't want to do, conversely, no one can set your priorities for you.

REI rents gear, and so does lowergear.com.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#154675 - 09/15/11 07:24 AM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: lori]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
This looks like a pretty active group in your area. They mostly are into hiking, but it's a good way to get started and meet some people.
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#154678 - 09/15/11 12:18 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By kievalina

To add to the fun, my husband said he was "very concerned" about altitude sickness and "people die from that". Way to scare the bejeezus out of me, dude. :-p


At 10,000 ft, it isn't THAT much of a concern. You will have to take precautions to mitigate the risk, but you aren't at 20,000. On my recent trip to 10000 for a week, it was definitely noticeable, and much less oxygen. But by drinking more water, and walking slower, I was able to cope, never got sick. Anyways, it definitely isn't a show stopper, just something to prepare for.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#154679 - 09/15/11 12:22 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1102
Loc: Madison, AL
Don't get discouraged. You asked for advice and people gave it. You are the one who has to take that advice and decide what you want to do. Also, don't get overly freaked out by altitude sickness. Read up about it, learn what you can do to prevent it and symptoms for it. Outside of that there is not much you can do. If you have severe problems with it, you may have to cut your trip short.

My first trip, I got in a car at midnight at sea level, drove all night, got to the trail head at 6 AM (at 10,000 ft) and spent all day hiking farther up the mountain. Oh, and I am also pretty out of shape. It wasn't the best practice... but it worked and I had a great time.

At this point in time, you should be trying to get in shape (shouldn't we all?) and start thinking about the gear you want. Do you want to buy gear or rent gear? Start putting together a gear list and check in with us before you buy anything.

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#154683 - 09/15/11 01:59 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: BZH]
FredMT Offline
member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 38
This should be the final word on all that uneducated fear mongering. I know lots of pilots. Small planes are not even required to have oxygen until 11,500- 12,000 ft. I have flown over granite peak several times and never had an issue. If the FAA doesn't require any precautions in a plane that you can't just pull over and park at 1800 feet higher than you will be on the third day, than who do you think is just plain ignorant. Yes, YOU WILL HAVE TO stop and catch your breath more often the first day or so. But if you come all this way to charge up the hill and miss the scenery, then what is the point? Less than 1 mph will get you through your longest leg in plenty of time. I do not like through hikes, because you miss half the views if you don't take it real slow. I also prefer to camp before tent city the first night at the bottom of the step part. This is not a bad thing if you run out of gas at 6 or 7 miles and choose to camp out of the crowds. I have taken smokers that rarely and never just go for a walk up these trails. After the first day they go twice as fast. So just don't push it the first day. Take what you can do and be happy with it. A little pre training does make it more enjoyable.


Edited by FredMT (09/15/11 02:04 PM)

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#154686 - 09/15/11 02:26 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
ohiohiker Offline
member

Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 127
Loc: Ohio
I'm about 3.5 hrs south of you in Columbus, Ohio. I often backpack solo, with a group, and 1-2 times a year with my wife and 4 kids (ages 1-8) along. I typically go on trips in Ohio and the wilderness areas of West Virginia, where the mountains are as high as 4800 ft. These areas are probably about as far for you as some areas of the UP. I've backpacked with a few meetup.com groups 3 times per year, organizing one of those winter trips.

I'd be cautious about attending a course at a gear store. Be sure to bring your skepticism. You're likely to be taught that you need gear which isn't necessary, or is too heavy. Reading books and online forums and articles is a great way to learn, but that depends on your learning style too. I purchase most of my gear online, sometimes from REI.


Edited by ohiohiker (09/15/11 02:27 PM)

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#154694 - 09/15/11 07:06 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: FredMT]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By FredMT
This should be the final word on all that uneducated fear mongering.


I've had at least six people have difficulty (not just shortness of breath) at elevations 5,000 - 8,000 feet on day hikes. That's with 20 people per hike, about 1-2 dayhikes per month, all year long.

It's not fear mongering to warn about something that's completely unpredictable but a serious issue - people have been carried out of the wilderness with HAPE, the more serious form of high altitude sickness. Not many people, but I have to wonder if they had a clue about the symptoms before they went, cause why wouldn't you turn around and descend before it got to that point?

