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Thread: Maiden Voyage!

  1. #1
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    Default Maiden Voyage!

    Ok went out for my first backpacking experience over the weekend with my sister. Learned alot and packed way too much - haha my pack was 35lbs. way too much food and too much clothes. but oh well. first night was great - stayed at cove mtn shelter in PA. altho i heard something at midnight that completely freaked me out. still not sure what it was????

    ok i have a question - so for our 2nd night we stopped at the Darlington shelter and it was sooo windy and cold i knew we couldn't stay there with the clothes we had. we were traveling south and i saw that there is a campsite 1 mile down the mtn in that direction. thought it would be warmer. decided to try it. well we got down there and noticed beer bottles, broken glass, used tampons. just looked like a local party place as it was also 1 mile from the road. we got a bit freaked as it was sat nite and we sure didnt want to be there during another party by the locals. so we thought we would keep going and see if we could find somewhere else. altho keep in mind we are now getting closer to the road. we live around there and i realize that we do not have enough daylight time to get past all of this population before night fall. so we decided to listen to our gut and not camp that second night. we got to the road and called and uber and went home. feel like we failed but also feel like we had no choice. did not like the populated areas. hikers are fine but locals made us nervous.

    so my question is - what would you have done?? are we just nervous and inexperienced?? would you have stayed at the party place?

  2. #2
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    First, I saw your post under the menu "Todays Posts." I don't lurk around in the Female Hiking forum. Having said that, two women in the woods camping at a known party site is probably not a good thing to do, so you made a good decision. However, I'm wondering why you didn't stay at the shelter? It sounds like you were unprepared for the weather.

    While it's not easy to carry equipment for every eventuality, being prepared to camp in a geographic location in which you are familiar should be a no brainer. Just curious. What type of sleeping bag did you have - 30 Degree?
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    First, I saw your post under the menu "Todays Posts." I don't lurk around in the Female Hiking forum. Having said that, two women in the woods camping at a known party site is probably not a good thing to do, so you made a good decision. However, I'm wondering why you didn't stay at the shelter? It sounds like you were unprepared for the weather.
    While it's not easy to carry equipment for every eventuality, being prepared to camp in a geographic location in which you are familiar should be a no brainer. Just curious. What type of sleeping bag did you have - 30 Degree?
    I too happened across this under Today's Posts, and am also compelled to comment, although for different reasons. She's clearly asking other women what THEY would have done, yet you chose to a) make assumptions about her choice of gear and ridicule her, and b) make comments like "probably not a good idea" along with "so you made a good decision" - she's not asking for your sanction or to pass judgement on what she did, she's asking what other women would have done. Give her a break and don't mansplain.
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    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllDownhillFromHere View Post
    I too happened across this under Today's Posts, and am also compelled to comment, although for different reasons. She's clearly asking other women what THEY would have done, yet you chose to a) make assumptions about her choice of gear and ridicule her, and b) make comments like "probably not a good idea" along with "so you made a good decision" - she's not asking for your sanction or to pass judgement on what she did, she's asking what other women would have done. Give her a break and don't mansplain.
    Oh, come on - give me a break. She was asking for an opinion and it didn't exclude a male opinion. Why would it? There are more men hiking the trail than there are women. Don't you think we can give the women an informed opinion? And in keeping with the gist of the post, I believe she did the right thing as any male or female hiker will probably confirm. What's wrong with showing support for a good choice? And as for the question about equipment, the title of her post says it all, "Maiden Voyage." Maybe a comment about preparedness will have her thinking about equipment for her second hike. When I started hiking, I spent a lot of time on this forum getting opinions and never thought little of any and all that I received.

    If their trip was a long section hike or even a through hike without an easy way out, what would have been their options? Better to get a truthful answer from the hiking community than to find themselves in trouble next time.

    This political correctness BS is garbage. Give it a rest, dude.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsinpa View Post
    Ok went out for my first backpacking experience over the weekend with my sister. Learned alot and packed way too much - haha my pack was 35lbs. way too much food and too much clothes. but oh well. first night was great - stayed at cove mtn shelter in PA. altho i heard something at midnight that completely freaked me out. still not sure what it was????

    ok i have a question - so for our 2nd night we stopped at the Darlington shelter and it was sooo windy and cold i knew we couldn't stay there with the clothes we had. we were traveling south and i saw that there is a campsite 1 mile down the mtn in that direction. thought it would be warmer. decided to try it. well we got down there and noticed beer bottles, broken glass, used tampons. just looked like a local party place as it was also 1 mile from the road. we got a bit freaked as it was sat nite and we sure didnt want to be there during another party by the locals. so we thought we would keep going and see if we could find somewhere else. altho keep in mind we are now getting closer to the road. we live around there and i realize that we do not have enough daylight time to get past all of this population before night fall. so we decided to listen to our gut and not camp that second night. we got to the road and called and uber and went home. feel like we failed but also feel like we had no choice. did not like the populated areas. hikers are fine but locals made us nervous.

    so my question is - what would you have done?? are we just nervous and inexperienced?? would you have stayed at the party place?
    It isn't failing, it's being smart. It was smart to head down to the campsite, knowing your clothing limitations, and smart to not stay at a site that made you nervous. Good job, lady!

    I've bailed on hikes for those same reasons.

    As you become more experienced, your comfort zone may shrink, or it may get larger...either way, it's never wrong to do what makes you feel safe.

