Nov 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm #1281957
went out for a nice long weekend adventure at Dolly Sods in West Virginia. not sure why, but i woke up the second day of the trip and looked around and decided i didn't want to be out there and hiked back to the car and headed home. got home and slept for 14 hours.
i was very indifferent to my trip and looking back, i'm not sure why, i was excited a few days prior to the trip… it's not like i'm burned out, i was out there the month before and had a great time with a buddy.
maybe i just didn't want to be out there alone.Nov 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm #1801743
Ken T.BPL Member
It happens. The 14 hours is probably what you really needed. It can be boring without a partner too sometimes. It all hangs on your mindset at the time. There is next time.Nov 15, 2011 at 4:21 am #1801931
few things about the trip were enjoyable. i was stressed out from traffic nightmares when i got on the road, i had some problems with my gear (dead head lamp batteries, broken gaiter, stove not working 100%), and then the trail wasn't enjoyable – it felt like work, not fun.
i'm planning to head back out after Thanksgiving, most likely solo, but i do have a buddy trying to work it in his schedule.Nov 15, 2011 at 10:02 am #1802000
i've always hike alone except for one trip, it can become difficult at times if your out for a week+. I enjoy solitude though too. I have an iphone that keeps me entertained at night sometimes. You jsut have to get used to it. It makes the trail encounters you have more meaningful.Nov 15, 2011 at 10:21 am #1802011
Andy FBPL Member
How much sleep did you get while out? Sleeping for so long when you returned indicates you likely didn't get enough quality sleep. Maybe something in your shelter or sleep system needs improving? Sometimes on trips I try to sleep on my back or other positions I don't normally sleep in. I end up falling asleep for short periods, but not long enough to fall into a deep sleep which is necessary for brain and body recovery.
I've done many solo trips, but I'm mostly bored with them now. Being alone is amplified by the long nights we have now, which generally means more time spent in camp. Unless you hike for hours in the dark, or have some in-camp activity to focus on, things can get boring quickly. I like to do star gazing or bushcraft stuff, like primitive fire making skills and quickly whittling tent stakes (this also saves pack weight).Nov 15, 2011 at 11:34 am #1802048
crap sleep, sore hips, and boredom once the sun drops out at 5:30pm makes it tough to do again. having something to do after dark in winter is the challenge.Nov 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm #1802082
I had a similar aborted trip last month. I was all fired up to go hit this one area. After a six hour drive it just wasn't what I thought. Made a fire, ate some food, drank a beer and then drove home.
Last weekend was perfect — almost full moon and a clear sky. Just sit and read once it got dark. Excellent quiet time. (Except for the eager hunters "sighting" in the guns).Nov 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm #1802098
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I've been on a few trips where it just wasn't any fun. In that case, it's probably just as well.
Steven, you mention sore hips–it sounds as though it's time for a thicker pad. Talk to Bender at Kooka Bay about his custom insulated air pads! Mine is 3.5" thick, very well insulated, weighs 12.8 oz. It's a mummy style pad, so has taken me some getting used to the narrow bottom, but it sure is comfortable!
I agree about the boredom of the long nights; around here right now our nights in northern Oregon are 14 hours, and of course getting longer. That's why I don't camp overnight between mid-October and early March.Nov 16, 2011 at 6:35 am #1802332
Kimberly WersalBPL Member
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
I'm perfectly happy going solo–but not in the winter. Those LOOOONNNGG nights are too much for me. I'm not one of those people who can sleep 12 hours straight, and reading by headlamp is fine for an hour or so, but that's about it. Come March, it will be a different story.Nov 16, 2011 at 11:59 am #1802440
My last 3-day weekend trip sounds about like yours. I cut out a day and a half early. Part of my problem, I've decided, was being short on sleep when I got there. I told myself I'd take my time and force a nap after lunch, but didn't. Slept poorly that night and decided to head home.Nov 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm #1802551
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Ahhh me too… I thought about this thread aaalll the way back to the car from my turn around point.
