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How do you plan your trip?

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Re: How do you plan your trip?

Postby windknot » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:29 pm

Hey Mike,

I haven't read that book in a while, but that quote did stand out. I couldn't remember Pirsig's exact words either, but I did a little hunting around and I think these might be the lines you were referring to:

Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow. - Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/

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Re: How do you plan your trip?

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:12 am


Thanks for looking up the quote. Gives me goosebumps!


Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: How do you plan your trip?

Postby quentinc » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:37 pm

I'm with the free spirits here. I don't own a GPS or even a compass, and have never tried Google Earth. I go to the wilderness to escape technology, not to import it. :)

I'm also down with the spur of the moment philosophy. Last summer I planned on a North Lake (via Lamarck Col) to South Lake trip, but ended up turning around in Evolution Valley and heading down the Muir Trail in the complete opposite direction, eventually winding back cross-country through Bear Lakes Basin, Feather Pass and Puppet Pass. And it was absolutely wonderful (although a bit too hard for the 7 days I had available).
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Re: How do you plan your trip?

Postby hikehigh » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:38 pm

and have never tried Google Earth.I go to the wilderness to escape technology, not to import it.

Are you crazy???? You are missing out. Even if you aren't planning a trip, Google Earth is fun stuff!!!

To me planning is half the fun. :D

I think traveling off trail and having to navigate with a map is the best part of the adventure.
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Re: How do you plan your trip?

Postby markskor » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:40 pm

We are not saying that "we" do not plan... (I consider myself included in the afore-mentioned "free spirit" society...thus the “we”)...I plan the heck out of all my trips. Agreed, there is something special about the winter, Pre-trip ritual: the visits to REI, the ordering the 7.5 Topos, agonizing over route selections, checking Secor, Google maps, guide books, weather patterns, the snow depth…the whole enchilada…just an anticipatory adrenalin rush.

The planning, the dates when to go, checking with the wife; the ordering of Wilderness passes, the anal check lists of gear to bring, the continual upgrading of any weak links…always something new to be considered or something else discarded…just talking about it here make me giddy. The backpack brought out months in advance, packed and re-packed… (Mine is right here – gear strewn everywhere beside me now as I type), the fishing lures to buy…what’s cheapest and where…eBay and gear swap…all the forums, the great pictures examined and the long web searches eavesdropped continuously for any hidden, secret beta.

The letters to those experienced who would know, (or might know), where the hidden treasures are, and lets not forget our home forum…HST, where it all comes bubbling out from all our great friends. (All except Hiking Mike who refuses to divulge the “hidden springs” location…but that’s OK as he does take great photos.). The mail stoppage, the sprinklers, the lawn, maybe talks to a local gardener…the damn daily paper; changing the oil in the Jeep – all things to carefully consider ahead of time.

The menu, food to bring…breaking out the dehydrator…making jerky, cleaning out the platypus…tasting for a new extra virgin olive oil, replenishing spices…new fishing line…picking out the perfect single malt, buying new batteries, and the dreaming – all things to prepare wisely for.
Heck yes, we all plan.

Funny though, somewhere about ½ day after the first trailhead steps, or maybe at that first night in the backpacker’s camp, or maybe at that first night’s campsite, or perhaps because of some great fishing, or the plague of mosquitoes, maybe because of the weather…something always comes up…best to remain flexible. You are all packed for a 10-day trip, and all the plans go out the window. The 10-day trip north now turns 11 days south.
“Serendipity hiking”…yep, it has a nice ring…like it. The end result is doing a different route, but always thankful that you did.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: How do you plan your trip?

Postby BrianF » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:21 pm

I am with the old school crowd - give me paper maps, Secor and word of mouth. I have most of the Tom Harrison Maps (lovely things) to spend hours poring over, as well most of the USGS maps down the Muir Trail. I have a tremendous backlog of trips I want to take and I know them all by heart, but that doesn't stop me from checking out new routes and changing my priority list. This forum is a great place to hear of new and wonderful places to visit. And no GPS for me either, there is a compass that lives in my pack in case of whiteout, but it doesn't see light for years at a time.
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher
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Re: How do you plan your trip?

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:48 pm

Wow. Almost sorry i started this topic. Sounds like there are two camps. Wingers and Technogeeks. It's obvious we all plan with various toolsets. I've got about 1" of topos under my bed (tattered, highlighted and even with compass triangulation line of site scribbles on them for the peaks), but i've found some of the mapset PC tools very helpful during the planning process.

I've been lost in the trees 3 times in my experiences and in whiteouts at least twice, and i find the GPS as an added safety measure. As i've mentioned previously, my radio is also part of my GPS unit, as that adds additional assurance if members of our group become separated.

I program my GPS with various waypoints which might be secondary trip options in case we change our minds mid-trip.

All the input has been great, btw. It's obvious there are many ways to plan and execute trips. I find the leads from HST one of the best.


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