I know that at any point, despite my long history of driving from 500 feet to 10,000 feet and hiking higher without incident, I could become the next case. But I don't live in fear because I know what the symptoms are and how to address it sooner rather than when it's too late. That's the point of education and skill building - the more you know about wilderness survival, the less likely you are to panic when the unexpected happens and make things worse.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#154695 - 09/15/11 07:46 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: lori]
FredMT Offline
member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 38
6 people in how many years? 3 years would be .005%. How many of them under 30? That would put the odds so low that it is hardly worth this much ink. That is why I suggested a walk on the top of beartooth pass before backpacking. Other than being educated that is all you can do. You won't know until you try. I am beginning to smell the stench of a dead horse being flogged on this thread. If she actually gets altitude sickness I will go buy a lottery ticket. She actually has a better chance getting struck be lightening up there.

Maybe you could actually educate her on the symptoms and tell her how rare it is rather than condemning her of it in the first place. That would show that you are interested in her safety, rather than grandstanding your vast knowledge and experience without actually passing any useful information along.


Edited by FredMT (09/15/11 07:52 PM)

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#154698 - 09/15/11 08:10 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: lori]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
FredMT......what Lori said. With emphasis on this quote;

Quote:
I know that at any point, despite my long history of driving from 500 feet to 10,000 feet and hiking higher without incident, I could become the next case. But I don't live in fear because I know what the symptoms are and how to address it sooner rather than when it's too late. That's the point of education and skill building - the more you know about wilderness survival, the less likely you are to panic when the unexpected happens and make things worse.


Interestingly, my wife now gets the predictable headaches and nausea at around 7000ft. We can work around this by acclimatization. Like Lori I have been blessed or lucky but have personally witnessed more than 20 cases of altitude sickness probably brought on by too rapid an ascent. Just in case you poo-poo this, there was a documented case of high altitude cerebral edema that occurred in late March 2010 on Mt. Shasta (just under 14,200ft). Altitude Sickness Leads to Mt. Shasta Cl... Sierra Journal This was confirmed by an autopsy. Bottom line is that you need to be aware of these things, not scared of them.

The trail the OP is planning to go on tops out at 10,000 feet. So regular altitude sickness IS a concern; knowing what the symptoms are, what to do about it, and how to avoid it are just things people in the backcountry should know for their own good and if they run into people who need assistance. THAT is education, not fear mongering.

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#154702 - 09/15/11 08:24 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: FredMT]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By FredMT


Maybe you could actually educate her on the symptoms and tell her how rare it is rather than condemning her of it in the first place. That would show that you are interested in her safety, rather than grandstanding your vast knowledge and experience without actually passing any useful information along.


..kettle?

Perhaps I don't write thesis papers on subjects there is plenty of information on elsewhere (such as the very helpful Outdoor Action Guide ) because I think that sounds like grandstanding vast knowledge.

I kind of have faith in people to be able to use google.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#154706 - 09/15/11 09:13 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: skcreidc]
FredMT Offline
member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 38
The article says it is odd and that people don't usually start worrying about it until 1500. The guy was over 14,000 the trail we are talking about is 9,800. There is no shame in turning back if needed. I do start warning people above 11,500 but you would be climbing a peak to do that in the beartooths. There is a reason it is called the beaten path, it is a popular tourist destination. Everyone seems to come out fine (unless they come here first). The sky is not falling. She came here to learn these symptoms and other thing. Not to be told to go look it up somewhere else (all we do here is tell horror stories).

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#154710 - 09/15/11 10:01 PM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: FredMT]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Yes Fred, that is a rare case of an experienced mountaineer dying at 14000 ft. But, the point is that things like this do happen.

OK, when I was doing the last post waiting for a phone call I received said call. By the time I finished, FredMT had posted again so.....oh well....

