Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee | High Sierra Topix  

Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby SSSdave » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:59 pm

Hi Suzy,

I've backpacked decades in the Sierra and never had to deal with your issue or some of the related others mentioned. But I am not a thru hiker, am often off trails, don't often camp near trails or others. Solo maybe 75% of the time. Reality is there are many backpackers that are probably afraid of really being alone in remote wilderness. Especially those that have not solo'd much if at all. That often shows at popular lake destinations when one finds several groups camping within earshot of each other then otherwise miles along trails or other areas about the destination lake where no groups are camping. As though some groups will hike 8 miles to some lake and then as soon as they see the first campsite where another group has set up, will then start looking for the next legal spot to plunk down at. ((( Gee I guess this is where people are supposed to camp. :confused: ))) Basic gregarious human nature with some. Another related behavior is some people and groups almost always set up camps near and within view of trails as though the notion of looking a good distance away from trails scares them.

As for tagging along with others on trails, I am aware through reading blogs that kind of social trail thing is a cultural expectation for some on thru hiking trails. Same ones who make a big deal about trail names. One just needs to read some of their blogs of where people talk about passing various others, hiking with others, helping others, camping with others and whatever. At times I do enjoy talking to other strangers I meet but will only continue such conversations beyond a few sentences if the other person or party participates to do so. I've hiked a ways along trails with some others I've talked though by that point the other party would be certain to know my destination would not be the same as theirs.



User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:14 pm

It seems like more often than not when I hear where someone is from they say the "bay area". Although the question of where are you from is common with others I personally never ask just because I don't really care. People are just people and it doesn't mean anything to me where your from.

I personally have never cared if someone knows where I live down to the exact address.
User avatar
RoguePhotonic
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:52 am
Location: Bakersfield CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby calipidder » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:05 pm

Fun topic, interesting anecdotes!

It really depends on where I am and who I am with. I'm always surprised by people seeking a quiet, solo wilderness experience on the JMT. I consider the JMT to be a very social place, and that comes with good and bad. I have hiked with and camped with several different groups on the JMT, and I embraced the social aspect of the trail and really enjoyed it. It's part of the soul of the JMT, I think. In fact, I've been thinking about doing it again since each time is unique due to the people I meet. Sometimes these people might not be the most...exciting...to spend time with, but with the ebb and flow of the trail, layover days, and pace, it's actually harder to stick with someone than you'd think (even if you want to!)

If I'm looking for a quieter, peaceful trip I'll go off-trail. If I do encounter people out there, I find they are generally of a similar mind set. A quick friendly conversation followed by parting ways. I haven't had any 'third wheels' appear in my off-trail travels.
User avatar
calipidder
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Above 10k
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby austex » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:31 pm

I do enjoy solitude and will adjust wherever. Even living here in Tx someone says they are from in CA. I ask where, do the drill drown to the city level; being from that southern part for so many yrs. I go from there feeling the amount of conversation they/I want and go from there. Comfort level gleaned from both sides
User avatar
austex
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 11:51 am
Location: Austin, Texas
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby jmtorbust » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:52 pm

This is my first post here, and I just recently joined. I've actually been agonizing over this for the last few weeks. I am planning to do the JMT this summer. I was fortunate and secured three permits. However, I am now realizing that the two people who agreed to join may back out. I think it is mostly the sheer amount of planning. I am a millennial and I find that many of the people in my generation cannot focus long enough to make a serious plan more than a week from the day of discussion (even then, it can be very challenging).

So this leaves me in a spot where I must seriously consider going solo. I have wanted to do this trail for a long time and there is a natural window this August, once I finish grad school. I do not envision a time in the next few years where a three week vacation without internet is likely to work so I want to take the opportunity. I want to go badly enough, that I am willing to go on my own if I must. I would prefer to have company, though. I have read on this forum and many others about how it is easy to link up with people once you get on the trail but this thread has me reconsidering.

My question is whether you all think that the JMT is a particularly social trail?

