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Postby mtn.horhe » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:42 pm

Hey so i am new and just wanted to introduce myself. Anyways my name is Tyler and I have been looking for a forum or group to join that shares my love for backpacking and the Sierra Nevada mountains. (found it!) I am excited to learn from all of the years of experience on here and hopefully meet some new friends to go backpacking with in the future.



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Re: new

Postby windknot » Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:01 pm

Welcome to the forum! This is a wonderful (probably the best out there) resource for Sierra Nevada backpacking and backcountry fishing. Hope you dive in, and enjoy!

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

Postby maverick » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:26 am

Welcome aboard Tyler, and ask away about any place you would like to know
about, someone on this site will be able to help in assisting you in planning a great
trip.
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Re: new

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:43 am

Welcome aboard, Tyler. Best wishes from all of us. We will do our best to help you make the most of your trips in this wonderful mountain range.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: new

Postby mtn.horhe » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:15 pm

Thanks to everyone for the welcome... I actually have a question about what you guys think about people going on backpacking trips alone?
I have done small two day trips and day hikes by myself but nothing really far or long just wondering what the general opinion is on going by yourself?
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Re: new

Postby markskor » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:59 pm

mtn.horhe wrote:Just wondering what the general opinion is on going by yourself?


The first time alone will probably be filled with trepidation and some fear...completely normal. These fears will hopefully pass. Just remember that in our benevolent Sierra, the biggest dangers are imagined - Just hike safe and do not do anything foolish. After a day or so, you become more attuned to what is going on around you - all the sounds and smells become more acute.It sounds trite but you become one with nature.
At first, you might plan to stay only on well-marked trails, (plenty to choose from), not venturing far off any path. FYI, very seldom will you find yourself completely alone at most well-used campsites...plenty of company to be found at most desired destinations. I always drop by and say hi to all...a brotherhood up there.

Soon enough you will discover that being completely self contained has advantages. Not having to rely on anyone else for sharing gear means that you can do and go where and when you please. If an unplanned lake calls out, just stay another day, or make it a short hiking day...the best laid plans become flexible. You do have to carry everything yourself...maybe a few pounds more but that is part of the charm. You soon learn what gear works and what needs to be added or replaced.

Soon enough you will find solace in the quiet...Nobody to give you orders or to instigate arguments.
After too many planned trips being cancelled by people dropping out last minute, I now treat/start out all my trips as if alone...maybe a buddy will actually show, but do not count on it.

There are very few people who I can tolerate for a week in the backcountry...consider it lucky if you find someone who: can get off work at the same time, hikes at your relative speed, does similar miles/day, knows how and when to be quiet, or is not completely irritating after 24 hours.

There are a few of them though - good hiking companions - but they are a rare breed (there are several here on this forum). Faced with the options of going alone or having another along who is clueless, I would rather go it alone.

Finally, something amazing always happens when solo - (just read some of my past stories here.) - just let it happen. Nowadays, I almost always go solo...feels like home.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: new

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:52 pm

The biggest danger you will face hiking alone is yourself. By which I mean, the number one problem will be injury or illness - if you are alone, a broken leg is a much bigger problem than if you have people to go for help. If you are not good at monitoring your water intake or paying attention to temperatures to add layers to stay warm, you could become dehydrated or hypothermic, slip into an altered state of mind, and be making bad decisions that get you into real trouble - having a hiking partner who will notice your behavior changing in such an event can be safer than hiking solo if you are not self aware enough to keep the water going or keep warm.

If you don't take chances (climbing around on granite, jumping off things, fording streams that are too deep or too fast) and make a point of drinking regularly (while hiking I generally consume a couple of liters over 8-10 miles, more if it's steep or very hot - the Sierra is pretty dry, actually, and at elevation you start to dehydrate fast) you mitigate a lot of the risk of self injury.

Always leaving detailed trip plans and return dates and the location of your vehicle with someone who will notice if you don't return on time and call the authorities is huge in terms of safety. If you also leave a list of the gear you have with you on the trip and the shoes you are wearing (including camp shoes if you take them) that will give any SAR team the jump on getting to you in time. Many SAR teams have trained trackers who can isolate your footprints from your vehicle and track you through all kinds of terrain, even over granite. You may never get lost or be delayed but on the chance that something does happen, give people enough information and you can be found quicker.

If you do get lost - stay in one place, make a big SOS out of wood and rocks on a clear patch of ground (try for good contrast, granite on granite won't work) and keep an eye out for small aircraft. Wave red bandanna, blow whistle, attract attention of passing hikers and ask them for help - whatever works. It is surprising how many people don't think of things like this when they are misplaced. Having a plan well ahead of time helps you remember it even if you do find yourself somewhat dehydrated and not thinking exactly straight.

There are a lot of hiking meetup groups in California and a huge meetup for Fresno-Madera - you might look into it.
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Re: new

Postby Timberline » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:27 pm

mtn.horhe wrote:I actually have a question about what you guys think about people going on backpacking trips alone? I have done small two day trips and day hikes by myself but nothing really far or long just wondering what the general opinion is on going by yourself?


Again, welcome to HST, mtn.horhe (might that be Spanish?) Anyway. . .

If you are a little unsure about hiking alone, you might consider doing a trip that is along a popular route - - that is, where you are likely to meet other people on the trail or at the usual campsites. Although I had done a lot of solo travel, or off-trail backpacks with only one companion (there is a risk level for that, too), my first return to the Sierra after a lengthy (and unfortunate) absence was a week long solo trip to Thousand Island Lake via the High Trail, then to Garnet, Shadow, Ediza, Iceberg, and Minaret Lakes, and then returning via the river trail to Agnew Meadow. I had all the solitude I wanted, e.g. camping, day hikes, and cross-country exploration just on impulse, but I did encounter people from time to time. Even tho the hard-sought-after solitude restored my soul as I had hoped, those unplanned encounters added a treasured dimension to my trip. I spent most of my days and evenings alone, absorbed by the sensations I had missed for so long. But I also ran into some extremely interesting people along the way: a guy who played bass for the Oakland Symphony (and his charming family), another guy just off the plane from Ireland and visiting the Sierra for the first time, and a group of camp neighbors who sang German drinking songs around their campfire until the wee hours (I didn't even mind the lost sleep). The Sierra is big enough to reward us with all the expectations we bring into them, and so much more!

Of course, if you really want solitude and are intent on avoiding people altogether, there are so many destinations that can provide that opportunity for you. IMHO, your own attitude will influence your experience; its all in how you approach it. Take an open mind and just let it happen, amigo!

Best of luck, and let us know how it went! :nod:
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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Re: new

Postby mtn.horhe » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:23 pm

Ya i see what you guys mean. I don't really have too much of a problem with going alone just wanted to make sure it wasn't one of those ideas that i have that no one else would agree with. ha ha I have been planning some trips and i thought that if i do go by myself that i will start on a easier trail first. Then after i get back i will be able to decide if that's something that i would want to do again.
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Re: new

Postby mtn.horhe » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:24 pm

Oh and Horhe is a nick-name that stuck from high school, actual last name is Horge. haha
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Re: new

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:29 pm

Welcome!

If you really enjoy the solo aspect of backpacking, but want some safety, you might consider a SPOT or PLB device as discussed in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5103&p=31511

For some on this forum, it gives those at home some comfort, as long as you use it correctly.

I did a few solo's, but I prefer the group thing with a few good friends.
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Re: new

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:42 pm

If you want a group to backpack with there is apparently a group hike heading up to Dinkey Lakes next weekend.

http://www.meetup.com/hiking-411/
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