Eagle creek just kicked my butt (EVERYBODY on this site from Portland is now laughing at me) (now I have absolutely NO cred on this site: from little to none)
I wanted to go out in the remnants of the 'snowicane' or whatever they were calling the storm in AK. It was rainy and chilly. The only thing I forgot was a groundcloth and that was needed. Eagle creek is highly used and all of the tent sites at 7mile camp were puddles. Plus I was alone and got there at like 3pm. It would have been a loong night. So I made it to the campsites and realized that I would have flooded my tent with my body weight due to the puddles. The best site had toilet paper all up in it- so that was a no-go. So after finding a bunch of left behind trash and getting mad about it, I grabbed the trash and gave the next site one more shot. MORE TRASH. OK – Im want to sleep with my wife tonight. In my bed. After halfway falling into a creek and turning my ankle (punishment for picking up other peoples trash) that was the final straw and I decided to turn back.
Oh yeah- I gave my stretch woven pants a shot in the rain. ppbbbtttt!! Didnt I learn that lesson last year? apparently not… So they soaked my legs and my socks got wet- Blisters!! I never get blisters!! WTf??? Could this day get worse??
Van Halen "Right now' stuck in my head! I almost jumped into eagle creek (its a long way down)
At least I got in 14 good miles…Nov 17, 2011 at 11:39 am #1802813
scri bblesBPL Member
@scribblesLocale: Atlanta, GA
It doesn't sound like you're alone. I've done a solo and the boredom once the sun went down got to me. I can't tell if I'm just a techno-addict or I just need time to get used to it. Possibly both?
Mindset is everything.Nov 18, 2011 at 8:33 am #1803070
I did the same thing this weekend in Shenandoah. Great hike. Made camp. Want in by lunar duo by 6pm, stayed for 13 hrs. Luckily I had a small radio with me, and was able to pick up football games and sports chat. With the sun going down so early, no comany, no fires allowed in the park, it can get really boring. I had a nice hike back to my truck and went home instead of staying a second night.Nov 18, 2011 at 9:06 am #1803084
Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
This is where a Kindle comes in very handy–hundreds of books, magazine, blogs at my fingertips, for very little weight penalty–6 oz. Battery life lasts a long time if the wireless is turned off, so can go on a 10-14 day hike with no worries about power, unlike a tablet or iPhone. Just need to make sure that my headlamp has fresh batteries at the start, or use my solar-rechargeable headlamp!Nov 18, 2011 at 9:33 am #1803097
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
I've noticed a theme in the posts. The folk who struggle with solitude seem to need something to keep them connected to the world they have left. One of my reasons for heading outdoors is to escape all that noise.Nov 18, 2011 at 10:19 am #1803114
John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I have taken an mp3 player a couple ot times but didn't really use it much. Unless it's a solo winter trip with lots of tent time, I am fine with the solitude.
I had nearly five weeks on the CDT where I didn't see a soul and was surprised at how chatty I was when I ran into a horse packer. I didn't think I was lonely, but after we parted company I felt really alone and it took a couple of weeks for the feeling to subside.
We camping with my kids we always bring a laptop or i pad to watch movies and play games. It has become part ot their outdoor experience, at least in the tent, and they really look forward to it.Nov 18, 2011 at 10:52 am #1803135
@timalanLocale: Mid Atlantic
Getting away is its own reward, but I can understand bailing early. I always bring a pair of headphones and some kind of reading material. I seldom use headphones, but I know that I've got lectures/sermons/music/videos, etc., on my cell phone if I get desperate for noise. But I find hunkering down with a book at the end of a long day a really excellent experience. The biggest downside for me is that it's not a good idea to curl up with a fresh batch of popcorn or other snack when reading in the tent. With early nightfall, the most annoying thing to me is being warm and happy and reading… then getting hungry again and having to emerge into the dark for a meal. Very happy just hunkering down.
Of course, I never realized how heavy books really are until I made a gearlist. Now a Kindle doesn't look so bad.Nov 18, 2011 at 11:07 am #1803139
I don't think its so much, at least for me, of missing the things I'm getting away from. I could have been perfectly content playing with a fire or having someone to talk to. I just need something to keep my brain active on the long winter nights.Nov 18, 2011 at 11:09 am #1803140
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
A couple of years ago, i took my son camping up in the hills at this time of year. There was a full moon, and snow on the ground, so visability was great all night. The deer were fully into the rut, and the stags were roaring and challenging each other all night. I lay in the doorway watching and enjoying the wildlife show. The stags were no more than 50 yards away, and their roaring was incredible.
