PDA

View Full Version : How to stay friends



corentin
06-01-2006, 20:07
I would like to hear how other people have managed to stay friendly with their hiking partners over a long term hike. Obviously I already like the person I am planning to hike with ( my sister) but I also know that after several weeks in close proximity , without a break, we are ready to kill each other.
For people that have hiked the whole distance with a buddy, how do you manage the day to day stuff different with a partner to stay on good terms? Do you hike seperately at times or always together? Any hints would be appreciated.

Heater
06-01-2006, 20:38
I would like to hear how other people have managed to stay friendly with their hiking partners over a long term hike. Obviously I already like the person I am planning to hike with ( my sister) but I also know that after several weeks in close proximity , without a break, we are ready to kill each other.
For people that have hiked the whole distance with a buddy, how do you manage the day to day stuff different with a partner to stay on good terms? Do you hike seperately at times or always together? Any hints would be appreciated.

There are two hikers out there now, Erin and Lindsay, Who's journal I have been following. Not sisters but seem to be pretty good friends. They were (are) having a good time and hike about the same speed. They were sharing the same tent and stove stuff... splitting weight They recently got their own stuff and are hiking seperately but still sort of together for the time being. They are hiking their own hikes, so to speak.

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=135843

I think having your own space and to be prepared to split off by yourself a few days if you feel like it is the important thing

Ridge
06-01-2006, 23:10
It's a tough situation to hike with a friend or relative. Especially when one is an experienced hiker and the other is not. The outlay of money and time to take a long hike is usually considerable. My recent experience has taught me a lesson and that is to go solo and meet up with different folks on the trail. When I successfully thru-hiked the AT thats what I did, when I attempted the PCT, with a relative and a friend, unavoidable problems occurred causing the hike to be aborted. The only way I would agree to do another long hike with anyone is to set goals and "what if" scenarios, I'd even consider putting it in writing. Anyway, good luck.

maxNcathy
06-02-2006, 08:58
I would have separate tents(seedhouse SL1 for example) and stoves... and hike apart 3 days per week...M.W.Friday? That way you would have more time to meet others and walk solo too.You would get along better with your sister on the other 4 days per week....plan to stay at same place as your sister each night though.
Be flexible.
I would want space especially if my sister was controlling or wimpy.
My 2 cents.
Talk this all over calmly with your sister way ahead of time.
Max

Footslogger
06-02-2006, 09:39
Respect each other's space and needs. My wife (BadAss Turtle) and I hike together a lot and have remained good friends, partners and soulmates through it all. There are times when we hike together and share conversation and times that we separate and rejoin later at a road crossing or known landmark.

Another thing we started about 2 - 3 years ago was to tent solo. Not something that might work for everyone but we found that by tenting alone (but right next to each other) we were able to stay better organized and pack up more quickly in the morning. Our diets and preferences are different so we also carry our own stoves and food bags.

To some this might not sound like something all that nurturing to a healthy relationship ...but it works VERY well for us.

'Slogger

Mouse
06-02-2006, 09:49
I'd agree with what has been said so far. I did not hike with someone per se, but there were other hikers I seemed to keep pace with for weeks at a time and became good friends with. Only rarely did we actually walk together and then usually only for a short time in order to converse. But we spent lots of time together evenings and in town.

I did find that being autonomous with little need to make constant joint decisions removed a potential source of friction. Whenever the subject of walking together came up, especially with hikers who were going together, most agreed that each keeping their own pace but meeting during the day and at the end of the day worked better than trying to match paces all the time.

Fahrenheit
06-02-2006, 10:22
I hiked two long sections, four weeks and five weeks, with my best friend and roommate from college. It help that we were roommates I guess because we knew we could get along in close proximity. We stayed together and even shared some of our gear. I think the things that worked best for us was keeping some distance between us during the day. We would usually hike out of talking distance but within yelling distance in case someone got hurt. I think the only source of tension between us regularly was money stuff. Its best to keep that type of stuff as separate as possible IMO. We are still great friend.

Vi+
06-02-2006, 11:23
Corentin,

You ask, (H)ow ... to stay friendly with ... hiking partners over a long term hike.

