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Thread: Hiking Alone...

  1. #41
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    Hi Captain:

    The key here is your comfort level. If you're gonna go out alone for a hike, it's a good idea to start small and build up. Go hike in a place near your home where you know a lot of people like to hike. Read good trail guides for the places you hike. Always bring a map - find one online or get it from an outfitter. The more you hike, the more skilled and intelligent you become about the experience, the more confident and comfortable you become. You find your boundaries and comfort zone expanding.

    As with most anything, as others have said here, sound fundamentals are vital. Build up good gear over time - maybe a nice new item as a reward for completing a significant new hiking experience (first 5 mile hike, first 1000-foot elevation gain and loss in a day, first 2000, etc.). You'll figure out what works for you, what keeps you going.

    And if you read up on good websites and connect with smart, experienced hikers - there are plenty here - that will also help you gain confidence and experience. You can do it - and the more you hike and hang out in the hiking community, the more people you'll meet that you can hike with if you want. Best of both worlds - able to get out on your own or with others, as you see it. Good luck and happy trails!
    This is what I would say also. Start easy and add elements of difficulty little by little.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  2. #42

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    My first backpacking trips in college were done solo. Didn't know anyone who liked that sort of thing. Never was in scouts so I started with simple overnighters in good weather as I dealt with the learning curve; no internet back then. Not much has changed since then as 95% of the time I'm sill hiking or backpacking solo.

  3. #43
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    I just celebrated my 50th birthday by going the day before my birthday and hiking alone up Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. As I was sitting on a cliff and watching sunset I thought to myself that if is what the first 50 years is like I can't wait for the next 50.

    Make sure you are comfortable with your skills and get out there and enjoy that time by yourself. I have a friend I hike with but it is good to get away and relax and be a little selfish and only have to worry about your own hike and nothing else.

  4. #44
    Registered User Giantsbane's Avatar
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    I hiked the Ouachita Trail here in Arkansas all by myself. It's only 223 miles long, but it's pretty unknown by most people. An example of this was when I got to the end, I was talking to two other day hikers in the state park that it ends at and they had no idea that the trail was so long. Point is, I would have been screwed if something had happened to me. Fortunetly I made it out ok. Like most people have said, just use common sense.
    We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

  5. #45
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    the big advantage of hiking alone.. there's no one else about to make you feel you are too slow or too fast. Plus.. when I go alone.. I love the company!

  6. #46
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    LOL i agree.
    More I'm Around Some People, The More I Like My Dog
    Love my dog...can take or leave people. I'd rather hike alone but it's nice to have have someone to BS with at camp...especially if they bring the bottle. Most important thing hiking alone is to not do stupid stuff where you may get injured...advice is to be given, not taken.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    I hate people.

    "I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am." ~Joseph Baretti

  8. #48
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    10-K I love this sentiment.
    One step at a time and presence is so important.
    One step at a time even in a storm, is not as paralyzing as the thought of all those steps together.

  9. #49
    Registered User Danl's Avatar
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    I too would like to find a good partner to do more hiking with. I am a member of the Nashville Backpackers meetup group that RainMan refers to. The problem i have is i had surgery on my feet and do not want to commit to hiking in a group because i do not want to slow them down. So Solo for me right now. The problem with that , for me is i can't stand my company
    I start out the Day with nothing and by the end of the Day I still have most of it.

  10. #50
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    I love hiking alone and setting my own pace - it helps me do big miles, think about things, I focus on things that matter in a clear headed way. I so love to hike alone all day and then meet other folks (if I'm on the AT or other big trail) at night that are roughly on my same pace - hiking with others for a bit is fun passing folks, having them get ahead of you, all this is fun but basically going it alone gives you lots of options

  11. #51
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    I hate people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    "I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am." ~Joseph Baretti
    Oh Carp ... I thought you were Quoting John Gault or Bob Saget......oops... Read my Signature....
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  12. #52
    Aspiring Thru-Hiker DogPaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Oh Carp ... I thought you were Quoting John Gault or Bob Saget......oops... Read my Signature....
    Wait. Our nice, friendly John Gault, or crazy Atlas Shrugged character John Gault?

  13. #53
    AT NOBO2010 / SOBO2011 Maddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    I hate people.
    +1 Me too! Maddog
    "You do more hiking with your head than your feet!" Emma "Grandma" Gatewood...HYOY!!!
    http://www.hammockforums.net/?

  14. #54
    wookinpanub
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    Southbound solo thru-hike. Never had a hiking partner. Went from Katahdin to Monson without seeing a soul. Didn't see anyone on the trail until some day hikers coming off of Avery Peak. Didn't share a shelter until Grafton Notch.
    It was my 2nd backpacking trip.

    I developed a simple set of rules that gave me great comfort then and on subsequent trips:
    1) As best you can, let family members or friends know where you are.
    2) Plan, plan, and replan. Preparation is mandatory when hiking alone.
    3) Try to never camp within 2 miles of a road. Jerks aren't going to hike an hour to harass you.
    4) When first meeting small (less than 4) groups of people on the trail, be vague about the size of your group, where you're going, and where you've been. Once they've earned your trust, then you can divulge this info.
    5) Minimize time in towns and don't let townsfolks know your details (same thought process as above).
    6) Always know where the nearest road out is, in case of an emergency.

    There's so much advice to not hike alone, but I've always been aggravated that no one has devoted more emphasis on how to do it safely.

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by DogPaw View Post
    Wait. Our nice, friendly John Gault, or crazy Atlas Shrugged character John Gault?
    Ain't no Atlas Shrugged fan, but that John spelled his name: "Galt".

  16. #56
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giantsbane View Post
    I hiked the Ouachita Trail here in Arkansas all by myself. It's only 223 miles long, but it's pretty unknown by most people. An example of this was when I got to the end, I was talking to two other day hikers in the state park that it ends at and they had no idea that the trail was so long. Point is, I would have been screwed if something had happened to me. Fortunetly I made it out ok. Like most people have said, just use common sense.
    Didn't realize the QT was that long either, may do it in the near future. What's the best time of year to hike it? Do you see many hikers on the QT?

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    Ain't no Atlas Shrugged fan, but that John spelled his name: "Galt".
    I always figured you were an encased postage stamp man.
    --
    EJS
    (Ed. S)

  18. #58
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    I grew up and live near Philly...........being in the woods is tons safer

    To me being alone in the woods is awesome...................the core issue is self-confidence

    Pretty basic stuff..........the AT is not too far from anywhere, common sense rules.

  19. #59

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    It's pretty impossible to hike alone on the AT now.
    I did it for 1000 miles back in the 1970's and almost always had shelters to myself or maybe one other.
    But there are just too many people now.
    Find a different trail, or go in the extreme off season if you want to be alone.

    Last year in April-May I hiked the VA AT, and we counted the north-bounders as we approached Damascus. It was never less than 30, and the high number was 80. If you hike for 8 hrs that's passing someone every 6 minutes.

  20. #60

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    Why do you say use water bottles rather than bladders?

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