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View Full Version : Getting out there...eliminating excuses.



David S.
11-30-2004, 12:37
I have determined that I want to get outdoors much more often than I've been able to in past years. Sometimes, small insignificant excuses keep me from heading out. For example, I am not much of a planner when it comes to going on multi day outings. Many times I find myself just spontaniously wanting to head for the wilderness...only to realize that I must first go shopping for food for the trip. This is often a deciding factor as to wether or not I actually head out or not. To cure the "what will I eat" excuse, I have made my own personal hiker box that is strictly dedicated to backpacking food...my own personal backpacker pantry if you will. Now when I go grocery shopping, I always try to find a few items to add to the hiker box. The idea here is so that when I want to head out, all I have to do is go scrounge through the box knowing that everything I need for a couple of days will be right there waiting to be tossed in the food bag.

Another thing that I have found helpfull is a personalized gearlist. Something thats durable....say with some lamination. This has a list of all the gear I own and makes packing up in a hurry pretty easy as I don't have to wonder what Im forgetting in my rush to head out. Since the list shows all the gear I own, I just go down the list and determine in my mind which items can stay or go depending on the season.

So what have you found and remedied that hindered you from heading to the great outdoors?

Here are a few other things which I haven't quite found remedies for (ideas are appreciated) :

Fear of going it alone.

Bad weather...(for some reason, I don't mind if it starts raining after I have been out a while....but it takes some real gumption for me to head out AS its raining... even if beautifull weather is predicted the next day)

Making up my mind and deciding just where I want to go...being that there are so many options around my area....i.e...do I want to stay close, go somewhere new, go somewhere familier, somewhere remote or somewhere I'll run into people...etc...etc.

MOWGLI
11-30-2004, 12:45
I have determined that I want to get outdoors much more often than I've been able to in past years.

I'm leading a 7-mile hike in North Chickamauga Gorge on Saturday December 4. That's about 15 miles north of Chattanooga.

Drop me a PM. I'd love to have you along for the hike.

Blue Jay
11-30-2004, 12:54
I can't help you with the first one as I prefer hiking alone (if you read this forum a lot, you'll understand). As for the weather, you have to change your perception of it. When it rains, you smell less, the sound of it covers your sound, therefore you see more animals. When the plants are not dormant, they give off more aroma of their own during rain. The colors are brighter. There are fewer bugs during a heavy rain and none at all during cold. Rain water against your skin is less chafing than sweat. Once you start to enjoy rain, everything opens up. You'll be amazed, just tell yourself you like it and soon you will. You just need to get into dry when you stop, there is plenty of gear for that. As for where, I have the same problem. When stumped I assign a number and then flip coins or roll dice, chance hiking like chance encounters are wonderful.

smokymtnsteve
11-30-2004, 13:26
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.


Henry David Thoreau (1817 1862)

gravityman
11-30-2004, 13:53
So what have you found and remedied that hindered you from heading to the great outdoors?


One thing that has helped us is along the lines of your "hiker box." (we also have one of those!) We have a gear closet that has only the most popular gear in it. We have a ton of gear and clothing, but we only use a small faction of it, so I moved all the extra stuff to a different area (and will sell it if we don't use it in the next year). It makes packing MUCH easier when you can see everything that you might want to take in one area.

As for getting out, I hike with my wife, which is what motivates me. When she is not around, I also have a hard time getting out, but once I am out there I rarely wish that I hadn't gone. What helps me is setting small goals "I'll just drive to the trail head and camp overnight. I'll just hike 3 miles." or whatever. Just to get through the initial momentum of sitting still...

Gravity

tlbj6142
11-30-2004, 14:25
Henry David Thoreau (1817 1862)Your god Abbey is going to smite you down if you keep quoting his peers.:D

Blue Jay
11-30-2004, 15:42
Your god Abbey is going to smite you down if you keep quoting his peers.:D

No, I think it's only Jehovah who is massively jealous of other Gods. Abbey likes all kinds of Gods, especially those that can read and write.

Alligator
11-30-2004, 15:54
I found that waiting for a hiking partner will seriously lower the amount of time spent outdoors. I will go now whether or not I have someone heading out with me. If they don't want to go, they stay home.

Having the correct gear for the weather certainly helps. I could care less if its not sunny. You have to appreciate that the rain makes the plants grow, that the silence of fresh snow is inspirational, and that there is beauty in every season.

My gear list is on Excel, so I just run down the list and check off what I need. I also have a hiker cupboard that I fill up as I shop, plus a stack of dehydrated meals in the freezer.

I spend my spare time planning out at least the next trip, plus a second one for "guests". I'm usually all ready to go except I tend to procrastinate on the car drop. The only problem is do I get a shuttler, use the bike, hitch, or beg a car drop from my wife.

I keep my common gear in my pack between trips (not sleeping bag nor thermarest). Less frequent items are in totes.
Not knowing where to go, shoot, just pick one and go. They're all good. A bad day backpacking is way better than a good day at work. (Unless you lose some fingers and toes.)

smokymtnsteve
11-30-2004, 16:02
Your god Abbey is going to smite you down if you keep quoting his peers.:D


as Bleu Jay said Abbey is a not the Jealous type,

however a couple of the Goddesses may be. ;)

chris
11-30-2004, 16:10
It really helps to live near prime outdoor real estate. In Indiana, I had difficulty motivating myself to go on local hikes, as: 1) I had already been on most of the trail after 2 months of living there and 2) They were not particularly great, except for a week or two in the fall. Living in Washington I have really good access and motivation isn't much of a problem. The bigger problem is: What to do this weekend?

While in Indiana, I found no way to defeat the motivation problem. I ended up making several three day trips per semester in the Smoky Mountains, but those were a 450 mile, one way drive. If you can get to them, they are ideally suited for loop hikes. Go and explore off the AT and get a lot of solitude and a lot of beauty.

MOWGLI
11-30-2004, 17:08
It really helps to live near prime outdoor real estate.

Well, David who originated this thread certainly lives near some prime real estate. The Smokies is 2.5-3 hours away, but there is lots much closer. The AT in GA & much of NC is about 2-3 hours away. The Benton MacKaye Trail is about 1 hour 15 minutes, the Cumberland Trail is 10 minutes away, and there is so much more.

I kinda feel bad for folks who can't see beyond the AT. AT the same time, someone who is section hiking the AT, and only has 1-2 weeks each year... I understand why you would want to concentrate on picking up where you left off.

While the AT is unique due to its length, and some of the great places it goes, there is so much hiking to be had in the SE. There is more to the Southern Appalachians than the ridgelines.

Checkout this website from the Chattanooga Hiking Club. It lists lots of great places to hike in SE Tennessee;

http://hiking.chattanooga.net/

chris
11-30-2004, 18:26
Well, David who originated this thread certainly lives near some prime real estate. The Smokies is 2.5-3 hours away, but there is lots much closer. The AT in GA & much of NC is about 2-3 hours away. The Benton MacKaye Trail is about 1 hour 15 minutes, the Cumberland Trail is 10 minutes away, and there is so much more.

I kinda feel bad for folks who can't see beyond the AT. AT the same time, someone who is section hiking the AT, and only has 1-2 weeks each year... I understand why you would want to concentrate on picking up where you left off.
http://hiking.chattanooga.net/

This was what I was trying to get at with the last part of the post. I've spent a lot of time in the Smokys and like them alot. The problem was that in Indiana I was just too far from them to make weekend hikes a regular thing. They are: 1) Free, 2) Big, 3) Wild off the AT, 4) Scenic. One of my all around favorite places to ramble.