I had hiked quite a bit and met someone at work who was new to hiking. We became hiking partners. Fun for him required physical challenge, so he hiked at a pace much faster than I prefer; I enjoy seeing more things.

Instead of him feeling I held him back, or me feeling I was racing to keep up with him, each day we would agree upon where we would camp that night, before we started hiking.

We would start each morning and hike together a while, then he would take off. I rarely caught up with him during the day, but we were always happy when we met again at night. It worked out quite well.

You may need to adapt this if your situation is much different.

corentin
06-02-2006, 14:01
Thanks for the replies, I really like the idea of seperate gear and having each person hike their own pace. I think that I will talk to my sis about making that the plan, at least after the first little while.
I am more concerned about holding her back as she is probably the faster hiker. We are both pretty new to backpacking but she tends to be far less annoying then me in general. I think we both need the security blanket of starting off together/being in proximity but we have such different social personalities and attitudes that long stretches together could be very damaging to our hikes. Plus admittedly, I have an issue of big sister protectiveness which I think is not always fair to her.

mambo_tango
06-03-2006, 10:32
but she tends to be far less annoying then me in general.

Good answer sis...good answer;)

Lilred
06-03-2006, 11:36
Respect each other's space and needs. My wife (BadAss Turtle) and I hike together a lot and have remained good friends, partners and soulmates through it all. There are times when we hike together and share conversation and times that we separate and rejoin later at a road crossing or known landmark.

Another thing we started about 2 - 3 years ago was to tent solo. Not something that might work for everyone but we found that by tenting alone (but right next to each other) we were able to stay better organized and pack up more quickly in the morning. Our diets and preferences are different so we also carry our own stoves and food bags.

To some this might not sound like something all that nurturing to a healthy relationship ...but it works VERY well for us.

'Slogger


Actually, to me that sounds like a very healthy relationship.

weary
06-03-2006, 13:02
My only advice is the same as several others, namely do not try to match a partners pace. Rather hike during the day at your own pace and plan on meeting each evening at a specific shelter or campsite.

Nothing can be more irritating than to be constantly slowing down or speeding up to match someone's pace. I was always slow on the uphills, fast on the downhills.

Hammock Hanger
06-04-2006, 11:02
Footslogger: I know how close you two are and my hubby and I are the same way. We don't get the chance to hike together too much anymore. But when we did I would take off in the morning and do my thing and sometime later in the day around 2-3 p.m. I would be laying around and he would catch up. We would mostly camp together. Sometimes I would tent with him sometimes I would hammock. There were even a few nights we slept at different locations. Separation let each of us enjoy the hike in our own way. Then being together we could talk and share what we saw etc. -- The one statement I always make when asked about partners is don't try and hike connected at the hip. Sue/HH

Pennsylvania Rose
06-06-2006, 17:54
Glad you brought this up. It's a question that I've been pondering recently. Long story - I'll try to make it short:
My ex and I met on the Trail (he was thruhiking, I was out for a couple of months). We got off to save money so we could both thru the next year, but had a little bundle of joy instead. The bundle is now 15 and recently brought up thru hiking soon after he finishes high school. Our teenage daughter wants to, too. So does my teenage step daughter. I'm glad to see that I've been successful at brainwashing my kids, but this is getting ridiculous!

So, my ex and I thought it would be a great time for us to go, too. (Talk about insanity!)

So now we have 3 kids (although they'll be young adults by then), my ex, and I planning this expedition for 3 or 4 years from now. Maybe we should just take along our non-hiking spouses and my two little ones, too, and turn the Trail into a real circus :) And I'm wondering how we'll all make it without killing each other.

I love everyone's suggestions. HYOH will definitely be the golden rule. But it will be so hard not to be "Mom". Any ideas from parents who have hiked with their just-become-adult children? I just have to hope that life doesn't get in the way of plans again.

GOOD LUCK, corentin. It sounds like you and your sister have a good relationship since you can discuss the hard stuff like this.

HapKiDo
06-24-2006, 20:09
:jump
My Thru Hike is next year and nearly by accident, it turned out that a friend I knew couldn't hike this year. We got to talking, and even though she's 11 years older than I, we're a lot alike. (That either reflects well on me or on her, I'm not sure which.)