I have gleaned from some of the posts on this string that it is. I am not so obtuse as to force my presence onto another hiker who signals the desire to journey in solitude, but I would likely be unhappy if I got on the trail and found myself alone. I suppose I could handle the days alone, but I imagine I will select more popular campsites for security at night. Based on my experience, I just do not relish the idea of sleeping in complete solitude and I would prefer knowing that someone was within shouting distance.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
User avatar
jmtorbust
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:42 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:03 pm

Hi Jmtorbust,

Welcome to HST! You will be sharing the JMT in August with quite a few people.
If you plan to camp at the more popular areas along the way you should easily
have others near by so you will not be in solitude. Many folks doing the JMT
are happy to shoot the breeze with you, some are even happy to have others
tag along because they too do not like solitude, but do enjoy the wilderness
setting. Many folks doing the JMT are not looking for solitude, there is plenty
of crosscountry acreage for those who require total solitude.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby rlown » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:18 pm

should spin the last two posts off to their own thread. You want a 2nd or third wheel.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5328
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby jmtorbust » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:07 pm

Thanks for the advice, Maverick. I am reassured to hear it. I think I will go one way or the other and figure it out on trail. I may also put up a post on this forum or the JMT yahoo group to see if anyone wants to join. If either of my current partners bail, I still have two spots on my permit reservation. At this point, I think it's a good place to be :)

Rlown: I am not actively seeking a hiking partner at this time. My question was directed at tapping into this conversation regarding whether people are social on the trail. If I decide to seek a partner for my quest, I will start a fresh thread. Also, if I need to start a separate thread to inquire as to the social aspect of hiking, please let me know and I will do so. I thought this might be considered on-topic since it was directed at the issue of meeting strangers on the trail.

-Rob
User avatar
jmtorbust
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:42 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby rlown » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:23 pm

start a new thread.

russ
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5328
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby DAVELA » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:57 pm

austex wrote:R.C.going into someone's camp is like following someone into the bathroom to continue a conversation while you s#*+.


i had a guy at a volunteer thing who wanted to shake my hand ....at the urinal....gross.

i solo hike mostly ...I like to yack at the th or after a long hike or during a break when someone shows up....as for hiking in groups,its ok and ive only done it a few times but i totally forget the scenery and its more of a social experience...i like hiking with my dad cuz he doesnt like to talk much either while taking in the scene....what i would like is to go with another person to the sierra so we can share gas,chat during driving and then once at th split and each go solo and then meet back at parking lot for drive home.
User avatar
DAVELA
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:23 am
Location: los angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby Clubb » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:41 pm

Interesting thread..............Being a fly fishing fanatic who loves the backcountry, I may have a different take than some on here. My backcountry excursions always involve fishing opportunities.

First of all, I've never experienced the 3rd wheel thing. Although I prolly dont spend as much time in the backcountry as a lot of you. I spend more time chasin trout at lower elevations.

As far as seeing others in the backcountry, I dont wanna see tons of people, but if they're not fishing (which I've found most in the Sierras arent) then no worries.

I've had some of the best trout fishing of my life while basically casting from the PCT while dozens of people passed and basically paid me no mind. It blows my mind that such killer fishing can be had along such a heavily used trail. Killer camping spots, that see little traffic, can be found a few hundred yards from the same area.

Funny, when I moved down here from Oregon 9 years ago, the proximity to big areas of human population in California concerned me. I'm from eastern OR where you pretty much just "go up in the woods" when you wanna go up in the woods.........Then I looked into the quota system, usage, etc, which didnt seem ideal.......but I've found the reality is its very easy to gain solitude even in high use areas of the Sierra...........Its all about perspective I guess.
User avatar
Clubb
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:57 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trail Etiquette - How to Politely Deter unwanted "third whee

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:06 pm

Davela- you just have to find a non-talker! And when walking on the trail with someone, I like to be spread out but still within eye sight. Get out of ear shot and you do not have to worry about the talking. I do not know why anyone would want to spend a trip looking at someone's behind. Yet this is how I see many backpackers going down the trail - all lined up not more than 5-10 feet apart. Beats me why they do that.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2606
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 10 guests

cron