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  1. #1
    Registered User Dahoyt's Avatar
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    Default Starting solo or with a group / partner?

    Just wondering what peoples plans are, what they think will be the downfalls, or the good things about your choice...

  2. #2
    Registered User Dahoyt's Avatar
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    I personally plan on starting Solo, will be going to the Appalachian Trail Kick Off by myself, but will be open to arranging ahead of time or finding someone to hike with. I imagine it will be uber easy to meet like minded people, but still it's more comforting to me knowing I am starting with someone else. As I do a lot of my hiking here in Vermont by myself, and have a lot of experience going solo, I always find it more fun with others...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahoyt View Post
    I personally plan on starting Solo, will be going to the Appalachian Trail Kick Off by myself, but will be open to arranging ahead of time or finding someone to hike with. I imagine it will be uber easy to meet like minded people, but still it's more comforting to me knowing I am starting with someone else. As I do a lot of my hiking here in Vermont by myself, and have a lot of experience going solo, I always find it more fun with others...
    I love Vermont Dahoyt. You are lucky to hike there.

  4. #4
    Registered User CaityJ's Avatar
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    04-01-2014
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    Lakeland, Florida
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    I am starting solo. Even though I feel comfortable and confident in myself, my family would feel more comfortable with me having a partner. I have decided to keep and open mind in the topic and if I happen upon someone that shares a similar pace and is a quality partner then things might change. In the end HYOH

  5. #5
    Registered User Caddywhompus's Avatar
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    03-30-2014
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    Starting solo. I'm content to do it all solo but I hope I can find others along the way to hike some or all with. Thats part of the experience. I know I can do the whole thing solo but whats the fun in that. The people on the trail are just as important as the trail itself.

  6. #6
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    North Conway, NH
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    Downfalls of not hiking solo: accidentally hiking someone else's hike. It's very easy to do; even subtle peer pressure is a powerful force.

    If you hike in a group most of the time, I recommend taking at least one week, preferably a bit more, to hike solo. That's when a lot of growth happens.

    Have fun! (And don't listen to me, hike your own hike!)
    Merry 2012 AT blog
    "Not all those who wander are lost."

  7. #7
    Registered User 2015 Lady Thru-Hiker's Avatar
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    02-10-2014
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    The AT starting April 2nd
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    Might sound crazy but solo is the only way I have ever though about doing this. And that need cost me a relationship. Not that I don't expect to meet people or spend time with them but I really like the peace and serenity of being in the woods by myself. That may change once I get going and I am open to that. But for right now solo.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  8. #8
    Registered User wtrenda's Avatar
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    10-20-2013
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    Knoxville, TN
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    I am starting solo(perhaps with a canine companion though). The biggest downfall with my decision will be in-town resupplies with the pup along. I am definitely hoping to hike with someone for most or all but not necessarily the same person. I feel there are numerous advantages to having a partner while hiking, and it'd be a nice way to split costs when staying in towns.
    I like what Merry said though as well... It's definitely about personal growth. I'll definitely be spending plenty of time to myself, as well.
    Wewe nugu, mimi apana!

  9. #9
    Registered User theatiger's Avatar
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    03-29-2014
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    crossville,tennessee
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    Default

    I am starting solo and hope to meet people as I go. I am also with merry in that it is all about personal growth. I hope to see a lot of you wonderful people at shelter for sure.

    Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    10-17-2013
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    Kings Mountain, NC
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    Default

    Starting solo, but amenable to hiking with others ... is it 2015 yet???
    "In our best times, everything turns into religion, all the world seems a church and the mountains, altars." ~ John Muir

  11. #11

    Default

    It's pretty hard not to end up part of a group one way or another and groups tend to be in constant flux, with members coming and going.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #12
    Registered User contrast009's Avatar
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    02-13-2014
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    Burlington, VT
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    I am going solo. I briefly considered hiking with a partner, but I really want to be able hike my own hike and not be tied to what someone else is doing. I am kinda excited that there will be even fewer people on the trail due to my SOBO hike (at least once I get by the NOBO bubble)

  13. #13
    Registered User YesRushGen's Avatar
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    02-12-2014
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Meriadoc View Post
    Downfalls of not hiking solo: accidentally hiking someone else's hike. It's very easy to do; even subtle peer pressure is a powerful force.