We've spent a lot of time talking on the phone. I have hiked with her and she's "jack rabbit" or is it "jill rabbit"? I'm not exactly a turtle (best described as 'snapping') but I'm not a fast hiker, either. At least not right now. And she is slowing down in her 'old' age. (73 yrs)

Since we are planning a very un-orthodox style of Thru Hiking (by the hours hiked and not by the miles hiked), we plan to meet at the "noon-dinner-hour" to cook a meal, take off the boots, take a siesta, and then continue hiking for the remainder of our planned hours. My hiking partner likes to hike "alone" and so do I. So hiking time will probably be "solo" hiking but eating and sleeping (separate eating and sleeping arrangements), will be done together.

We've both discussed "falling out" and both of us don't foresee that happening. We both are old enough and secure enough to be our own persons. And we both have wild and crazy senses of humor.

That may be the KEY for unrelated people who hike together -- having a good sense of humor and not taking anything too seriously.

Life's too short to let a disagreement curtail a Thru Hike.

HapKiDo

WalkingS
08-11-2006, 15:00
I have a similar question. My husband and I are hoping to thru hike next year. He has only been hiking once in his life and that was on a short trip from max patch to hot springs. He has however, spent many days/weeks at a time on pack trips (horse) in the Bob Marshall wilderness. He is very protective and very jealous and I'm concerned that this will ruin my/our hike. He doesn't have a sincere interest in thru hiking, you know what motivates him is knowing where i'm at, who i'm with and if i'm ok.

corentin
08-11-2006, 15:19
It seems like it would depend on whether he has a reasonable level of protectiveness or just skews towards jealous. If he hikes for a while and sees that you are safe, with a safe group of people, do you think he would be comfortable dropping off the hike and meeting up with you at stops?

WalkingS
08-11-2006, 15:33
Well, let's put it this way. We have been married 3 yr. I have a male hiking friend whom I have known for 7 yr. who still calls me once or twice a month. I'm usually miserable for about 2 days from the repercussions of those calls, but refuse to give up my friends....male or female.

He read Bryson's ..A Walk in the Woods and freaked over the fact that there had been murders on the trail, citing that I had told him it was safer than it is here in town. I've put in every thru-hiking movie there is and he usually picks up on the parts where there are women sleeping in the same shelter with men or in tents near men and says he can't believe I would do such a thing. I took him with me to Newfound Gap to do trail magic and he freaked again telling me that those guys would think I was up there for only one reason....get my drift? Thoughts of going alone have seriously crossed my mind, but I wonder if he would be the type to follow me.

Time To Fly 97
08-11-2006, 15:52
It is spiritually healthy on the trail or off the trail to have time to be alone with your thoughts, explore new ideas or things without interruption or compromise and to basically take measures to promote your own identity.

On the trail, it is sometimes challenging to do this with a partner. I didn't fare so well with my PCT hike because my partner and I didn't come out with the same goals nor did we have much in common with the way we actually hiked, despite many successful practice trips - I like to speed down the trail and like to check out every side trail and overlook, etc. She was very slow and liked to hang out halfway up every climb and had no problem with taking low mileage days or even not completing a thru-hike (big change from pre-hike conversations). Since she was dependent on me for gear, this was not an ideal situation and despite great conversations, enjoying each others frindship, mutual respect for each other...this hiking mismatch became a show stopper 1/3 of the way thru. To this day, I know I did the right thing as a friend to leave the PCT with my partner, but knowing that I would have finished is a regret.

After soloing the AT and meeting SO many people along the way without compromise...I highly recommend this. I had the opportunity to hike on and off with other hikers without obligation and I am SO thankful for those days because we shared experiences as individuals with unencumbered and uncompromised identities.

If you really know the person you want to hike with and want to hike together - Good! However, I think as a precaution, you should have very frank talk about what happens if you want to part ways (temporarily or otherwise) while hiking. You should make sure you are both OK with that possibility and have full gear for each of you just in case. That will take the pressure off if there is a change of heart.

