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  1. #1
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    Default Going to sleep - does anyone else do this?

    I donít count sheep when Iím going to sleep; I think back to the trail and try to remember the people that I met, tent sites that I occupied, hostels that I visited, shelters that I slept in or cat holes that I dug. I usually drift right off.

    It just helps to keep the memories of the hike alive. Will I remember the tent site at Wind Rock forever? The snoring/non snoring shelters at Tumbling Run? JimmyJohn and MontyPython ? I donít know.
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    Wouldnt say i use it as a tool to go to sleep.
    But i often try, and am amazed how much of a blur a week or two is. I try to recall everywhere i camped, and trail inbetween each day. I need a map after only short time to help. A yr later......forget it

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    I don’t count sheep when I’m going to sleep; I think back to the trail and try to remember the people that I met, tent sites that I occupied, hostels that I visited, shelters that I slept in or cat holes that I dug. I usually drift right off.

    It just helps to keep the memories of the hike alive. Will I remember the tent site at Wind Rock forever? The snoring/non snoring shelters at Tumbling Run? JimmyJohn and MontyPython ? I don’t know.
    This is something most of us experience at some level and is a normal function of the brain as we enter a sleep state, we may see it as recollection of the day but it has a far higher purpose. As we enter sleep state the brain performs a process best described as a replay of the day, much like playing a video of your days events from most recent to the start of the day. This is how the brain categorizes your experiences to capture data to be stored for later use. For example a memory of a view or sound of a brook will be stored with a recall trigger differently than muscle memory of your fingers when learning how to play the piano which happens when we sleep.

    Years ago I had trouble going to sleep and after some medical tests discovered a solution was to use a process called the "quieting reflex" developed by Charles Strobel MD, whom I was fortunate enough to find. This is a relaxation process that replays the day from most recently to the first thing I could remember that day, without any emotion attached as if you were watching a movie of someone else. Though at first I could complete most of the day, sleep did come faster and now I start that process and nearly instantly fall asleep and let the brain do what it does.

    Another indication there is a lot more to learn about the human mind than we currently understand.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Years ago I had trouble going to sleep and after some medical tests discovered a solution was to use a process called the "quieting reflex" developed by Charles Strobel MD, whom I was fortunate enough to find. This is a relaxation process that replays the day from most recently to the first thing I could remember that day, without any emotion attached as if you were watching a movie of someone else. Though at first I could complete most of the day, sleep did come faster and now I start that process and nearly instantly fall asleep and let the brain do what it does.

    Another indication there is a lot more to learn about the human mind than we currently understand.
    We used to use this ďquieting reflexĒ approach with our daughters to calm their racing, developing brains before sleep. We told them the story of a girl who did thus-and-such, replaying their day backwards. Works a charm!

    I, too, sometimes do that for myself. That was one of the benefits of lying in my hammock after Ďhiker midnightí, tapping my blog on my phone. Iíd spend time ruminating on the trail about what I might say, then expand on that in my hammock. I often fell asleep with the phone dropping to my chest Ö waking up later to finish it. Relaxing, restorative, thought-provoking review of the day, wrapping it together.


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  5. #5
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    This is my go to sleep aid.

    I bicycle quite a bit and have a 35 mile loop leaving from my back door. I replay the route starting with closing the garage, guiding my bike past specific cracks in the driveway, when to look for cars, when to shift gears, turns in the road... I replay this regular route with very distinct and small details. Rarely do I get more than 2-3 miles into this route before I am asleep.

  6. #6
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    This is my go to sleep aid.

    I take off my hiking clothes and sleep in just my underwear. I lie on top of my sleeping bag on my back. I usually find that my metabolism (and brain) are in full gear from hiking, camp chores, dinner, etc... As I lie there I focus on the heat energy leaving my body. This also calms the mind. I listen to the sounds of the forest. It's amazing how "noisy" it can be when everything is quiet. Even if it is a cold night I do not get under my sleeping quilt until the cold becomes uncomfortable and distracting. It's surprising how much latent heat your body retains from the day. Even on a cold night it can take quite a while for your body to cool down. Sometimes I actually go to sleep on my bag, only to wake up later from cold, at which point I get under the quilt and go back to sleep. The cooling down period also helps you from overheating in your sleeping bag. This is perhaps my favorite time of my hiking day. It's the only time I really lie down and relax in my tent. I'm not one to linger in my tent in the AM. If I wake up and the birds are singing, I get up and start hiking.