I will say this about when it occures from my own experience; 10,000 feet generally seems to be the magic number for some reason. But I have had to haul people out from 9000 ft as well. I know a number of people who climb very regularly and live at 5000ft. They can get headaches driving up to the base of Mt. Evans in Colorado to climb in Black Canyon. And these people are lean and mean fit. I am 54 years old; the last couple I took up into the Sierra Nevada (summer 2010) were in their 30's and did triathlons. Right around 10,000 ft, the started to exhibit signs of altitude sickness (minor headaches and some nausea).

OK. I do not claim to be an expert, but here is what I do. If the symptoms are minor, I tend to stop and monitor the symptoms. The only quick cure is decent. If symptoms persist that is what you will have to do. For the couple in 2010, one was fatigued and had very slight headaches at just over 10,000 ft. The symptoms didn't seem too bad and we still had a 800ft rise over a pass before we dropped down so we stopped and monitored. Next morning we were a go and went over the pass, but stopped shortly after at just above 10,000 ft again to spend another whole day acclimatizing as both the couple had slight headaches. They were both fine the rest day, but we stayed put anyway. So basically it was over 2 days acclimatizing at over 10,000 ft. From here we went to over 11,000 the next day, and to over 12,000 the day after.

In general, it is better to go over the passes and sleep lower than your max elevation. (What is that rule...go high, sleep low?) If someone has a persistent headache and is throwing up, I get them down 1000 to 1500 feet as soon as I can and continue monitoring symptoms. UN-fortunately, I have lots of experience with this and my wife who gets sick at 7000 ft if we move too fast. But she is not the only one...

Tis better to get to a 6000 elevation early and give your self 2 to 3 days to acclimatize with day hikes to higher elevations of 7 or 8000 ft to see how you do. If everything is OK, go from there. Leave time in the schedule for stopping at unexpected spots, or dropping to lower elevation, should some nausea or headaches occure.

Disorientation is a bad sign; get that person out.

So that is how I approach the thing. Again there are people/articles out there with far more experience than me out there. This is what I have learned from personal experience and reading.

sK

ps I think no one wants to act like a Doctor when they are not and so they are hesitant to put stuff down. Maybe you haven't seen things go wrong, but I have and I believe Lori has as well (along with other people who frequent this site). It is ok to hear it here first maybe...but "you" need to look it up on your own to verify as well. Cancer patients tend to do an amazing amount of research on their own. I think people need to learn from this habit without being threatened with death to start doing it.



Edited by skcreidc (09/15/11 10:20 PM)

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#154725 - 09/16/11 07:59 AM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: skcreidc]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I think the broader issue for the new backpacker is "There are things out there that can be dangerous." That was our concern for a rather ambitious first experience. There really is less danger in the wilderness, once a person has understanding, than there is in the city. But for a person without understanding, it can be very uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous.

As long as a person probes the limits of their experience gently, there is not likely to be a serious problem.

Kievalina, my understanding is you have never slept outside. Grab a bunch of blankets and sleep in your backyard if you can do that. If you get cold, come on in. You will have learned a little bit about sleeping outside.

If you have a warm winter coat, try layering instead for a walk around the block. A short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater and a jacket. You will have learned about layering clothes for warmth.

Go for a very short walk in the rain without a raincoat. Especially on a windy day. You will learn how important it can be to stay dry.

If you've never walked 5 miles, pick a nice day and walk 5 miles passing by your house or car every mile or so.

When you first go out in the woods, camp by the car so you can go home easily and take a little walk on an easy trail. Along the way, you will learn things and the answers to the harder questions will make more sense.

If you can do at least a couple of these things, it may show you are driven to backpack. If not, it may simply mean other things are more important now.

Whatever you do, have fun. If it isn't fun don't do it.

_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#154726 - 09/16/11 08:35 AM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: Gershon]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Hey, Gershon: That's one of the most insightful posts I've ever read, and stunning in its simplicity. I fully agree with everything you said.

There are risks in going on a backpack trip. The trick is to identify them, prepare reasonably for them, and weigh what's left against the rewards, which can be spectacular.

I think that's what many of us were trying to say, but it came out as, "DANGER, Will Robinson!!" What we were trying to get at was, "Ease into this so you understand the risks."

