Aug 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm #1293145
Winter is coming up here in a few months and I'm considering heading up to Yosemite to spend some time in the valley without the tourists.
The one issue I was thinking about was what to do with ALL the downtime.
The days are MUCH shorter and I'll have 5 hours of so of time in the tent / hammock,
What do you do to kill all the time? Hang out with friends? Get drunk? Smoke weed? Read? All the above?Aug 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm #1904058
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Bring friends! I have done some winter trips with loooooong nights by myself and it sucked. Got dark 5 at five and had several hours of downtime. I basically stared at the fire and ended up cooking a 5 course meal. Had lots of time to practice baking.
Anyways, I am trying to not go on winter trips by myself anymore. When you have people to talk to it's a lot better. Luckily I have some hiking buddies to go with now. And bring booze. Or weed if you like. That is nice to have on a long, dark night.Aug 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm #1904063
– -K.T.- –Participant
Don't forget to throw some night hiking in there too. Get up when it is coldest and get moving. Sunrise breakfast on the trail.Aug 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm #1904082
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
The easiest way to avoid being bored is have friends. You can talk, play card or board games, etc.
With long running LED headlamps reading / journalling works for some… others get tired or reading quickly
Go when the moon is going to be full. There is nothing quite a pretty as a hike in the snow when the moon is brightAug 20, 2012 at 12:51 am #1904092
@sparticusLocale: Atlantic Canada
Bring an Ice Box (http://www.grandshelters.com/) and build an igloo to sleep in. That will kill time and give you a cosy shelter to sleep in.Aug 20, 2012 at 2:16 am #1904095
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
How many hours of dark are you planning on having? If you are seriously traveling, then you want to use all available daylight for traveling. Cooking, eating, and breaking camp all happen in the dark (take a good headlamp). That means:
*) Make camp as late in the daylight as you can — it should be dark when you are done — any sooner and you have wasted precious daylight. It's not hard to imagine supper taking a couple of hours by the time you melt snow for water, cook supper, and enjoy supper with friends.
*) Wake up a couple of hours before daylight — it's not hard to imagine most people taking a couple of hours to cook in the dark, eat breakfast, and get their packs packed for traveling by daybreak.
*) That means you have approximately (dark hours – 4) for sleeping. Is that really too much time for sleeping if your day was pretty strenuous? Perhaps in the Arctic or parts of Alaska, but not over most of CONUS.
That does assume you are in good enough shape to enjoy strenuous traveling for (daylight hours) per day.Aug 20, 2012 at 8:37 am #1904144
@riemanniaLocale: Northeast Georgia
As others have suggested, I prefer night hiking with a good head lamp until normal sleeping hours in the winter and waking up before dawn to continue, though I'm much more comfortable doing so with a companion than alone.Aug 20, 2012 at 9:25 am #1904161
perfect yr snowman building skills …. throw snow balls at polar bears …
seriously … try building and igloo or snow cave …. thatll take care of it …Aug 20, 2012 at 9:32 am #1904163
I guess the real question here is …
"if it bores you why do you do it ?"Aug 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm #1904239
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I'm mostly solo year 'round. Bring a book, stomp around camp, get to know your immediate area.
DuaneAug 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm #1904261
–Aug 21, 2012 at 11:21 am #1904563
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Bring a good book
Bring a musical instrument
Have a campfire and stare into the flames
Bring a deck of cards
Get really caught up on sleep and maybe even cultivate a surplus
Bring one or more friendsAug 22, 2012 at 11:38 am #1904952
"Get really caught up on sleep and maybe even cultivate a surplus"
That is what I do.Aug 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm #1904978
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
It is usually wet as well as cold, so I'm in bed after dinner or sundown and read or listen to the radio.
Of it isn't raining and the site has an established fire ring, a campfire is a treat.Aug 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm #1904985
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
My wife brings her knitting to long medical conferences.
I bring technical journals one way. That is to say once I've read them, I toss them (or maybe tear out a few of the best articles. That way I clear 20 pounds of magazines off my nightstand and come home hopefully smarter and 20 pounds lighter.
Bring extra batteries for your headlamp and X-C skiis if there's snow. If there's not snow in the Valley, hike before and after the daylight – you can't get lost on those trails in the valley.
If it's another dry winter, get an early start on the JMT to LYV or the Yosemite Falls trail to the rim. You often have to take the "horse trail" option instead of the mist trail due to frozen spray on the steps. Skip the 4-mile trail to Glacier Point as it is steep, totally in the shade in winter, therefore can be icy.Aug 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm #1906025
Bring whiskey? Not my idea of a solution to boredom.
** As someone said, bring books and burn them thru the trip. The only time I really get in-depth reading done is when I'm out on a trip.
** Keep a journal and describe your location, the gear you are using, your shelter, the differences between dayhikers vs backpackers, the weather, and the all-important grappling with the elusive Turtlehead (toilet duty).
** Take a little radio with headphones.Aug 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm #1906027
–Aug 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm #1906075
…Aug 26, 2012 at 4:00 am #1906098
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
I sit around my Bush Buddy and paint with watercolors. If you have never painted in the dark, it's really fun. You have no clue what colors you're using so it's always a surprise to me what I created in the morning's light. If I don't like it, I use it to light the BB for breakfast.
I catch up on sleep…read…just enjoy the stars.Aug 27, 2012 at 9:11 am #1906418
@asciibaronLocale: Mid Atlantic
i was out this past winter on a moonless night and found myself bored at 8pm. there was no way i was going to fall asleep before 10pm so i decided to take a walk in the dark. that took 3 hours. it was amazing.Aug 27, 2012 at 11:25 am #1906475
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
Generally on winter trips I am making a snow shelter, which can be an hours-long affair and also entertaining as you customize the shelter to your own wants. Generally by the time that's said and done, I'm tired and ready for bed. I think practicing shelter or fire craft is a great way to pass the time. Having friends about is also good- it's nice to have a kitchen area dug into the snow and to sit around chatting over a hot meal or as we boil water for our hot water bottles before bed.
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