    If you hike in a group most of the time, I recommend taking at least one week, preferably a bit more, to hike solo. That's when a lot of growth happens.
    Zach Davis in his Appalachian Trials book (if you've not read it yet, read it!) makes an excellent point about this. He says it's very easy to get attached to a group for the sake of companionship. Once attached, he says that some people will sacrifice the potential for personal growth - just to not be alone. He also talks about the peer pressure Merry mentions. Even something as simple as, "awww man, don't camp here - stick it out with us to the next shelter!" Can affect your hike.

    He also talks about effective means of getting away from a group that you just are not feeling comfortable around. Overall, I found his book to be excellent. (And no, I'm not being paid to advertise. LOL)


    Kelly

  14. #14
    Registered User YesRushGen's Avatar
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    02-12-2014
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    Default

    Oh yeah - I guess I didn't answer the question posed by this topic. Ha.

    I am starting out solo and agree with most posts so far. I look forward to the solitude of being solo, but also am hopeful for meeting some like minded people and having social experiences on trail.

    All-in-all, I'm pretty open minded.

    Hope to see some of you out there - only 11ish months to go. (Time is flying - from my chair)


    Kelly

  15. #15
    Registered User
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    03-13-2014
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    Little Rock, AR
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    I'm really excited about being in the "bubble"! I can't wait to meet new people who share my passion for this adventure!

  16. #16
    Registered User Mosquito Bait's Avatar
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    08-01-2013
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    Middle Georgia
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    52
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    I'm starting solo, but know that I won't be for long. With the number of people hiking the AT, you almost can't be solo! I have already noticed (from Trailjounals) that there are a number of people planning on starting the same day as I am. (April 1st) I hope to get in with a great group of folks that are slow hikers too. LOL

  17. #17
    Registered User Conductor's Avatar
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    10-14-2005
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    A lot of people ask me if I'm hiking with someone. My answer, "Nope solo", but I will have a couple hundred friends with me. I knew people, good strong couples, who hiked together all the way to the top. See http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=158834 Enough and Too Much from 2006. I think it would take a lot of commitment to stay with a single person the entire trail. Marriage isn't easy, but staying with some who smells like a thru hiker now that's commitment.

    Regardless, it's an easy concept to think that as long as the hike takes you to the same place for any given number of nights you got a hiking companion for a while.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conductor View Post
    Regardless, it's an easy concept to think that as long as the hike takes you to the same place for any given number of nights you got a hiking companion for a while.
    I've been trying to parse that statement. But here's the thing -- the total number of sobos is sufficiently small and widespread (in terms of start time) that you won't be constantly leapfrogging other thru-hikers, at least not after the first few weeks. Nobo hikers are greatly affected by the bubble, but I think sobos, not so much.

  19. #19
    Registered User YC 15's Avatar
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    03-15-2014
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    Winthrop, Maine
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    Default

    I will begin this journey solo. I look forward to the meet-n-mingle but I imagine I will find myself with me. I'm not sure what the trail holds for me yet but in the spirit of HYOH I'll be doing some solo soul searching. One of the benefits of blazing such a well traveled trail is solo one minute, in good company the next.
    "Stand still. The trees ahead and the bush beside you are not lost."

  20. #20
    Registered User
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    Going with a fellow Veteran with PTSD, but I know at times we'll be miles apart & alone walking off our losses & discovering just who we are.
    US Army 1994-2004 19K - 1-72 AR, 3-8 Cav 67T/15T - 9-101st, 1-52 AVN - SOBER HIKER

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