My son was complaining about the noise from the deer spoiling the tunes he was listening to on his i-pod! :)
Off topic, but we saw a UFO that night.Nov 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm #1803713
daniel BBPL Member
@dbogeyLocale: East Coast
Sorry to hear that you left early. I can remember many nights while in the Army in some remote outposts all alone. All I kept thinking about was that everyone would forget where I was and I'd never get back home. Loneliness can be a bugger sometimes. I'm wanting to get down into the Dolly Sods area sometime soon (I'm in Pittsburgh). Always looking for a hiking partner.May 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm #1877996
…May 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm #1878039
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> i woke up the second day of the trip and looked around and decided i didn't want to be
> out there and hiked back to the car and headed home. got home and slept for 14 hours.
My uneducated guess was that the original author had a low-level virus at the time. It happens, and fits the description.
CheersMay 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm #1878100
…May 16, 2012 at 9:52 am #1878223
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I've ended only two trips early, in all the years I've backpacked. One was because my dog got sick. The other was sort of weird. I had planned to camp 3 miles short of the trailhead the last night, since it was a long drive from the trailhead to the motel I'd reserved. However, I had left an apple in my cooler in the car. All the way down the trail that second-last day, that apple was calling me! The closer I got to the planned last night's camp, the louder it called. I therefore put on a big push and made it back to the trailhead before dark. The apple was a bit warm after a week in the cooler, but it sure tasted good!
I was also on a group trip which the majority decided to end a day early. It started pouring the afternoon of the second day and was still raining hard the morning of the third day, which meant that the scheduled dayhike to a viewpoint was rather pointless. I more or less abstained from voting, saying I'd go along with the majority whatever was decided. If I had been alone, I'd probably have stayed.
I want to apologize for recommending KookaBay pads in my previous post (last November) on this thread; I didn't know that at that time they were in the process of going out of business. Too bad, because they made a marvelous product! I will say, though, that a comfortable sleeping pad really helps. A good night's sleep is well worth the price and/or weight of a really cushy pad!May 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm #1878314
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
Ive been thinking about solo hiking soon. I used to only hike solo. This thread got me thinking alot. I cant remember ever being bored on a solo hike and I think i know why.
Part of that is that I like alone time, to think, to write, to draw, etc. The biggest reason though, is that all of my solo hikes had a certain element of adventure in them. I never followed trails and just hiked from camp to camp. I didnt sit around and do the normal camp chores. Instead, I went off track into places that were completely new to me. I explored remote desert peaks and trackless canyons always looking for new and exciting places to sleep, swim, meditate or explore. I studied areas that I encountered and then at night I wrote about what I found, plants, critters, routes, anything of interest, mostly just because I like to know a place I guess. Nights were filled with map study, planning the next day's route, journaling, and more exploring, often trying to find night-perches where I could possibly view wildlife. I always wake up between 12-2 and cant sleep, but I've learned that these breaks are perfect for exploring at night and learning alot about the fauna since most interesting animals are nocturnal.
One night I spent the midnight hours looking at a small, honey-colored bat that fluttered about the tip of my flyrod. I could see every finger and every hair and right through its delicate wings to the moon that shone directly through it from behind. Then when he left and the adrenaline subsided I got tired again and went down for my second sleep. Many nights went like this.
I guess what I'm saying is, maybe folks need to re-examine why they hike. Maybe it's time to bring the adventure back into it. Isnt this really why we hike? Some folks may not be comfortable exploring at night and maybe they get a bit nervous. Well, imagine just crawling out of your tent at night and sitting there quietly and observing the mice, owls, foxes, spiders. You'll get quite a rush out of it, I doubt you'll be bored.
I dont know, maybe I'm just, you know, different. The mountains have always been pretty good company for me, and I have been thinking alot lately about going back to visit soon. Alone.
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