Loc: Colorado High Plains
Just curious. The year's just about over and I wondered how much time folks actually spend in the backcountry. Personally, I only got out once this year for 7 nights, which was more than I've done since 2014, so I feel pretty good about it. How bout you?
Not as much as I had planned. I intended to hike the John Muir Trail northbound in August but broke some bones in my foot kicking a motel refrigerator enroute (don’t ask). I tried to go anyway but it hurt too much. I scratched the effort on the second day of walking and hiked out.
Besides the aborted JMT hike, I spent four days in the Grand Canyon in May and about a week total on several hikes in the local “sky island” mountains in SE Arizona. I have another planned for between Christmas and New Years, weather permitting.
I’m hopeful for a return match with the JMT this coming summer. I have a few home front issues to deal with but otherwise I feel good to go.
Loc: Portland, OR
My backpacking is constrained by the fluctuating state of health of our 32 year old daughter, who is totally disabled, has a long list of medical problems and lives in a group home for medically fragile adults. Last year was a particularly rough year for her, but I got a couple of two-nighters in.
That is less than my average, but was still better than 2016, when I couldn't get out overnight at all. I make up for it somewhat with day hikes, which can be done more on the spur of the moment and provide some of the same psychological benefits as backpacks. I generally choose trails where I can get some solitude.
Not much. On our second camping trip in early June our dog ruptured a disc and required surgery. Since then her recovery has been slow. Even now she requres assistance getting up but at least she can walk for up to 30 minutes. Hopefully next spring we will be out there hiking again.
Well if you got out for a 7 day trip, then that's pretty good, I'd say. My year was nice. Looking back I realize that I didn't do any backpacking trips longer than 4 days, partly because I had a knee injury and was recovering. However, I did do a total of 7 backpacks, plus quite a bit of car camping and hiking. Plus I hiked or backpacked in a bunch of new places I hadn't been to before: Big Bend Nat'l Park, the Idaho Sawtooths, Steens Mountain in Oregon, Jedidiah Smith Wilderness in Idaho (crossing into Grand Teton), Zion, Warner Mountains in California. And the Bristlecones near Bishop (those are some cool trees!)
Like others, not as much as I wanted. Two overnights helping lead some weekend beginner courses, a couple of two nighters and a couple overnights with a couple buddies. (We all three had health issues with parents and spouses that took priority.)
I had some fun this year, despite a few challenges. With a bad knee and my wife laid up with a bad heel, we didn't get to do as much backpacking as we wanted. But we did a long car trip through the Southwest, Made trips to Joshua Tree and Death Valley, and managed to get in about 45 bag nights together, including two shorter backpacking trips.
To fill in the empty calendar dates, I did two weeks of trail crew work in the back country...
It wasn't a traditional year but I got out a good amount. I got two nights backpacking at Harriman park in New York. A night on Anacapa island with 8 million nesting Western gulls in the channel islands. We took a train camping/backpacking trip up the coast in the summer. We didn't make it to Crater lake like we intended due to fires but we had a great adventure on the fly. We car camped a couple nights at Malibu creek state park and we have one more backpacking trip to Reyes national seashore planned between Christmas and New year's.
Much less than usual. Every time I wanted to go out it was 90° and 90% humidity. I did one 5 night trip and that was a slow for old trip. It took me twice as long as it took for the same trip several years ago. Age and global warming took it's toll.
Loc: Colorado High Plains
Well, sounds like many of us have issues that get in the way.
I too have been moving in some other directions, traveling with my recently retired wife in our little Casita trailer. Did a month long trip in April to Key West with lots of outdoor time. Planning another to the SW next year.
The things getting in my way from 2015 thru 2017 were medical. 2015-Food poisoning from SeaTac airport (long story) 2016-Detached retina after week 1 of a 3 week NW road trip in July 2017-Injured toes on a Pre-Wind River backpack in RMNP (then another detached retina the day before Thanksgiving, for good measure)
It's not getting any easier to get out though. I'm trying to tone the outdoor stuff down a bit, though I find that hard to do.
On the trip I did this past August, I felt myself cross a line a couple times from-exhaustion due to overdoing it and dehydration from unusually warm temps and of course, not drinking enough water. Circumstances and stupidity gets you every time.
Hopefully we can all get out, at least a little more, next year!
I had a fun year. Plenty of dayhikes in the Cascades and surrounding areas. A four-nighter in Henry Coe, just under a week in the Sierra going over Kearsarge, a two-nighter along the Rogue River Trail and a three-nighter in the Strawberry Wilderness, an overnighter in the Mojave Desert, a two-nighter in the Trinity Alps and then a week in the Winds. Starting off 2019 with a three-nighter in Joshua Tree mid January.
This was my summer for the Wind Rivers with Sierra trips in early summer and fall. Life did get in the way of the plans, with my 99 year old mother ending up in the hospital, lots of last minute babysitting grandchildren and home remodeling projects.
Total: 48 days on backpacks, 4 on day hikes while on trailer trips. Four trips were in the Sierra, each 4-5 days and four in the Wind Rivers, ranging from 7-9 days. My husband helped out with transportation on two trips, allowing three one-way routes. Two 4-5 day "trailer trips" and fishing were squeezed between backpack trips.
Luckily, going to the Wind Rivers this summer avoided all the smoke that plagued the Sierra. Although, the Wind Rivers also got some fires late season, after I left.
This year I did better at staying in shape with daily 5-mile dog walks in town and down on the American River.