People change when they thru-hike. The trail is good place to find out who you are. Sometimes who you really are isn't who you think are before you hike.

Happy hiking!!

TTF

corentin
08-11-2006, 15:53
Warning, what follows will probably lack any form of tact.

He sounds like he has problems. I'm not married , but I do know that that level of mistrust in a relationship, where you can't even feed other people without him suggesting that they will think you are trying to hook up, is a serious problem. I have several really religious friends, my parents are pretty conservative, and they are all protective. It would never occur to them to ask me why I would do such a thing as sleep in a shelter or a tent around men. I have always been matter of fact about everything with them and calm (sometimes even when I feel nervous about safety issues) I think that has gone a long way towards allaying fears, to the point where a few of them are talking about doing sections with me. I might be misreading your posts, but what you have said tends to concern me.

Time To Fly 97
08-11-2006, 16:03
He is very protective and very jealous and I'm concerned that this will ruin my/our hike. He doesn't have a sincere interest in thru hiking, you know what motivates him is knowing where i'm at, who i'm with and if i'm ok.

Think of it this way: there are way more men that hike than women and it sounds like you would be "walking on eggshells" with worry over his reaction to any conversation with them. That is (IMHO) about as opposite an experience as it should be.

Be true to yourself. Every hike is a blessing.

Happy hiking!

TTF

WalkingS
08-11-2006, 19:20
Thanks, I've been thinking that one possibility would be to go ahead and get on the trail and if there is trouble, come home, unload trouble and get back on. Just one option.....

sarbar
08-11-2006, 23:39
Well, let's put it this way. We have been married 3 yr. I have a male hiking friend whom I have known for 7 yr. who still calls me once or twice a month. I'm usually miserable for about 2 days from the repercussions of those calls, but refuse to give up my friends....male or female.

He read Bryson's ..A Walk in the Woods and freaked over the fact that there had been murders on the trail, citing that I had told him it was safer than it is here in town. I've put in every thru-hiking movie there is and he usually picks up on the parts where there are women sleeping in the same shelter with men or in tents near men and says he can't believe I would do such a thing. I took him with me to Newfound Gap to do trail magic and he freaked again telling me that those guys would think I was up there for only one reason....get my drift? Thoughts of going alone have seriously crossed my mind, but I wonder if he would be the type to follow me.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh...how do I put it gently? Your husband has issues that have issues :eek:
My husband prefers to meet my hiking partners in person, but has never had any issues with my hiking with other men. He trusts me.

This past week I spent a week hiking with 4 men, ranging from 25 to mid 50's. The guys even slept the last night of the trip at our house.

A couple years ago I started a regional hiking group, with his help, so I could meet more hiking partners (he asks that I don't backpack solo for safety reasons). We have become friends with many other hikers, and we have get togethers at our house a couple times a year. This way all the non-hiking spouses/SO's get to meet every one. And everyone is laid back, none of the non-hiking partners are jealous-they get meet all the others.

My feeling is that whenever someone is so wrapped up in jealousy and accusations, you have to ask "why?". He will probably be a bitter pill during your trip and wear you down to quit, or use the trip as an excuse to cause you misery later. Be forewarned there. If he does accompany you, and then gets off the trail..I would make sure you are protected finacially before you leave for the thruhike. I am not saying he will be a dog, but he has the hallmarks of a dog.

Think it thru please :( You deserve more!! All lady hikers do!!

Almost There
08-12-2006, 02:06
Listen, I have never thru-hiked, but have sectioned with women other than my wife of 7 years. There is a little jealousy as I get ready to hike sometimes, but she ends up being cool with it in the end. We're hikers and my wife essentially gets the point that when I go out to hike, I'm not looking to score with a lady. I'm dirty, stinky, and tired after a long day...not to mention so is the gal I'm hiking with. The girl I hiked with this summer was great. Magic Thumb had no problem keeping up with me for most of the day, although I'll chalk my experience to having a little more left in the tank at the end of the day. Regardless, it is important to set the expectations before the hike, let it be known how you're going to work your hikes. Being as laid back as I am, I threw my schedule and miles out of the window when it came to us hiking, and once deciding to just have fun, we had a good time. I saw her more as a little sister than as an object to be ogled. I would think for thru hikers it might be a little harder to set expectations as they will change over several months on the trail, but that's ok. Be flexible when hiking with a friend or relative and you should be fine.