    ...and congrats on your first backpacking trip! You'll never be the same.
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 09-11-2017 at 14:44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsinpa View Post
    Ok went out for my first backpacking experience over the weekend with my sister. Learned alot and packed way too much - haha my pack was 35lbs. way too much food and too much clothes. but oh well. first night was great - stayed at cove mtn shelter in PA. altho i heard something at midnight that completely freaked me out. still not sure what it was????
    ok i have a question - so for our 2nd night we stopped at the Darlington shelter and it was sooo windy and cold i knew we couldn't stay there with the clothes we had. we were traveling south and i saw that there is a campsite 1 mile down the mtn in that direction. thought it would be warmer. decided to try it. well we got down there and noticed beer bottles, broken glass, used tampons. just looked like a local party place as it was also 1 mile from the road. we got a bit freaked as it was sat nite and we sure didnt want to be there during another party by the locals. so we thought we would keep going and see if we could find somewhere else. altho keep in mind we are now getting closer to the road. we live around there and i realize that we do not have enough daylight time to get past all of this population before night fall. so we decided to listen to our gut and not camp that second night. we got to the road and called and uber and went home. feel like we failed but also feel like we had no choice. did not like the populated areas. hikers are fine but locals made us nervous.

    so my question is - what would you have done?? are we just nervous and inexperienced?? would you have stayed at the party place?
    Congrats on your first trip. How exciting.
    What I have learned is
    - yes, trust your instincts (so yes, don't camp if it looks like a party scene or the people there give you the creeps)
    - on the weekends, avoid sites that are close to roads when the weather is also good
    BUT also, try hard to avoid moving on past a good planned site in search of a better site. This is one major reason I like taking trips with other people. Not to actually hike together as we rarely do, but to agree on a site for the night and stick with it, or discuss it as a group. Too many times, while backpacking on my own, I kept going and going, and ran into issues with not finding any place to camp after it got very late.
    Planning helps as does experience.
    Good luck on your future adventures.
    Just love being outside, not sure why. 425 AT miles done (2014-2017), many more to go.

  7. #7
    Registered User Suzzz's Avatar
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    Instinct is your best friend. When you get that feeling in your gut and it doesn't feel good, move on. It happened to me on a few occasions and although I'll never know if the danger was real or not, what I do know for a fact is that nothing happened. So as far as I am concerned that's a win.

    Don't give up, every hiking trip you do, whether it's a day hike or a longer one, you'll gain experience and learn more about your gear, yourself, and more importantly what works for you!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsinpa View Post
    Ok went out for my first backpacking experience over the weekend with my sister. Learned alot and packed way too much - haha my pack was 35lbs. way too much food and too much clothes. but oh well. first night was great - stayed at cove mtn shelter in PA. altho i heard something at midnight that completely freaked me out. still not sure what it was????

    ok i have a question - so for our 2nd night we stopped at the Darlington shelter and it was sooo windy and cold i knew we couldn't stay there with the clothes we had. we were traveling south and i saw that there is a campsite 1 mile down the mtn in that direction. thought it would be warmer. decided to try it. well we got down there and noticed beer bottles, broken glass, used tampons. just looked like a local party place as it was also 1 mile from the road. we got a bit freaked as it was sat nite and we sure didnt want to be there during another party by the locals. so we thought we would keep going and see if we could find somewhere else. altho keep in mind we are now getting closer to the road. we live around there and i realize that we do not have enough daylight time to get past all of this population before night fall. so we decided to listen to our gut and not camp that second night. we got to the road and called and uber and went home. feel like we failed but also feel like we had no choice. did not like the populated areas. hikers are fine but locals made us nervous.

    so my question is - what would you have done?? are we just nervous and inexperienced?? would you have stayed at the party place?
    Congrats on your first hike! I think you made a wise decision. I just did my first hike last week in upper PA. Had the same issue with pack weight - nearly crippled me. But learned valuable lessons for next time. Happy Trails!
    zig-zag man

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    Any hiking trip you come home from isn't a failure.
    I too think you did the right thing following your instincts.

    But here's where I don't fully understand your story:
    Quote Originally Posted by twinsinpa View Post
    ...packed way too much ... too much clothes ... we stopped at the Darlington shelter and it was sooo windy and cold i knew we couldn't stay there with the clothes we had.
    Sounds odd to say "too much" in one sentence, and then turn around say "[not enough]" in another.

    So unless you already understand where you went wrong in the clothing department, I'd suggest forget about the fact you came home a little early and ask some questions in this department to help get you prepared for the next trip.

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    Thanks all for your replies! We learned a lot and can't wait for spring to go out again! Can't afford winter gear just yet.

    As for the clothes comment - we had too many change of hiking clothes ie.....shorts, shirts (which we shouldn't have brought) - not warm night time clothes.

    NJ Dreamer - you are right - we had a plan and passed on it. That was a mistake.

    I am glad we made the right decision as to the campsite close to the road. I had read on this site about camping too close to a road may not be a good idea. thanks all!! i love this site and read alot.

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    You done good, grasshopper.


    1 mile from road is getting far for a regular party campsite. A shelter more likely. Local partyers dont like packing heavy gear very far. I wouldnt carry a 6 pack that far, much less camping gear.

    Regardless, trust your instincts. Right or wrong, your the only one that has to sleep with the little voice(s) in your head.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-12-2017 at 15:47.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    You done good, grasshopper.


    1 mile from road is getting far for a regular party campsite. A shelter more likely. Local partyers dont like packing heavy gear very far. I wouldnt carry a 6 pack that far, much less camping gear.

    Regardless, trust your instincts. Right or wrong, your the only one that has to sleep with the little voice(s) in your head.


    i thought it was too far to carry crap too. but i didn't think hikers would be so "trashy". it was a mess that place! sad too cause it was a nice area. looking from afar it looked like we had made a mart decision to come down.........and near water too. since i live so close my sister and i are going to try to get in there and clean it up in a couple weeks.

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