  7. #7

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    RangerZ, I do this too. If my mind is too active when I go to bed I think back to a backpacking trip and try to remember in order each place I pitched a tent for the night. It does calm me. It has also helped keep alive a lot of treasured memories that might have lapsed otherwise.

    And Odd Man Out on my next hiking trip I think I will try your suggestion of lying down on top of my bag for a while when I first turn in for the night. I definitely do notice this "body radiating lots of heat" phenomenon at night even when it's been a few hours since I quit hiking for the day.
    Life Member: ATC, ALDHA, Superior Hiking Trail Association

  8. #8
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    I recall lots of things but never the cat holes I dug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I recall lots of things but never the cat holes I dug.

    It’s just a memory exercise, I can only specifically remember about five.

    People looking at my pictures accused me of a privy fixation. But it was really to contrast the bad ones ( Overmountain Shelter ) with the good ones.
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  10. #10
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    I'm knowing an increasing number of anti "drug" people turning to CBD oils as a mental and physical relaxer, anti anxiety "med", and overall stress buster.

    I find sleep to be sweetest getting up early around sunrise or a bit before on and off trail, backpacking- moving most of the day to after sunset, living a life of passion - doing what I love, seizing the day - carpe diem, living in the moment not the past or future, aiming to be ever grateful as there's always something to appreciate, trusting in the Lord, and not going against my conscience.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I recall lots of things but never the cat holes I dug.
    I recall a few

    Ones that had to be dug quickly, close enough to trail to be seen thru trees, especially in leaf off even 50 yds + isnt enough , and people came down trail.

    Ones in sierra that werent unique....dug up old TP. If you see a nice rock or clump of bushes from a well used trail....you arent the first. Not when thousands of people per yr, for years walk same trail. On average, theres a cathole every few feet! Do math.

    Conservative sobo only jmt is 50 people/ day for75 days=3750 hikers
    Avg days on trail is 21. = 78,750 poops, or 1 every 14' of trail, in just one year.

    Factor in other hikers nobo, lower use seasons, year in/out, and you get real picture of how hard our backcountry is used as toilet. I dug up 4 or 5 previous used. ones
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-16-2019 at 10:49.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Conservative sobo only jmt is 50 people/ day for75 days=3750 hikers
    Avg days on trail is 21. = 78,750 poops, or 1 every 14' of trail, in just one year.
    Holey! Thatís a shockingly crappy number!


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  13. #13

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    When I was a child and experiencing a headache, my mom taught me to start at the tips of my toes and slowly move up my body, concentrating on relaxing every muscle. It helps with falling asleep. I also like to count numbers or sheep jumping over fences. If negative/scary thoughts are in my head, I make a mental picture of a broom sweeping away all those thoughts.

    As far as remembering hikes...At night, I jot down a list of words or short sentences about the things I experience during the day... just enough description to later jog my memory. It’s really cool to go back years later and read the notes.

    Heres one from 2014 that makes me laugh...

    ”Bushwhacked looking for trail. Sank in mud and cold water. Met hunters. “She’s a blonde not a bear”. Really struggled. Stealthed. In tent at 6:30. Had to kill a lot of time.”

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    It’s just a memory exercise, I can only specifically remember about five.

    People looking at my pictures accused me of a privy fixation. But it was really to contrast the bad ones ( Overmountain Shelter ) with the good ones.
    Overmountain vs Thomas Knob Shelters privies

    07FC646B-D338-4683-9494-8A3B7B01614B.jpgE8E0DB29-FE6C-413E-A836-BE5FF0FA63D5.jpg
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    It’s just a memory exercise, I can only specifically remember about five.

    People looking at my pictures accused me of a privy fixation. But it was really to contrast the bad ones ( Overmountain Shelter ) with the good ones.



    I found the OS privy hysterical! It was truly a lesson in humility and how to overcome a shy bladder!
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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