When hiking with my wife we split gear, she isn't as into it as I am, and don't know if she will ever be. I let her take the lead for the time being while hiking so that she never feels like she has to "keep Up" with me. Once her comfort level rises some more, then I might hike my speed up hill and simply wait for her to catch up.

bfitz
08-12-2006, 03:04
I've had brief times of gear sharing (like during a section where we wanted to cut weight or something...) and it's fine for shorter trips but most of the time I'd say every person should carry everything they need to camp alone. Waiting or being waited on isn't usually functional for thruhiking IMO. Over 6 months and never getting a day or two behind or ahead? People want to take zero days and recuperate, stay in town for some event while the other wants to hike on etc. Independace is key. That doesn't mean you still don't spend lots of your hike with that person but you gotta be able to separate for a day or week without having logistical snafus. Each person should have what they need...you can share stuff, just be prepared to either always be compromising, or to be independant yet together (as in "I'll see you in town in a couple of days if I don't see you at the shelter tonight....")

As far as jealous spouses, that problem has the same solutions on or off the trail....I think...

HapKiDo
08-12-2006, 09:44
I have a similar question. My husband and I are hoping to thru hike next year. He has only been hiking once in his life and that was on a short trip from max patch to hot springs. He has however, spent many days/weeks at a time on pack trips (horse) in the Bob Marshall wilderness. He is very protective and very jealous and I'm concerned that this will ruin my/our hike. He doesn't have a sincere interest in thru hiking, you know what motivates him is knowing where i'm at, who i'm with and if i'm ok.

Darlin' this is not "protective and jealous" this is full blown DV. He has a larger issue than can be discussed on this forum. Please read this website and see how closely your situation relates to this: http://tinyurl.com/syeot
Also: http://tinyurl.com/5zjxz

The other posters were trying to say this without actually using the term "DV" when they said "issues."
Please call 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE) to talk to a DV Counselor.

HapKiDo

:eek:

HapKiDo
08-12-2006, 09:54
Thanks, I've been thinking that one possibility would be to go ahead and get on the trail and if there is trouble, come home, unload trouble and get back on. Just one option.....

This bears repeating: Please call 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE) to talk to a DV Counselor.

HapKiDo
:datz

WalkingS
08-18-2006, 15:13
I wanted to thank everyone for their replies and concern. Also, to let you know that I have been seeing a counselor about this for a couple of months and have also made my family Dr. aware of the problem as well as my parents and have not withheld any details from them whatsoever. I'm taking appropriate steps and precautions. Everyone gave me their honest and unbiased opinions and that is exactly what I expected and wanted.

I hope that I'm fortunate enough to get to meet some of you on the trail in 07. Thanks again.

Brrrb Oregon
08-26-2006, 14:28
Thanks for the advice about avoiding problems over "hike rate." That's a pearl.

I wouldn't hike "with" somebody for any considerable distance if I wouldn't start a small business with them, even if I were married to them....meaning, I wouldn't let my hike depend on theirs if I didn't have that much affection, admiration, and respect for them and if I didn't think we had a considerable ablity to compromise. Life is too short.

As for what to do when the reality doesn't match your calculations, all I can suggest is the advice of a man who was celebrating 50 years of marriage. "Every morning, I get up, look at myself, and say, 'Well, you're no prize, either.'"

d'shadow
01-15-2008, 00:53
You and your sister might consider beginning the walk with two way radios, and use them until you are both confortable with the trail. they come in handy at times, and when you are done with them, well, send them home. Just my two cents worth.

gumball
01-15-2008, 06:37
My husband and I hike long distances together and so far we have managed quite well. In thinking about it, its no different than sharing a home--we get along well there, too, just good partners. You know, patience, compromise, willingness to see and appreciate the other person's point of view without always having to be right. Its not that he or I don't ever get annoyed with one another, but life is too short--so we try to have fun, on or off the trail.