Sleeping outside is not inherently risky, but it can have risks attached to it: food in the tent in bear country is risky (food in the tent in varmint country can be highly annoying); rain and cool weather, in a leaky tent, can move you toward hypothermia as your bag and clothes get soaked, etc. A little study and the right gear pretty well handles those risks. The biggest thing, though, is that sleeping outside is Different, and just as you don't sleep well in an unfamiliar bed, you'll be somewhat restless and wakeful your first few nights in a tent and sleeping bag. So, you practice it in your backyard, and car-camping at a state park; it eventually becomes as welcoming as your bed at home, and you no longer have a problem.

Walking is also Different - you'll be walking farther than you're used to, and it won't be on nice, smooth sidewalks. Again, nothing overly tricky, but you need to practice it. You'll learn that you have to keep your eyes on the trail more when it's tricky footing. You'll want to get a feel for some narrow spots, with drops on both sides (not necessarily thousands of feet, but those 10 or 15 foot drops), just to get past that first-time panic when you happen on such a spot. That addresses the risk of sprained ankles because of rough footing - and helps you realize that, if you don't try to be a speed demon and pay attention, you'll probably never sprain an ankle, let alone break a leg.

Walking in the rain - great advice there, except that I'd add to wear a raincoat only. One really good way to ease into this is to remove the umbrella from your car. When it's raining, and you're parked halfway across the lot from the store, just get out and walk to the store with the hood up on your coat. It helps you realize that yes, you'll get a little wet, but really no wetter than when you use the umbrella (and you won't melt.) It also helps you realize that, if you're out backpacking and get into one of those all-day soakers, sometimes the only thing to do is make camp midday and wait it out in your tent.

And, above all, it should be fun. If it isn't, tinker with your technique, goals, and preconceptions and arrange things so it is fun. You don't have to measure success or fun by anyone else's standards, only your own.

Give it a try. If you can't find a group around Detroit, and don't mind driving a few hours, my local backpacking store sponsors beginner trips in southern Ohio; I'd be glad to let you know when the next one is. They go out of their way to make sure its enjoyable for everyone, and the skill level of their leaders ensures that you won't have to worry about what could go wrong.

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#154727 - 09/16/11 08:49 AM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: kievalina]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Hmmm...I mention this a little hesitantly, but here goes: How good is your relationship with the friends? Depending on the dynamics, perhaps you (or you and your cousin) could go hiking and backpacking with him, since your husband and his wife have no interest in it?

I realize that suggestion has all sorts of relationship landmines buried in it. However, with the right spousal realtionships, it can work quite well. Over the years, I have backpacked with several women friends, and my wife was very much all right with it. In all those cases, they were mutual friends (that is, we both knew them separately from before we were married), and we'd been married more than 20 years when I started backpacking with them, so all the trust issues had been worked out long ago. It helped a lot that the one woman I backpack with most is not interested in men, and that we all grew up together (same school, same church, same small town.)

The two of us went alone only a few times; mostly, we went with one or two other friends. The most interesting thing is that those potential relationship issues never materialized on the trail. For one thing, we were all too dirty, smelly, and tired for any attraction to occur. But, most importantly, we had all long ago reached a level of maturity that removed such things from the realm of possibility.

Like I said, I realize there are potential problems with the suggestion, but I thought I'd mention it just in case it might work for you.


Edited by Glenn (09/16/11 10:39 AM)
Edit Reason: upon further reflection

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#154729 - 09/16/11 09:31 AM Re: Need LOTS of help [Re: Glenn]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
kievalina, Glenn and others are right (and yes, even FredMT) about possibly overemphasizing the dangers. But in my mind, knowledge is power.

If you want to get out there, don't let anyone stop you. There are lots of women backpackers; GOOD ones.

The best thing I have seen Gershon write in this thread was the "This" (a link to a meetup group near your area). If you were planning a bike trip from where you live to Montana, you would want to know how to ride a bike wouldn't you? Same thing. You need to practice; preferably with some people with experience. The "meetup" group in San Diego does short weekend trips and I would bet the group near you will do beginner trips as well. And if you start doing trips in Michigan now, you will certainly understand how to dress (both shoes and clothing) yourself in Montana next summer.

kievalina, whatever you decide, have fun with it. After all, it is all about the journey.

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